Stanford Knocks Off First-Place Arizona For First Pac-10 Win, 6-3
April 15, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford (15-17, 1-8 Pac-10) picked up its first Pac-10 win of the season by knocking off first-place and No. 13 Arizona (30-7, 8-1 Pac-10) by a score of 6-3 to salvage the finale of a three-game set on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. Stanford ended the longest NCAA Division I win streak in nation at 16 games, while snapping its own nine-game Pac-10 and six-game home losing skids. Erik Davis helped the Cardinal hold on to a slim lead with 4.0 scoreless innings of one-hit relief to record his first save of the season, while Jeffrey Inman (3-2) picked up the win by limiting the Wildcats to three runs and striking out six over the first 5.0 innings.
'This is the best we've played in putting all phases of the game together,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We pitched better, we played good defense, and we got some timely hitting. It was very important for us to get that first Pac-10 win. Our kids have been working hard, and it's good that it finally paid off with a victory.'
Arizona loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the ninth on a single by Erik Castro and a pair of walks, but Davis settled down to force Colt Sedbrook to hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
'I was going to preserve that lead no matter what I had to do,' commented Davis. 'When I came into the game, I decided that we were going to win this game.'
Castro (2-4) and Sedbrook (2-4) combined for four of Arizona's six hits.
Ryan Perry (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout in a start that lasted just 2.1 innings.
Arizona started where it left off in the first two games of the series by scoring one run in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. Diallo Fin drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sedbrook and scored two batters later on an RBI single from Brad Glenn.
Stanford answered back with a run in the bottom of the second to tie the contest at 1-1 when Juhl came through with a clutch two-out RBI single after Cord Phelps had doubled with two outs to get into scoring position.Arizona went back in front 2-1 with another run in the third when Sedbrook led off with a single, moved to third on a pair of wild pitches from Inman and scored on a sacrifice fly by C.J. Ziegler.
The momentum of the game shifted to Stanford in the bottom of the third when the Cardinal scored three times to go ahead 4-2. Ratliff ignited the crowd when he hit a long one-out solo homer to tie the contest at 2-2.
Toby Gerhart followed Ratliff's homer by nearly hitting one of his own and settling for a double when the ball bounced high off the fence in rightcenter field. Gerhart then stole third base before scoring on a wild pitch. Joey August started the rally again when he drew a walk, before stealing second base and scoring on a double by Taylor that ended Perry's outing. Arizona reliever David Coulon (4.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) came on and kept the Wildcats out of any more trouble in the inning.
'They had been pitching me inside all weekend, so I just decided that I was going to look for one pitch,' said Ratliff about his homer. 'They threw it there, and I just got it up in the air.'
Arizona managed to inch to within 4-3 with a run in the fourth. Castro led off with a double, moved to third on Dwight Childs' sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout from Robert Abel. Fon walked to restart the rally and Sedbrook singled but the inning ended when Sedbrook was thrown out at second base as the runners tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt.
Stanford's pitching then closed the door for the final five innings of the game. Inman retired the side in order for the first time in the fifth before Davis came on to start the sixth and got in the side in order in each of his first two innings. He gave up just a leadoff walk in the eighth before Arizona's ninth inning comeback bid.
Stanford added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh to cushion its lead. Brent Milleville drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double by Adam Gaylord before scoring a Ratliff sacrifice fly that ended Coulon's outing. Cory Burns came into the game and recorded the second out of the inning by getting Gerhart to line out to Ziegler at first base but August greeted Jason Stoffel (1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 SO) with a clutch two-out RBI single to plate Gaylord.
'Realistically, we're way behind [in the Pac-10 standings],' admitted Marquess. 'But to be honest, we're really not too worried about that right now. We're worried about playing consistent baseball and good solid games. We'll focus on our next game against Santa Clara on Tuesday and let the conference will take care of itself. I told the team after the game today that I was proud of them because they've worked hard, and today we finally put it all together to get a win versus a very good team.'
'Hopefully, this win will get us on a roll,' added Juhl. 'We know we need to sweep some series to keep our playoff hopes alive, and I think we can do that.'
Stanford wraps up a four-game homestand with versus Santa Clara (18-19) at Sunken Diamond on Tuesday, April 17 (6 pm, PT). The Cardinal returns to Pac-10 action at California (18-19, 3-6 Pac-10) next Friday-Sunday, April 21-23 (2:30 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT).
Tickets for the Santa Clara game all regular season Stanford Baseball home contests are available online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD. On game days, tickets may be purchased at the Sunken Diamond Ticket Office window beginning one hour before first pitch. For group ticket information (groups of 10 or more), call 650-725-2876.