Aaron Fitt - D1 Baseball

Photo: Aaron Fitt - D1 Baseball


Comeback Cardinal

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Will Matthiessen's bases-clearing double in the tenth inning capped an extraordinary comeback in No. 2 Stanford's 9-6 win over No. 2 Oregon State on Sunday at Goss Stadium.

"I said yesterday that today would be a real test of character for this team and they came through," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "It took us quite a while to really get going in this series, but I watched this team grow up right before my eyes today."

The Cardinal (39-8 overall, 18-6 Pac-12) kept control of the Pac-12 conference, sitting 1.5 games ahead of Oregon State after the win. Stanford fell behind, 6-1, plating eight unanswered runs over the final six frames while the bullpen tossed seven shutout innings. Matthiessen had the game-winning hit in the top of the tenth, a 2-out double to clear the bases and make it 9-6. Nick Oar's pinch-hit, solo home run in the top of the ninth sent the game to extra innings, and Jack Little tossed a career-high 52 pitches in a career-high 3.1 innings to earn the win.

Beau Branton had a career-high five hits, scoring three times, while Nico Hoerner also reached base five times – the junior shortstop finished 3-for-4 with two runs, three RBI and two walks. Christian Robinson reached base twice with a hit and two RBI, and Jacob Palisch and Matthiessen combined to allow two hits over 3.2 relief innings.

It ain't over until it's ov -- OH MY WORD @NICKOAR DID IT AGAIN. #GoStanford

A post shared by Stanford Baseball?? (@stanfordbsb) on May 13, 2018 at 3:37pm PDT

The Cardinal fell behind the Beavers (38-8-1, 16-7-1) early, 2-0, after Nick Madrigal's RBI single and a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Robinson walked with the bases loaded in the third, but Oregon State answered with four more runs over the next two frames to make it 6-1. Robinson's RBI single in the fifth made it 6-2 before Nico Hoerner's single to right field scored Tim Tawa and Branton.

Hoerner tacked on another RBI single in his next at-bat, cutting the deficit to one through 8.0 innings. Stanford was down to its final two outs when Oar stepped to the plate, sending a 2-1 pitch beyond the left-field wall for his third pinch-hit home run in seven games.

Branton's single started the 10th, and Nico Hoerner was intentionally walked after Tawa bunted Branton to second. Andrew Daschbach singled to load the bases before Matthiessen's big swing of the bat to give Stanford its 9-6 lead. Little (2-0) entered in the seventh, striking out two and allowing three hits – Little's ERA dipped to 0.69 after the win.

"I've been coaching baseball for a lot of years and I don't think I have had a better win than today," added Esquer. "I'm proud of our guys, and today meant so much for them and their progress."
No. 2 Stanford returns to Sunken Diamond on Tuesday against BYU at 1 p.m. PT. Live streaming and statistics will be available at GoStanford.com.
Cardinal Notes

  • It was the third time this season Stanford has overcome a ninth-inning deficit and the second in Pac-12 play.
  • Matthiessen has 17 RBI since being inserted into the starting lineup on May 1.
  • Kyle Stowers reached base three times with a hit and two walks, while Daschbach finished with two hits and two runs scored.
  • Robinson, Oar, Matthiessen and Alec Wilson finished with one hit and one walk apiece.
  • Jake Mulholland took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over 3.0 innings.
  • With a win, Oregon State would have taken control of the Pac-12 standings, 0.5 games ahead of the Cardinal.
  • Stanford avoided its first sweep of the season – the Cardinal has dropped just two series on the year, both on the road.
  • It was the second time in two weekends Little has set a career high in pitches – he earned the win in a 6-4 win at Utah on May 6.