There was another dramatic day in Corvallis, where Oregon State and Stanford fought tooth and nail in another classic college baseball match back in April.
Only this time, the tenth largest crowd in the history of Goss Stadium went home happy.
Justin Boyd’s two-out walk-off single in the 11th inning propelled the Beavers to a 3-2 win over the Cardinal on Saturday night, evening an entertaining and emotional three-game Pac-12 series 1-1.
Less than 24 hours after the third-seeded Beavers (20-6, 7-4 Pac-12) suffered a 1-0 gut punch in 10 innings, they exacted a small revenge by taking a two-out extra-inning Rally used Force a rubber match on Sunday afternoon.
The scorecard will say the rally started with Wade Meckler’s clutch two-out double in the bottom of the 11th, but in reality it started in the top half of the inning when the Beavers defense and reliever Ryan Brown scored a Stanford averted threat.
The trouble started with an out as Kody Huff and Braden Montgomery – Friday night’s hero – hit back-to-back singles down right field and put Cardinal runners in the corners. That put pinch hitter Alberto Rios on the plate, and on the end of a nine-pitch-at-bat, he hit a soft liner down center that seemed destined to drop into outfield and Stanford (13-9, 5-6 ) admit. the leadership.
But out of nowhere, second baseman Travis Bazzana closed the ball and slowed it with an incredible jump catch, saving a run. He responded with flexes and fist pumps while repeatedly yelling at Rios and the Stanford dugout. Similar emotions were seen by both teams at various points in the contentious and competitive series, with pitchers punctuating inning-ending strikeouts with fist pumps and batsmen celebrating big hits with screams. But Bazzana’s outburst lasted so long that referee Alex Ortiz stepped in to calm the Australian newcomer.
While perhaps a bit of an overstatement, it also seemed to spur on the Beavers and the 3,918 at Goss, who were thirsty for something to celebrate. They grew louder just a beat later when Austin Kretzschmar went to Bazzana to end the inning.
Then, after the quietest 21-inning offensive stretch of the season, the Beavers finally rediscovered a little mojo.
While the Stanford outfield played back to prevent additional base hits, Meckler ripped a 2-0 line drive into left midfield and sent a ball right in front of midfielder Brock Jones. Meckler sprinted out of the box and hit Jones’ shot on second base with a foot-first slide for a hustle double. He roared and bent as he stared at the beaver shelter.
Boyd wasted little time to finish the rally, hitting the first pitch he looked the other way to right field, just behind a diving second baseman. Meckler scored easily with a dive. It sparked a wild celebration as the Beavers sprinted from the third base dugout and ambushed Boyd near first base.
It was sort of an exhale for an explosive offense limited to just three runs in two games and 21 innings — including a 12-inning deadless streak throughout the season to start the streak. Oregon State entered Friday’s game second in the nation in batting average (.336) and fifth in runs per game (9.9), and its two-game lowest scoring stretch was nine runs.
The good news? Meckler, who has seven hits on the series, went 3 for 5 with a double and triple, and Bazzana and Jacob Melton each added two hits. The better news? The Beavers’ bullpen was an exceptional Saturday as Ben Ferrer and Brown (3-0) held Stanford in seven innings of relief on just four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Next up: The teams will play the series finals at 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Goss Stadium.