No. 16 Stanford Opens Weekend With 9-4 Victory At Washington
May 23, 2008
SEATTLE, Wash. - Joey August picked a convenient time to hit his first home run of the 2008 season, driving an 0-2 offering over the wall in right-center field to turn a tenuous 6-4 Stanford lead into a 9-4 cushion that held in the Cardinal's victory over the Washington Huskies Friday night. Looking to bounce back after dropping the past two weekend series, Stanford (32-20-2, 13-9 Pac-10) also got a solid complete-game outing from Austin Yount to start the weekend off to the right against the Huskies (32-21, 10-12 Pac-10).
The Cardinal will go for the crucial series victory Saturday afternoon, facing the Huskies at 2 p.m.
A crucial two-out fielding error by Washington third baseman Brian Pearl extended Stanford's half of the sixth inning, opening the door for the Cardinal to score four unearned runs and turn a slim 5-4 lead into a 9-4 advantage. Pearl's mishandling of Jake Schlander's bouncer allowed Sean Ratliff to score Stanford's sixth run, then following a walk to Cord Phelps, August lined an offering from Husky reliever Geoff Brown over the right-center field wall for the 9-4 lead.
The home run highlighted a 3-for-5 day for August, who came up just a triple short of the cycle while scoring and driving in three runs. Phelps and Brent Milleville each added a home run in the contest, with Phelps leading off the game with his bomb to right. Milleville had a pair of hits, driving in three runs with a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly in the contest. Jason Castro also had a pair of hits for the Cardinal.
Yount picked up his fourth win of the year with his first career complete game, in which he allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out a career-high nine batters.
The Cardinal got off to a fast start Friday night, with Phelps hitting his third lead-off home run of the season for the quick 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Castro's base hit through the left side was followed by Milleville's long ball to left, building a 3-0 lead for the Cardinal.
Stanford would add its fourth run in its half of the third, as August and Castro stroked consecutive singles to start the frame. With one away, Randy Molina chopped a slow grounder to short that allowed August to cross the plate for the 4-0 lead.
Yet the Huskies would roar right back into the contest at this point, getting four runs to equalize things. The bottom of the third opened with Joey Dunn's homer to left for Washington's first run of the game. Two batters later, David Bentrott singled, and back-to-back home runs from Andy Lentz and Kyle Conley made it a 4-4 game just like that.
August's double to lead off the fifth started a sequence in which Stanford retook the lead. Castro's groundout to short allowed August to advance to third, then Milleville followed with a sacrifice fly to right that brought August in with the go-ahead run.
The sixth inning started with another double, this time by Ratliff, but a strikeout followed by a foul pop to the catcher offered bleak hope for the Cardinal to take advantage. But Ratliff, who stole third during Colin Walsh's at-bat, was able to score when Pearl dropped a chopper off the bat of Schlander. Stanford pounced on its new lease on life, driving Washington starter Jordan Merry from the game after a walk to Phelps before August's homer.
Merry struck out seven batters but took just his second loss of the season after allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits over five and two-thirds innings.
But the night belonged to the Stanford offense, and to Yount, who shook off the four-run Washington third to finish strong over the final six innings. Following the third, Yount retired 18 of the next 23 batters he faced and twice got out of innings in which the Huskies got a runner into scoring position.