No. 5 Stanford Rallies Late, Defeats Vanderbilt 6-5 For a Doubleheader Split

Feb. 21, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. - No. 5 Stanford (2-1) scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 5-3 deficit and defeat visiting Vanderbilt (1-2), 6-5 in the second game of a doubleheader at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Commodores jumped out to a 12-1 lead and held on for a 12-9 victory in the opener.

Trailing 5-3 with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth, Stanford sophomore second baseman Colin Walsh delivered a double into left-center field that initially scored a pair of runs. However, the relay throw from Vanderbilt center fielder Alex Hilliard short-hopped his cutoff man for a throwing error that allowed pinch-runner David Giuliani to score all the way from first base with the go-ahead run. The Cardinal loaded the bases with one out, as Toby Gerhart singled, Joey August reached on a dropped fly ball and Christian Griffiths walked.

Cardinal closer Drew Storen (1-0), making his first appearance of the season, struck out five over the final 2.1 innings to earn the win. The sophomore right-hander escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh, and although he yielded a run in the eighth, he slammed the door with an emphatic, one-two-three ninth that featured strikeouts of the final two hitters.

Stanford jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning when an RBI-groundout from Gerhart scored Jeff Whitlow, who had singled to start the inning. After Vanderbilt scored twice in the top of the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead, the Cardinal came right back to tie the score on a run-scoring single by Walsh, who matched his career high with three RBI.

Vanderbilt scored twice more in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead, but Stanford cut the deficit in half in the sixth. Gerhart led off with a double, but was at third with two outs when Brent Milleville brought him home with a clutch, RBI-double.

Stanford right-hander Max Fearnow pitched into the fifth inning in his first start of the season, but was hurt by his own two throwing errors as he allowed four runs (three earned). Vanderbilt starting right-hander Nick Christiani turned in a solid effort, allowing three runs on six hits - with six strikeouts - over his 6.0 innings.

A night after erasing a 5-0 deficit to win Stanford nearly rallied from a 12-1 hole before dropping a 12-9 decision to visiting Vanderbilt in the first game of today's doubleheader.

Vanderbilt pounded out 17 hits, and scored at least one run in the third through seventh innings. The Commodores belted three home runs, including a grand slam off the bat of Jason Esposito in the fifth. Curt Casali hit a solo homer, while Brian Harris connected on a two-run shot.

Trailing 12-1 entering the bottom of the eighth, Stanford erupted for seven runs. Joey August and Kellen McColl delivered sacrifice flies, with McColl picking up his first collegiate RBI. The big hit came from Adam Gaylord, who cleared the bases with a two-out, three run double that brought the Cardinal within 12-8.

Stanford scored once in the bottom of the ninth, as Jonathan Kaskow delivered a run-scoring single for his first career RBI. The Cardinal eventually brought the tying run to the plate, but Vanderbilt closer Russell Brewer recorded the final two outs for his first save.

Vanderbilt starter Caleb Cotham earned the win with 7.0 excellent innings. The Commodores right-hander limited Stanford to one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking one. Stanford starter Danny Sandbrink suffered the loss after yielding three runs over his 3.1 innings of work.

Stanford, which was down 9-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth, got on the board courtesy of designated hitter Kellen Kiilsgaard. In just his fifth collegiate at-bat, the sophomore picked up his first career hit in impressive fashion by belting a solo home run to the opposite field.

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