For the first time in program history, the Oregon State Beavers baseball program swept the Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto. It was a monumental sweep and push the Beavers win streak to 9 games overall, and it pushed their streak to 8 straight wins in the conference. It also showed that this Beavers squad is the real deal and is the team to beat in the conference.
Game 1 Recap:
Early on the Beavers were looking to take a lead. Michael Miller singled to begin the game. Ryan Barnes sacrificed him over to second. After Danny Hayes flew out to center, Jared Norris then walked, setting things up for young freshman Kavin Keyes. Kavin grounded an 0-2 pitch up the middle driving in Michael Miller from second base, giving Oregon State a 1-0 lead. With the way Sam Gaviglio had been pitching for the overwhelming majority of the season, you had to figure that was all he needed.
Stanford got their first opportunity to try to score off Sam with the bottom of the fourth inning. With a runner on first base and two outs, Jake Stewart singled to put runners on first and second. After Sam thought he had struck out Brian Ragira, Parker Berberet behind the plate couldn’t handle the pitch and he reached base. Stanford was challenging Sam Gaviglio with the bases loaded and two outs, Stanford had a chance to completely change the game. Instead, Sam showed why he’s one of the best pitchers in the country, striking out Lonnie Kauppila to leave the bases loaded in the inning.
In the bottom of the 7th, Stanford once again had a shot to tie the game up. Jake Stewart led the inning off with a crushed double off Sam Gaviglio. Most teams would bunt him over but Stanford just isn’t that type of team. Instead, Brian Ragira stepped up to the plate and Sam struck him out swinging on a devastating curveball. Sam then got Lonnie Kauppila and Austin Wilson to ground out and get out of the inning, preserving the 1-0 lead.
After Sam Gaviglio had a perfect 8th inning, Tony Bryant came in for the ninth and struck out the side for his fourth save on the season.
With Sam Gaviglio throwing 8 shutout innings, he lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.19 ERA. The Best on the team. He improved his record to 7-1.
Kavin Keyes’ RBI single in the first inning pushed his hitting streak to 12 games.
Game two recap:
One again in the top of the first the Beavers were able to get out to a good lead. After Michael Miller once again led off the game with a lead-off single, Ryan Barnes sacrificed him to second base. Danny Hayes then struck out, Jared Norris followed that up with a walk. This set the stage once again for Kavin Keyes to come through. On the first pitch, Kavin Keyes lined a ball to right field for an RBI double scoring Miller, once the right fielder fumbled it around for a bit, Jared Norris came around to score on the fielding error. The Beaver jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a half inning.
In the bottom of the second inning Stanford had their chance to get a couple runs. Stephen Piscotty led the inning off with a double on a ball that was smoked, Zach Jones then walked. Ben Clowe then laid down a sac bunt and runners were on second and third with 1 out for the Cardinal. Osich then was able to rediscover the strike zone and completely dominate Austin Wilson for a strikeout and the second out of the inning. He walked Lonnie Kauppila but struck out Brian Ragira to end their rally.
Stanford’s inability to capitalize in the second inning came back to haunt them, as the Beavers added to their lead. With Danny Hayes on second and two outs, Kavin Keyes stepped up and hit his second RBI double of the game on the first pitch, making the score 3-0 Beavers after 2 1/2 innings.
In the fourth inning the Beavers were able to tack on more runs to their lead. Parker Berberet led off the inning for the Beavers with a triple, one pitch later Ryan Dunn doubled down the left field line, giving the Beavers a 4-0 lead. After Tyler Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third, a wild pitch scored Ryan Dunn, making it 5-0 Beavers. With Ryan Barnes on base, Danny Hayes walked, setting things up for Jared Norris with two on and two outs. Jared Norris lined a ball to left field and Ryan Barnes came around to score, making it 6-0 Beavers.
In the 7th the first two batters reached base and Stanford looked like they could have a big inning. With 1 out in the inning, Jake Stewart hit a RBI single off reliever Matt Boyd to score Kauppila, the run was charged to starter Josh Osich. Matt Boyd would then settle down, getting th next two batters to fly out to right field.
