Stanford Suffers Heartbreaking, 3-1 Loss at Washington State

May 1, 2009

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State second baseman Michael Weber hit a sacrifice fly, homered and made the game-saving defensive play with two outs in the ninth inning as the host Cougars (22-18, 11-5 Pac-10) held on for a 3-1 victory over Stanford (20-19, 8-11) in the opener of a three-game, Pac-10 series at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Cardinal has now lost six of its past seven conference games after opening Pac-10 play at 7-5.

Stanford loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth inning off Washington State closer Jeremy Johnson, before Jake Schlander hammered what appeared to be a game-tying, two-run single. However, his one-hop smash up the middle of the diamond was speared on a full dive by Weber, who flipped to the shortstop covering second for the force out just ahead of a sliding Jeff Whitlow.

Johnson's seventh save preserved the victory for starting pitcher Matt Way (6-4), who held Stanford to just one run on five singles over 8.0 innings. The southpaw walked two and struck out five, while he lowered his ERA to 2.04.

Stanford freshman right-hander Jordan Pries (3-2) was dealt the tough-luck loss, despite throwing a three-hitter in an 8.0-inning complete game. Making just his second Friday start, Pries yielded a run in the first and two more in the fourth, but then retired the final 13 batters he faced to give the Cardinal offense multiple opportunities to rally. He made just a pair of mistakes on the evening, but both left the yard as Derek Jones and Weber each connected for solo home runs in the fourth. However, Weber represented the final baserunner for the Cougars as Pries went the rest of the way for his first collegiate complete game.

Stanford got on the board first tonight, scoring a single run in the top of the second inning. Brent Milleville drew a one-out walk, stole his fifth base of the year (in five attempts), and came around to score on a clutch, two-out, RBI-single by Ben Clowe. Washington State answered right back in the bottom half, as Greg Lagried hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Weber's sacrifice fly.

The ninth-inning Cardinal rally featured more small ball, as all seven Stanford hits on the night were singles. Milleville again received a one-out walk, and Zach Jones singled for his second hit. Jonathan Kaskow kept the game alive with a two-out, two-strike, pinch-hit infield single, setting the stage for the dramatic ending.

Stanford will send freshman left-hander Brett Mooneyham (4-2, 4.07) to the mound tomorrow in the second game of the series, while Washington State will counter with right-hander Chad Arnold (5-2, 5.07). First pitch from Bailey-Brayton Field is set for 1:00 p.m. PT.

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