Sacramento State Hands No. 17 Stanford A 5-3 Loss In Final Pac-10 Tune-Up

March 25, 2008

Sacramento, Calif. - No. 17 Stanford (10-6) dropped a 5-3 decision to Sacramento State (6-14) in a non-conference game at Hornet Field on Tuesday in its final tune-up prior to the opening of Pac-10 action. Stanford got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the top of the fourth inning but Sacramento State came right back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and added three more in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good.

Three Sacramento State pitchers held Stanford scoreless in all frames other than the fourth. Alvaro Orozco (3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 SO) picked up the victory despite allowing all three Cardinal runs. Nick Buchta (3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 SO) was impressive in earning his first save of the season, while starter Corey Weglin (3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 SO) also pitched well as the starter.

David Flores and Gabe Jacobo had the big hits for the Hornets.

After Stanford had scored three runs in the top of the fourth, Flores started the Hornet half of the inning with a leadoff double before Jacobo followed by connecting on his fourth homer of the season over the rightcenter field fence to cut the Cardinal lead to 3-2.

Flores also had the eventual game-winner in the three-run Sacramento State fifth. Losing pitcher Austin Yount (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB) started the frame in relief of Stanford starter David Stringer (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 SO) and retired the first two batters he faced before running into major trouble. A two-out walk to Hunter Martinez started the two-out rally. Ryan Blair kept the inning going with a single to put runners on first and third and set the stage for Flores, who doubled down the left field line to score both Martinez and Blair and give the Hornets a lead they would never relinquish. After Yount hit Jacobo, he surrendered an RBI single to Tim Wheeler to make the score 5-3 in favor of Sacramento State and walked Jeff Hannah to load the bases before being lifted for Drew Storen (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 SO), who was able to get the Cardinal out of the jam without any further damage by striking out Brian Boyd to leave the sacks full.

Sacramento State's pitching made the lead stand by holding the Cardinal scoreless the rest of the way and not even allowing another Cardinal runner into scoring position. Stanford would manage only two hits over the final four frames with Buchta retiring the final seven batters he faced after a two-out single by Cord Phelps in the seventh.

Four Sacramento State players - Wheeler (2-3, RBI), Brett Tanigawa (2-3), Flores (2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Blair (2-5, 2B) - had a pair of hits each.Phelps (3-4) and Jeff Whitlow (2-4, HR, 2 RBI) were the only Stanford players with multiple-hit contests.

Whitlow crushed his first homer of the season with a two-run shot that capped a three-run Cardinal fourth that could have been a much bigger inning if not for a base running miscue. Jason Castro reached on an error to start the inning when his groundball was booted by Martinez at second. Randy Molina then singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. On the next play, Sean Ratliff hit a high fly ball into the rightcenter field gap. With a strong wind blowing out to right field, the ball continued to drift and eventually hit off the wall right underneath the 370 foot sign. Castro was about halfway between second and third base when the ball hit the wall and started to head for home but halted when he saw third base coach Dean Stotz hold up a stop sign, which was intended for Molina who was just a few feet behind. Castro had no choice but to proceed home and was thrown out easily at the plate, leaving the game scoreless and Stanford runners on second and third with one out. Brent Milleville was able to bring home the first Cardinal run with an RBI groundout and Whitlow followed with his screaming line drive two-run shot to left center but Stanford still missed out on an opportunity for a bigger inning.

Stanford welcomes Washington State to Klein Field at Sunken Diamond for its first Pac-10 series of the season this Friday-Sunday, March 28-30 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT).

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