No. 8 Beavers Open Super Regional by Beating Stanford 4-3

June 10, 2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State's Mitch Canham doubled home the winning run with a two-out, eighth-inning double, lifting the No. 8-ranked Beavers to a 4-3 victory in the opening game of the NCAA Super Regional baseball series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

The win mark's OSU's ninth in its last ten games, and put the Beavers one victory away from making their second consecutive College World Series. Stanford will need to win the final two games of the best-of-three Super Regional to advance to the College World for the first time since 2003.

The game, pitting two Pacific-10 Conference teams, was a taut affair, with neither team building more than a one-run advantage.

Consecutive singles by the Beavers in the first inning and a Stanford pitching miscue led to the game's first run. Stanford starter Greg Reynolds, attempting to pick off Cole Gillespie at first, was called for a balk, giving Chris Kunda a free pass home from third.

The Cardinal took a 2-1 lead in the third after Jim Rapoport hit his third home run of the season off OSU starter Dallas Buck, a two-run blast that sailed well past the right-field fence.

Eighth-ranked OSU (43-14) recaptured the lead in the bottom of the frame. A single through the right side the Stanford infield plated Kunda, who scored unearned after reaching base on an error by Cardinal third baseman Randy Molina. The Beavers loaded the bases on Reynolds, who then walked OSU designated hitter John Wallace, forcing home the go-ahead run.

No. 17 Stanford (33-26) evened the contest once more in the fifth. Jason Castro singled to score Chris Minaker, knotting the score at 3.

The Beavers threatened in the sixth, putting runners at first and third with two outs. But Gillespie, a .389 hitter, grounded out to third base to end the inning.

Canham's clutch double in the seventh, his only hit of the game, sent Bill Rowe gliding home from second.

Both pitchers grew stronger as the game wore on. Reynolds (7-5) struck out nine and allowed seven hits, before Matt Manship took over in the eighth in relief.

The Beavers looked poised to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases on Manship with two outs. But the senior righthander threw three consecutive strikes to Tyler Graham to escape the jam.

Buck (11-2) retired six Cardinal hitters, surrendering eight hits across eight innings. He was relieved in the ninth by lefty Kevin Gunderson, who put the Cardinal down in order to log his 17th save of the season.

Stanford's defense was sketchy at times, as the Cardinal committed three errors in the contest. For their part, the Beavers played flawless defense, including two spectacular fielding plays by Shea McFeely and Darwin Barney in the early innings.

Gillespie collected two of the Beavers' seven hits. Rapoport went 2-for-4 for the Cardinal.

The Super Regional will continue on Sunday (7 pm, PT) with Stanford RHP Nolan Gallagher (5-4, 3.75) slated to take the hill for the Cardinal against Oregon State RHP Jonah Nickerson (9-4, 2.61). If Stanford wins on Sunday, the Super Regional will continue with a third and deciding game slated to begin at 4 pm, PT. Oregon State has announced RHP Mike Stutes (6-2, 2.71) as its probable starter for a Monday contest, while the Cardinal has not announced a probable starter.

The College World Series, which hosts the winners of the eight Super Regionals, runs June 16-26 at Omaha, Neb.

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