No. 1 Stanford's Comeback Falls Short At Oregon State, 5-4

April 9, 2004

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    Corvallis, Ore. - Oregon State (19-10, 4-4 Pac-10) held off a late comeback by No. 1 Stanford (24-5, 3-2 Pac-10) for a 5-4 victory over the Cardinal in the second game of a three-game series played Friday before a near-capacity crowd of 1607 on a beautiful and warm evening at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Stanford closed an early 5-1 Oregon State lead to a one run on Jed Lowrie's two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning but left five runners stranded in the final two frames in its effort for a second dramatic comeback victory in as many nights. Oregon State reliever Ben Rowe picked up the first save of his career after coming on with two outs and runners on the corners in the top of the ninth inning to strike out John Mayberry, Jr.

    In the ninth, Ryan Seawell led off the inning with a clutch double and pinch-runner Jim Rapoport moved to third on Sam Fuld's groundout to Oregon State first baseman Andy Jenkins. Oregon State then chose to keep its infield back with one out and Rapoport as the tying run on third base when Ash hit a soft line drive that was snagged by Beaver shortstop Tony Calderon for the second out. Lowrie drew a walk off Gunderson before Rowe came on in relief to strike out Mayberry.

    Stanford reloaded the bases after Lowrie's two-run homer in the eighth that also scored Jonny Ash, who had walked with one out prior to Lowrie's at bat. Mayberry singled to chase Oregon State starter and winning pitcher Jake Postlewait. Reliever Kevin Gunderson then walked Danny Putnam before the Cardinal runners moved to second and third on a passed ball by Oregon State catcher Paul Richie. Gunderson then struck out Donny Lucy and Brian Hall was intentionally walked to load the bases before Beaver third baseman Shea McFeely knocked down Chris Minaker's hard-hit groundball and turned it into an inning-ending fielders choice by tagging Putnam on his way from second to third.

    Stanford had won three of the previous six games it had trailed entering the ninth inning this season, including an 11-8 win over Oregon State in the series-opener on Friday after trailing 7-4 after seven frames.

    Mike Lissman (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI) provided most of the offensive punch for the Beavers with a pair of homers and four RBI, while Chris Campos was 3-for-3.

    Postlewait (7-1) scattered four runs and nine hits with five strikeouts over 7.1 innings in his winning performance, while Gunderson (1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 SO) had a scoreless set-up relief appearance before Rowe saved the contest.

    Stanford starter Blake Holler (3-2) suffered the loss, allowing five runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 3.2 innings. Matt Manship kept the Cardinal in the game with his longest performance of the season, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

    Brian Hall (2-3, HR, RBI), Ryan Seawell (2-4, 2B) and Sam Fuld (2-5, 2B) had two-hit games for the Cardinal, who outhit Oregon State by a count of 10-9 to record its 22nd multiple-hit game this season. Lowrie drove in three runs and his eighth inning homer was his team-leading ninth of the season. Hall extended his career-high hit streak to 14 games, the longest by Cardinal player this year, while Mayberry's eighth inning single extended his hit streak to eight games. Ash went 0-for-4 to snap a 10-game hit streak.

    Stanford got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the first inning when Fuld led off the game with a double, moved to third on a deep fly ball by Ash and scored when Lowrie reached first base when McFeely booted an RBI ground ball.

    Oregon State answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, taking a 2-1 lead on Lissman's first two-run homer over the right field wall that also scored Aaron Mathews, who led off the inning with a triple down the first base line.

    The Beavers scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-1 advantage. Richie led off inning with a single before Lissman came through with his second homer of the game, a towering drive to straight away center field. Campos restarted the rally with a two-out single and Holler walked Tyler Graham before Manship came on in relief, tossing a wild pitch and balking in a first-and-third situation to allow Campos to score the third run of the inning.Hall got one run back for the Cardinal when he homered to leftcenter field to lead off the fifth. The Cardinal threatened for more when Seawell and Fuld came up with back-to-back singles but Postlewait induced Ash into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

    Both teams left nine runners on base and made one error. The Beavers turned both of the game's double plays.

    Fuld continued to climb several Stanford career lists and is now second in runs scored (240), third in hits (322) and at bats (943), tied for third in triples (16), seventh in doubles (57), and tied for eighth in games played (229).

    The loss dropped the Cardinal into a second-place tie in the Pac-10 standings, one-half game behind conference leader Washington (5-3), a 7-3 winner over Washington State on Friday. UCLA and USC are both tied with the Cardinal for second-place with identical 3-2 league marks after respective victories over Arizona and California on Friday.

    The teams will play the rubber game of a key three-game Pac-10 series on Saturday (12 pm, PT) before the Cardinal takes Sunday off for the Easter holiday. Stanford is scheduled to send RHP Jeff Gilmore (5-1, 4.71) to the mound to face Oregon State RHP Dallas Buck (1-2, 3.86). The Cardinal needs a victory in the series finale to extend its series win streak to 13 and win for the 21st time in its last 22 series overall. Stanford, which had won four of its last five games versus Oregon State prior to tonight's loss, dropped two-of-three to the Beavers the last time the teams met in Corvallis (April 26-28, 2002).

    Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

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