Three-Run Eighth Inning Fuels No. 16 Stanford's 8-5 Comeback Win Over Washington
May 24, 2008
SEATTLE, Wash. - After being stymied nearly all day by Washington starter Jason Erickson, the Stanford offense found its stroke in the eighth inning thanks to a pair of pinch-hit singles from Brendan Domaracki and Austin Yount. The hits started a string of four consecutive singles which led to the Cardinal plating three runs in the frame to take a late lead and go on to clinch the series with an 8-5 victory over the Washington Huskies Saturday afternoon in Seattle.
The Cardinal will go for the sweep in Sunday afternoon's series and regular-season finale at 1 p.m. Stanford will also find out Sunday afternoon if it has been selected as a host site for an NCAA Baseball Regional at approximately 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
Cord Phelps and Joey August each went 3-for-5 in the contest, with Phelps driving in three runs and August two. Brent Milleville drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center in the eighth inning, and Sean Ratliff drilled a ninth-inning home run, his 18th of the year, to provide what would prove to be the game's winning run.
Yet it was the pinch hits off the bats of Domaracki and Yount that started the whole rally in the eighth. Leading things off in place of Adam Gaylord, Domaracki singled to right, and was followed by Yount's hard-hit grounder back up the box and through the middle. Phelps drilled a base hit up the middle of his own, scoring Domaracki and moving pinch-runner Zach Jones to third, then August's line drive just eluded the glove of diving Washington shortstop David Bentrott and scored Jones with the game-tying run. Two batters later, Milleville drilled a line drive right at centerfielder Sean Meehan, but it was deep enough to plate Phelps with the go-ahead run.
Danny Sandbrink pitched four and one-third innings of the contest in relief of starter Erik Davis to earn his first win of the year, allowing just a run on three hits, and walking just one while striking out a batter. Drew Storen came on with two out in the ninth to quell a potential Washington rally and earn his sixth save of the season.Davis went the first four and a third innings of the game, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out a pair.
The first inning and a half of the contest went by rather quietly, with Stanford managing the only hit of that span, a single from August in the first frame. It wasn't until the bottom of the second that there was some offensive noise. Washington's Kyle Conley led the frame off with a double down the left-field line, and Troy Scott was hit by a pitch to put two on with none out. Davis got two quick outs with a fly ball to short left and groundout, and looked to be heading out of the jam until Meehan's fly ball to center rode a gust of wind over Ratliff's head in center for a two-RBI double and 2-0 Husky lead.
Stanford would pull even in the top of the fifth, as a Ratliff walk and Gerhart single gave the Cardinal two on to start things off. Gaylord sacrificed the runners up a bag, but a one-out strikeout threatened the Cardinal's rally. Phelps, though, would come through with two out, singling up the middle to drive in the pair of runs.
Yet Washington would answer right back, needing only two batters to retake a two-run lead. Jake Rife's single to start the inning was followed by a big home run to right-center by Bradley Boyer that gave the Huskies a 4-2 lead. After striking out Andy Lentz one batter later, Davis was relieved by Sandbrink, who got Conley to foul out to right and Scott to groundout to close out the inning.
Erickson rolled through the next two innings for the Huskies, retiring the Cardinal in order each time, but in the eighth, Stanford got the bats going to force him out of the game and to his third loss of the year. He lasted seven innings, but failed to record an out in facing three batters in the eighth, and struck out seven batters while allowing five runs on seven hits.
After three singles to start the eighth, Paul Dickey came on to try and stop the bleeding for Washington, but Phelps' RBI single and Milleville's sacrifice fly completed the rally.
Stanford got insurance runs in the ninth, as Ratliff led the inning off with a homer to right-center. Three batters later, Jones got a two-out single, then went to second on Phelps' third single of the game. August then followed up with his third single, driving in Jones, with Phelps scoring on a Husky throwing error as he dove into third base on the hit.
Washington would get a two-out home run from Meehan, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI on the day for the Huskies, and a single from Bentrott, before Storen came on and struck out Rife to close out the contest.