Walsh's Clutch Hit, Fearnow's Pitching Lead Stanford to 12-4 Win Over San Francisco

April 27, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. - Second baseman Colin Walsh gave Stanford a 5-4 lead with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh, and senior right-hander Max Fearnow pitched 3.0 innings of hitless, scoreless relief as the Cardinal (19-18) defeated visiting San Francisco (23-22) 12-4 tonight at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. Adam Gaylord doubled twice and set his career high with four RBI as Stanford won its eighth consecutive non-conference game.

Although the Cardinal broke the contest open with seven runs in the eighth, the game-changing hit came from Walsh an inning earlier. With Stanford trailing 4-3 in the seventh with two outs and runners at first and second, Walsh worked the count to 2-0 before drilling an opposite field double to the left-center field gap to score both runners and give the Cardinal a 5-4 lead. Ben Clowe started the rally with a one-out single off San Francisco reliever Sean Burns (0-2), and Jake Schlander kept the inning alive by drawing a two-out walk. The Dons then turned to right-hander Alex Kalogrides, but Walsh greeted him with the go-ahead double.

Stanford turned what was a one-run game into a rout during a seven-run eighth inning that was fueled by four San Francisco errors and a bloop single that landed between a trio of Dons fielders. Five of the Cardinal runs were unearned in the frame, as the USF shortstop and second baseman each committed a pair of errors. Gaylord dealt the decisive blow with a three-run, bases clearing double down the left field line. Toby Gerhart had two singles in the inning, and Kellen Kiilsgaard scored a run when he somehow eluded the catcher's tag after a throw to the plate had him beat by four steps.

The Cardinal erased its first one-run deficit of the game in the second inning, after San Francisco scored in the top half for a 1-0 lead. In a harbinger of its seventh-inning rally, Stanford used some two-out magic. Clowe drew a walk to keep the inning going after the first two batters had been retired, then Gaylord and Schlander followed with consecutive, opposite field, RBI-doubles to put Stanford on top, 2-1.

San Francisco took its 4-3 lead in the fifth, when Robert Abel connected for a three-run home run that erased what had been a 3-1 Cardinal lead. The Dons held that one-run lead until the seventh, when Walsh and Stanford went to work.

Walsh's heroics would not have been possible, however, without the excellent relief work of Fearnow (3-3). The senior right-hander came on to begin the sixth inning and held the Dons hitless over 3.0-shutout innings. Fearnow walked one and struck out two, while he improved to 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA (6er, 23.2ip) in 11 appearances since moving to the Stanford bullpen.

Stanford will wrap up its season-long, seven-game homestand this Wednesday, April 29, when the Cardinal hosts Sacramento State. First pitch from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond is set for 5:00 p.m. PT.

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