Early Stanford Power Display Not Enough in 9-7 Loss to Washington

March 28, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. - Washington's Kyle Conley hit a two-run home run with no outs in the top of the ninth inning to lift the visiting Huskies (10-13, 1-1 Pac-10) to a 9-7 victory over host Stanford (6-11) this afternoon in a Pac-10 Conference game at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. Today's game saw both teams twice come from behind to grab the lead, but in the end it was Washington that evened up this three-game weekend series.

With the score tied 7-7 heading to the ninth, Pierce Rankin led off with a double against Stanford's Max Fearnow (1-3). Conley then hit his Pac-10-leading ninth homer of the season, connecting off Cardinal reliever Drew Storen. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Kaskow nearly tied the game for Stanford with one out in the bottom of the ninth - or appeared to at least have an extra-base hit - but his long drive to right with a runner on first was caught by a leaping Conley at the wall.

After Washington grabbed leads of 1-0 in the second and 6-3 in the fourth, Stanford used the long ball to rally in both instances. Brent Milleville hammered his first homer of the year with one aboard and one out in the second to give the Cardinal a 2-1 lead. One out later, sophomore shortstop Jake Schlander belted his first collegiate home run when his drive off Washington starter Ben Guidos caromed off the top of the left field wall and fell over for a solo clout.

Trailing 6-3 entering the bottom of the fourth, Toby Gerhart re-started the Cardinal offense by launching his first homer of the year - a solo shot to left field. With runners at first and second and one out, Schlander came through with his fifth consecutive hit (dating back to Friday night), grounding a RBI-single to left field that plated Milleville. Kellen Kiilsgaard was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fifth to set the table for Zach Jones, who hammered a two-run homer of his own to put Stanford on top 7-6.

Washington tied the game with a single run in the seventh. Fearnow inherited a second and third, one out jam and did a great job, surrendering a run on an infield grounder but escaping further damage. The senior right-hander was a hard-luck loser in today's contest, as he limited the seventh-inning rally and struck out two in a perfect eighth before yielding the leadoff double in the ninth.

Neither starter received a decision today, as both had exited by the end of the fifth. Stanford freshman Jordan Pries had the first rough start of his young career, yielding four runs on five hits through 3.0 innings. Guidos was touched for all four Cardinal home runs in 4.2 frames, surrendering a total of seven runs on nine hits.

Washington reliever Aaron West (1-0) earned his first collegiate win by working 4.0-innings of two-hit, shutout relief with no walks and four strikeouts. After West surrendered the long fly out by Kaskow in the ninth, Andrew Kittredge came on to record the final out and record his second save.

Stanford and Washington will meet in the rubber match of this three-game, Pac-10 weekend series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond is set for 1:00 p.m. PT.

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