(CORVALLIS)—One bad inning doomed the Oregon State baseball team on Wednesday in Eugene, and coming off that 7-6 loss, the No. 10 Beavers need to make sure they take care of business at Goss Stadium this weekend against the Stanford Cardinal.
Oregon State hosts Stanford for three games, starting tonight at 5:35 p.m., followed by Saturday at 1:35 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The Beavers (26-11 overall, 8-7 in conference). These are key Pac-12 Conference games for OSU, which trails first-place Washington by a full game in league play.
That’s why losing to the Ducks on Wednesday was so painful: Oregon scored seven runs in the second inning, and the Beavers clawed all the way back to 7-6 by the ninth inning—but they couldn’t complete the comeback. Kelly Austin took the loss after not being able to retire any of the four batters he faced in the second inning, although overall, the Ducks scored four unearned runs in the game thanks to Beaver defensive miscues.
Jack Anderson drove in two runs as part of the OSU comeback effort on Wednesday, but the unearned runs continue to be an issue for the Beavers in 2016. The Beavers rank 58th in the country for ERA (3.67), but they’ve also given away 21 free runs to opponents this season.
Tonight, Oregon State gets Stanford’s best, as the Cardinal (19-16, 7-8) are struggling to stay above .500 overall this year. The Beavers send Travis Eckert (5-2, 3.36 ERA) to the mound against Stanford’s Tristan Beck (4-4, 2.19 ERA). This is the only series between the two teams this regular season.
Oregon State has won 14 of its last 15 against the Cardinal, taking five straight series. In fact, the last time Stanford beat the Beavers was in 2012. OSU needs that kind of domination to continue through this weekend at Goss, with a road trip to Arizona looming on the schedule for next weekend.