Milleville's Ninth-Inning Blast Highlights Stanford's 8-4 Win Over UC Davis
June 1, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - Brent Milleville made his only hit of Sunday afternoon's NCAA Regional elimination game count, smashing a go-ahead, ninth-inning, two-run home run that electrified the partisan crowd at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, giving Stanford a one-run lead en route to an 8-4 victory over UC Davis. The comeback win puts the Cardinal in Sunday evening's regional title game at 5 p.m. against Pepperdine, who Stanford must defeat twice in order to advance to a Super Regional next weekend.
Should the Cardinal defeat the Waves Sunday night, the two teams will return to Klein Field at Sunken Diamond for the deciding contest of the Stanford Regional at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon. If the Waves win Sunday night's game, they will be the Stanford Regional champions and will move on to the Super Regional round.
Cord Phelps and Jake Schlander each had three hits and a pair of RBI in the contest, with Phelps hitting his 12th home run of the season. Jason Castro also had three hits, including a double. Randy Molina doubled twice and drove in a run, and Zach Jones had two hits, including a double, and an RBI.
Drew Storen picked up the victory, his third of the year, pitching the final two innings in which he allowed three hits and struck out one. Although he allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth, he earned the win after Stanford's five-run outburst in the ninth gave him a sizable lead to protect in the ninth.
Cardinal starter Jeffrey Inman was charged with all four runs, three of them earned, on eight hits and struck out five batters despite getting a no-decision.
The pivotal ninth-inning was started when Castro's ground ball to first was mishandled by UC Davis first baseman Evan Hudson, setting up MIlleville's moon shot to left that gave the Cardinal the lead.
Stanford found itself in an early 2-0 hole within the game's first two innings. After the Cardinal stranded a pair of runners in the top of the first, the Aggies wasted no time loading the bases behind a leadoff double from Ryan Royster, a Ty Kelly walk, and a single to right by Jake Jefferies. Ryan Scoma's sacrifice fly to left brought in Royster with the game's first run, but that's all UC Davis would get as Inman struck out Evan Hudson then got Kevin James to ground to second to end the inning.
Yet, another leadoff double, this time from Grant Hirneise to start the second frame, started a new sequence which saw UC Davis grab its second run. Matt Dempsey put down a bunt to move Hirneise to third, but ended up safe at first on Inman's fielding error. Two batters later, Royster grounded out to second, allowing Hirneise to come across and increase the Aggie lead to 2-0.
The Cardinal would get to Aggie starter Bryan Evans starting with the top of the third. Phelps led off the order's second go-round by hammering an Evans offering deep to right-center for his 12th home run of the year, halving the UC Davis lead. Two batters later, Castro singled, and with two away, Molina hit a high fly ball to deep left field that was lost off the bat by James in the outfield. By the time James found the ball and broke back to track it down, it was already past his position and fell beyond him, allowing Castro to score the equalizer and giving Molina a double.
Stanford took its first lead of the game the following inning, as a one-out double by Jones was followed by an RBI base hit to left-center by Schlander.
UC Davis would get that run back an inning later, as Royster led the bottom half of the fourth with a bunt single that found the Bermuda Triangle between Inman, first baseman Brent Milleville, and second baseman Phelps. Kelly flied out but Jefferies sacrificed Royster to second with a bunt, then Scoma notched his second RBI of the day as he came through with a two-out single to right that plated Royster to make it 3-3.
The Cardinal squandered a key chance to retake the led in the top of the seventh. Joey August and Castro opened the frame with singles up the middle, but had to stay anchored to their respective bases as UC Davis reliever Andy Suiter got the next two batters on fly balls. Sean Ratliff walked to load the bases, but Brendan Domaracki ended the inning by fouling out to third.
The Aggies let a chance of their own get away in the bottom half of the frame, as Ty Kelly reached on a two-out fielding error, and Jefferies followed with a single to right-center to put runners on the corners with two out. Inman stayed in the game to face Scoma, who already had two RBI on the day at that point, and Inman won the battle by inducing Scoma into bouncing out to Milleville at first to end the rally.
But UC Davis wouldn't miss its chance in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson led off the inning with a single, which led to Storen coming on in relief of Inman. Storen got James to fly out to right for the inning's first out, but Hirneise hit a bouncer that went over the glove of Milleville and into right field for a single that put runners on the corners with one away. Dempsey followed with a line drive to left field that was caught by August, but allowed Hudson to score the go-ahead run and put the Aggies up 4-3 heading into the ninth.
But Stanford needed only two at bats off of UC Davis' Justin Fitzgerald to come back and stave off elimination, and tacked on another run when Jones hit an RBI single to center that scored pinch-runner Jeff Whitlow, running for Molina, who doubled after Milleville's home run. Toby Gerhart, who walked two batters after Molina's double, then scored on Schlander's base hit off of new reliever Jeremy McChesney through the left side. Jones came around two batters later on Phelps' third hit of the day.
Fitzgerald took his second loss of the year after allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits over two-thirds of an inning.