Stanford Falls to Saint Mary's, 6-5
March 5, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Saint Mary's (7-2) jumped out to a 6-1, fifth-inning lead and withstood a late rally to hand host Stanford (2-6) a 6-5 loss in a non-conference game tonight at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal has now dropped five straight contests since opening the season 2-1.
For the second straight week, Saint Mary's starter Kyle Barraclough (2-0) turned in a solid performance at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. After tossing 5.0-scoreless innings in the Gaels' 5-3 win last Tuesday over the Cardinal, the freshman right-hander held Stanford to just two runs over 6.0 frames tonight.
With a three-game weekend series beginning tomorrow, Stanford used a pitcher-by-committee approach. Right-hander Max Fearnow (0-2) started for the Cardinal, and was handed a tough-luck loss after surrendering a solo home run to Kyle Jensen in his lone inning of work. The Gaels scored their next five runs with two outs in the inning, pushing one across in the second (off Brandt Walker), three in the third (off Blake Hancock) and one in the sixth (off Carey Schwartz).
Stanford's offense began to stir in the bottom of the sixth, when Kellen Kiilsgaard launched his second homer of the season - a solo shot deep over the wall in right-center.
The first four Cardinal batters recorded a hit off Saint Mary's closer Brandon Berl in the eighth as Stanford mounted a rally. Zach Jones singled, Toby Gerhart followed with a single of his own and Joey August ripped his second double of the game to score both runners and bringing the Cardinal within 6-4. Kiilsgaard singled to put runners at the corners, and Brent Milleville delivered a sacrifice fly to plated August. However, beginning with Milleville's out, Berl retired the final six Cardinal batters for his second save.
In addition to August and Kiilsgaard, Jones also finished 2-for-4 to give Stanford three players with multi-hit contests. The back end of the Stanford bullpen was outstanding, as Danny Sandbrink, Brian Busick, Alex Pracher and Michael Marshall combined to work 4.1-innings of three-hit, shutout ball. Pracher escaped a second and third, one out jam in the seventh, and struck out two over his 1.2-perfect frames.
Stanford opens a three-game weekend series with No. 2 Texas tomorrow night at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. PT. The Cardinal and Longhorns will also square off in a pair of 1:00 p.m. PT games on Saturday and Sunday.
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