No. 5 Stanford Rallies From a 5-0 Deficit to Defeat Vanderbilt, 6-5 in 10 Innings
Feb. 20, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford outfielder Toby Gerhart delivered a two-out, RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Jake Schlander with the winning run and give the fifth-ranked Cardinal (1-0) a 6-5 victory over visiting Vanderbilt (0-1) in the 2009 season opener at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.
The Cardinal rallied from a 5-0, third-inning deficit with a single run in the fourth and a four-run, sixth-inning outburst. Stanford scored all six of its runs with two outs in the inning.
Stanford has now won its last eight season-opening games, and is 10-0 the last 10 times it has opened a campaign at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal is 26-7 in opening day contests under head coach Mark Marquess, including a 22-1 mark at home.
Freshman right-hander Jordan Pries (1-0) earned the win in his collegiate debut, tossing 3.0-innings of two-hit, shutout relief after entering in the eighth inning. Pries survived a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth, and induced a double play grounder after the leadoff batter reached in the top of the 10th.
Stanford's winning rally began when Schlander coaxed a walk from Vanderbilt reliever Drew Hayes (0-1) leading off the 10th. Schlander advanced to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Colin Walsh, and moved up to third on a deep fly out to center off the bat of Zach Jones. Gerhart then gave Stanford an opening night victory by lining his game-winning single into right-center field.
Vanderbilt jumped on Stanford starting right-hander Jeffrey Inman early with two runs in the second and three more in the third. However, the Cardinal junior recovered to retire 13 of his last 15 batters faced and hold the Commodores scoreless through the seventh inning, allowing Stanford to rally.
Stanford's comeback began with some help from the Vanderbilt defense in the fourth. Brent Milleville singled to lead off the inning, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on a two-out fielding error by Commodore second baseman Riley Reynolds.
The Cardinal bats came alive in earnest after two were out in the bottom of the sixth. Jeff Whitlow drew a one-out walk, and, after the second out was recorded, Schlander singled and J.J. Jelmini walked to load the bases. Jones, who matched his career high with three hits, delivered a two-run single to bring Stanford within two at 5-3. After Gerhart walked to load the bases once again, Joey August came through with the second of his three hits - a two-run single that knotted the game 5-5.
Stanford had a chance to win in the ninth, as the Cardinal had runners at first and second with only one out. Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray escaped the jam, setting the stage for Gerhart's 10th-inning heroics.
Stanford and Vanderbilt will play a doubleheader tomorrow at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, with the first game scheduled for 12:00 p.m. PT. Cardinal right-hander Danny Sandbrink will oppose Vanderbilt righty Caleb Cotham in the opener, while Stanford righty Max Fearnow will face Commodores right-hander Nick Christiani in the nightcap.