No. 10 Stanford Moves Into First Place In Pac-10 After 4-1 Win At UCLA
April 18, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - No. 10 Stanford (20-11-2, 7-3 Pac-10) ran its win streak to a season-high five games with a 4-1 victory over UCLA (18-15, 3-4 Pac-10) in the opener of a three-game Pac-10 series at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday. The victory combined with Arizona State's 6-4 loss to Oregon State in Tempe moved the Cardinal into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.
'That's a great way to win a game,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We are playing good baseball right now and just need to keep it going.'
'It's great to be in first place in the standings, but it's a lot more important to be there at the end of the year than right now,' added Marquess.
Jason Castro's RBI single and a two-run double by Brent Milleville plated the three runs in the Cardinal first after losing pitcher Tim Murphy (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 4 SO) walked Cord Phelps and Toby Gerhart back-to-back to start the inning.
'We wanted to try to get some momentum early in the game, because the last couple of Fridays we haven't been able to accomplish that,' said Phelps. 'We wanted to be patient and get good pitches to hit and today we got some help from their starting pitcher. It was a good first inning.'
Phelps (2-2, 2B, 3 BB) reached base in all five of his plate appearances and walked a career-high three times. Milleville (2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) joined Phelps with a multiple-hit game for the Cardinal, while Gerhart also drew a career-high-tying three of Stanford's nine walks.
Yount (4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB) held the Bruins scoreless for the first four innings in just his second Pac-10 start on the mound before the Bruins picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Babineau reached safely when Zach Jones booted his grounder to the Cardinal third baseman and then moved into scoring position by stealing second base. Yount got Brady Dolan to pop-up to Phelps at second base for the first out but a subsequent bunt single by Niko Gallego put Bruins on first and third. The lone UCLA run of the game came on the next play when Alden Carrithers narrowly beat out a potential inning-ending double play for an RBI fielder's choice. Yount then hit Jermaine Curtis to put runners on first and second before Stringer came on to get the Cardinal out of the jam by retiring Brandon Crawford on a grounder to Phelps.
Stringer tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless two-hit relief and struck out a season-high-tying four to earn the victory before Drew Storen (2.0 IP, 2 SO) got the final six outs to notch his team-leading fourth save of the campaign.
'This was a big step for us to get a Friday night win,' said Storen. 'It was great to be in that situation to try to close out the game tonight. I just wanted to throw strikes and let guys up the middle take care of me like they have all year.'
Stanford and UCLA continue the series Saturday (2 pm, PT) before concluding the three-game set Sunday (1 pm, PT). The Cardinal will go with RHP Erik Davis (5-1, 4.37) on the hill Saturday to square off with UCLA RHP Charles Brewer (4-3, 5.43). Sunday's scheduled pitching matchup features Stanford RHP Jeffrey Inman (5-0, 1.49) and UCLA LHP Gavin Brooks (3-2, 4.97).