STANFORD, Calif. – The 3,576 in attendance at Friday night’s game between No. 6 Oregon State and No. 25 Stanford at Sunken Diamond surely expected a pitcher’s duel between Matt Boyd and Mark Appel, two of the better pitchers in the Pac-12 Conference this season.
Instead, what they saw was an Oregon State offense that came to life as the Beavers won 7-3 in the opener of the three-game series between the top-25 clubs.
Oregon State knocked around Stanford (26-18 overall, 11-11 Pac-12) starter Mark Appel for six hits and six runs in five innings, which tied for the shortest stint of the season for the heralded right-hander. He walked a season-high five and struck out four, his second-lowest tally of the season.
The main culprit in Appel’s demise Friday was OSU (39-8, 18-4) sophomore Dylan Davis, who hit a soft liner past the third base bag during a five-run fifth inning that saw the Beavers push out to a three-run lead. The double cleared the bases, and marked the first of two extra-base hits for Davis, who also tripled to lead off the seventh.
Kavin Keyes capped off the Beavers’ five-run fifth with a hard-hit, two-run single that bounced off the glove of Stanford second baseman Danny Diekroeger and skipped up the middle.
Those served as the last runs allowed by Appel, who threw 103 pitches and dropped to 8-4 on the year with the loss.
Boyd, making his 13th start of the season, extended OSU’s streak to 16 consecutive quality starts – six or more innings with three earned runs or less – during Pac-12 play.
The lefty threw 99 pitches, and allowed eight hits and three runs with one walk and four strikeouts. He picked up the win to improve to 10-2 this season. Boyd improved to 6-2 in Pac-12 games and is 9-3 lifetime against league opponents.
Andy Peterson paced the Beavers with three hits, while Davis, Danny Hayes and Jake Rodriguez all had two. Davis’ three RBI led the team and gave him 12 multi-RBI efforts on the year.
The Beavers opened the game’s scoring in the first when Tyler Smith reached on an error, going to third on the overthrow. Michael Conforto, the third batter of the game, drove in Smith on a groundout to second.
Boyd was in command the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. Stanford loaded the bases with one out for Alex Blandino, who took a 2-2 pitch from Boyd and found a spot down the right field line for a three-run double.
The Beavers weren’t down for long, however, when scoring their five in the fifth. Oregon State added to the lead in the seventh when Davis tripled to lead off the inning and scored when Ryan Barnes hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Tony Bryant threw in relief of Boyd and struck out six, which ties a career-high, in 2 2/3 innings of work.
The win pushed Oregon State to its 10th straight, the second-longest of the 2013 campaign behind a 15-gamer to open the year. It’s the first time since the 2007 season that the Beavers have accumulated two win streaks of 10 or more games in the same season.
The teams continue their three-game series Saturday with a 2 p.m. PT first pitch at Sunken Diamond.