Kiilsgaard's Two-Out, Two-Strike, Two-Run Single in the Ninth Gives Stanford a 14-13 Win
May 13, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Kellen Kiilsgaard's dramatic two-run single on a 2-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning gave host Stanford (27-21) a 14-13 victory over Pacific (18-29) in a non-conference game at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal trailed 13-10 entering the ninth, but scored four runs for its third walk-off victory of the year.
Stanford has now won a season-best four straight games, seven of its last nine contests, 12 of its last 17 outings and is 23-11 since March 25. The Cardinal is a season-high six games over .500 at 27-21.
Kiilsgaard's heroics capped a thrilling comeback and a sensational at-bat. The Cardinal right fielder came to the plate with Stanford trailing 13-12 and the bases loaded. Kiilsgaard fell behind 1-2, worked the count even, and lined a sharp single into the left-center field gap to score pinch runners David Giuliani and Wande Olabisi with the tying and winning runs, respectively. Tonight's dramatic hit came less than 24 hours after Kiilsgaard delivered the game-winning, RBI-single in the 13th inning of a 6-5 victory Tuesday at San Jose State.
Stanford's winning rally featured a bevy of terrific plate appearances by Cardinal hitters against Pacific reliever Hunter Carnevale (2-6). Jeff Whitlow drew a leadoff walk to complete a night in which he also went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, a double, a triple and an RBI. Zach Jones - who tied his career high for hits during a 3-for-4, two-run, two-RBI effort - also drew a walk. After pinch-hitter Jonathan Kaskow flew out to left on a full-count pitch, Ben Clowe came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, RBI-single to bring Stanford within two at 13-11. Colin Walsh then loaded the bases by drawing a walk at the conclusion of an epic, 12-pitch at-bat that featured six consecutive foul balls after the count ran full. Joey August brought home the Cardinal's second run of the inning on an RBI-groundout, and Toby Gerhart walked to load the bases once more and bring Kiilsgaard to the plate.
Walsh ran his streak of reaching base safely to 31 consecutive games in grand style tonight, going 3-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI. Jake Schlander also drove in a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly and an RBI-single, all coming during the first five innings as Stanford took a 10-8 lead. In fact, the Cardinal held leads of 2-0 after the first, 3-2 after two, 6-4 after three and 10-8 all the way into the seventh.
Pacific, which rallied for most of the early part of the night, scored five runs in the seventh and eighth to take its 13-10 lead. Kurt Wideman, who finished 4-for-4 with a double, home run, sacrifice fly and five RBI, got the Tigers' three-run, seventh-inning rally going with a solo homer. Ben Gorang - who had earlier homered himself - put Pacific ahead with a two-out, RBI-single.
Not to be lost in the slugfest was winning pitcher Kyle Thompson (2-0). The junior right-hander pitched just one inning, but he retired Pacific in order in the top of the ninth to set the stage for Stanford's comeback.
Stanford will resume Pac-10 play this weekend, traveling to USC for a three-game series. Friday night's first pitch from Dedeaux Field is set for 6:30 p.m. PT.