The Beavers had an excellent chance to extend the lead in the 8th. They had runners on first and second and no outs. Ryan Barnes sacrificed the runners to second and third with 1 out. Garrett Nash, who was taking his first at-bat in about a month, struck out in a chance to get a little bit of an insurance run. Jared Norris then flew out, Oregon State blowing a chance to increase the lead.
In the ninth the Beavers finally broke through to add some more runs. Kavin Keyes who had been absolutely on fire, had a walk to lead off the inning. Then Carter Bell nearly hit a home run but it hit off the wall, Kavin Keyes all the way from first and scored on the play, making it 7-1. After a couple of outs, Tyler Smith stepped up and delivered a two out RBI single to score Carter Bell from third, making it 8-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Boyd finished off the Cardinal giving him his fourth save of the year, as the Beavers won 8-1.
Kavin Keyes led the way with three hits and two runs.
Game three recap:
Scott Schultz who was making his first career Pac-10 start, struggled early on. Jake Stewart led off the game for Stanford with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error by Michael Miller. Tyler Gaffney hit a ground ball to third and drove in Jake Stewart, giving Stanford their first lead in the series, 1-0. Stephen Piscotty then hit a single for Stanford, followed by Kenny Diekroeger’s RBI double down the left field line, giving Stanford a 2-0 lead. At this point it didn’t seem Scott Schultz would last very long. He would soon settle down and get the next two batters out.
In the top of the third, with 1 out Tyler Smith walked and Michael Miller reached on a fielder’s choice that resulted in Tyler Smith being safe at second base. The next batter Ryan Barnes, singled to left field scoring Tyler Smith, on an error Michael Miller advanced to third and Ryan Barnes advanced to second. Jared Norris then walked, Kavin Keyes would extend his hit streak to 14, when he hit a ball back to the pitcher and beat the throw to first, scoring Michael Miller to make it 2-2. Danny Hayes the next batter, walked to force in a run, making it 3-2. Carter Bell then missed a pretty big opportunity to extend the lead even further, when he hit into a inning-ending double play.
Stanford would threaten to score in the fifth inning. They had a runner on second and 1 out. Schultz would then get Kauppila to fly out to Norris in right field. Then Pat Casey made a really strange decision. He pulled Scott Schultz, who was just an out away from getting a win, instead he went to Ben Wetzler who has struggled this year. Ben Wetzler would get the final out of the inning, but still that seemed a bit too early.
In the top of the 7th with Jared Norris on first and Ryan Barnes on second with two outs, Kavin Keyes came up and did what he had done all series. He delivered. He hit a two run single, after they advanced to second and third respectively, following a passed ball. The passed ball was enormous. One run would only have scored if it wasn’t for that. Thanks to Kavin Keyes and a passed ball, OSU took a 5-2 lead after 6 1/2 innings.
After back-to-back singles by Ryan Dunn and Tyler Smith with two outs, Brian Stamps was hit with a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Chris Reed who was pitching for the Cardinal, threw a wild pitch allowing Dunn to score, giving the Beavers a 6-2 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, after Ben Clowe walked, Brian Ragira hit an RBI double into the gap and Ben Clowe scored, making it a 6-3 ball game. Brian Guymon then came in and singled off reliever Tony Bryant. Dave Giuliani then pinch-hit and hit an RBI single to score Ragira, making it a 6-4 game. Times were definitely nervous for the Beavers. Tony Bryant then settled down and struck out Jake Stewart to end the game and give the Beavers a 6-4 win and a road sweep over Stanford for the first time ever.
Tony Bryant got his fifth save in the win. Kavin Keyes with his two hits, bumped his average up to .361 on the season. Second on the team behind Andrew Susac.
Ben Wetzler moved to 5-1 on the season. His second win out of the bullpen.
Next for the Beavers is the woeful Washington State Cougars. They’re 2-10 in conference play and last. With the way these two teams are playing, I expect OSU to handle them well.
The Beavers are 27-7 overall, 8-1 in Pac-10 play and first in the conference.