August, Jones and the Stanford 'Pen Lead Way to 7-6 Victory Over Oregon State
May 23, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - In a must-win game for Stanford, the host Cardinal (30-24, 13-13 Pac-10) responded with a spirited effort in a 7-6 victory over Oregon State (34-17, 14-12) tonight at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. In front of a season-high crowd of 2,679, Stanford had a bevy of heroes: Joey August went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, Zach Jones delivered a tie-breaking, two-run single in the seventh, Max Fearnow worked 4.1-innings of shutout relief and Drew Storen established a career high with eight strikeouts over 2.2 innings.
Stanford has now won five of its last seven Pac-10 games, and will look to end the regular season tomorrow by winning its fourth straight series - including three sets against conference foes.
Although plenty of Cardinal batters came up with clutch hits tonight, a pair of right-handed arms made the difference. In what could be his final appearance at Sunken Diamond, Fearnow, a Stanford senior, battled over 4.1-relief innings. Fearnow entered in the second after Oregon State had scored three runs to take a 3-2 lead, and proceeded to blank the Beavers through the sixth. Although he issued seven walks and allowed three hits, Fearnow made huge pitch after huge pitch, striking out four and stranding 11 Oregon State runners.
Storen (7-1) picked up his team-high seventh win with a dominating performance. The Stanford closer came on with one out in the seventh and actually picked up 10 outs rather than the necessary eight, as twice a batter reached on a third strike wild pitch. His two inherited runners both scored in the seventh via two passed balls and the first strikeout-wild pitch, while a runner of Storen's own crossed the plate in the eighth when the apparent third out of the inning reached when a ball skirted to the backstop on strike three. However, Storen allowed just one hit and, with the Cardinal holding a 7-6 lead into the ninth, he struck out the side to establish his career standard with eight punchouts. The sophomore now has an incredible 66 strikeouts this year against only eight walks in his 42.2 innings of work.
Jones came up with the biggest hit of the night for Stanford. With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinal catcher came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He promptly greeted Oregon State reliever Ryan Gorton with a line drive, two-run single to right field that gave Stanford a 7-5 lead it would not relinquish.
August, who started the game-winning rally by reaching on a third strike wild pitch, contributed in a more conventional manner to a pair of earlier Stanford rallies. The senior tripled home a run in the first inning, and came around to score on an RBI-double by Kellen Kiilsgaard. August then beat out a run-scoring, infield single with two outs in the second that gave the Cardinal a 4-3 lead.
Adam Gaylord also had a nice night offensively for Stanford, going 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Jake Schlander doubled and scored, Jeff Whitlow tripled and scored, while Colin Walsh set the table by going 1-for-4 with a walk.
Oregon State reliever Tanner Robles (1-3) suffered the loss, despite not allowing a hit and striking out seven over 3.0 innings. After August reached on the strikeout-wild pitch to open the seventh, Robles walked Gerhart; both runners later scored after the pitcher had already departed.
Stanford and Oregon State will meet tomorrow afternoon in the rubber game of this series and the final contest of the 2009 regular season for both clubs. First pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.