Another Stanford Comeback Attempt Falls Just Short in 13-9 Loss at Santa Clara
May 6, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A night after rallying from a 7-1 deficit, Stanford (23-20) nearly overcame an 11-3 hole before finally succumbing in a 13-9 loss to host Santa Clara (17-28) tonight in a non-conference game at Schott Stadium. The defeat snapped the Cardinal's longest non-conference winning streak since 2000 at 10 games, a run which began with a March 25 victory at UC Davis.
Stanford jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning tonight, but Santa Clara roared back to take an 11-3 lead after the fourth. The Cardinal, which had rallied in three of its last four victories, showed its fortitude by scoring six unanswered runs to pull within 11-9 in the eighth. In fact, Stanford had the go-ahead run at the plate with one out in the eighth, but could get no closer.
Brent Milleville continued his torrid stretch for Stanford, going 2-for-5 and belting a full-count, opposite field grand slam in the fifth - his team-leading 11th home run of the year and his second grand slam of the season (fourth career). The slugging first baseman now has 14 RBI in the Cardinal's last seven games, while he is hitting at a .364 clip (28-for-77) with eight homers and 29 RBI in the last 20 contests.
Cardinal leadoff batter Colin Walsh extended his streak of reaching base safely via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch to 26 consecutive contests, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. Toby Gerhart logged a 3-for-5 effort with a double and two RBI, while Jake Schlander singled, doubled, scored a run and drove in another. Joey August finished 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Kellen Kiilsgaard walked twice and delivered an RBI-single.
After an RBI-double by Gerhart and a run-scoring single by Kiilsgaard gave Stanford a 2-0 lead in the first, Santa Clara took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Cardinal starter Brian Busick (1-1) was one out away from a scoreless inning, but Brady Fuerst belted a three-run homer to put the Broncos on top 3-2.
Ahead 7-3 entering the fourth, Santa Clara built its lead to eight by scoring four runs after two were out in the inning. Geoff Klein, Curtis Wagner and Andrew Biancardi all collected RBI-singles, while Fuerst delivered a run-scoring double. The Broncos iced the game away with another two out rally in the eighth, plating a pair of runs for the final 13-9 margin. 10 of Santa Clara's 13 runs on the night scored with two outs.
Milleville's grand slam highlighted a five-run, fifth-inning uprising that brought the Cardinal within 11-8. Stanford edged within two in the eighth on Schlander's RBI-single, but could get no closer despite having runners at first and second with only one out.
Santa Clara reliever J.R. Graham recorded the final six outs for his first collegiate save, while Cory Hall worked 4.2 innings for the relief win.
Stanford made a final attempt at a last-gasp rally in the ninth, as Ben Clowe singled with two outs and Zach Jones followed with his second hit of the night. However, Graham closed the door before the Cardinal could bring the tying run to the plate.
Stanford returns home this weekend to host New Mexico - the second-place club in the Mountain West Conference - for a three-game series at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. Friday night's game is set for a 5:30 p.m. PT first pitch, while the Saturday and Sunday contests will start at 1:00 p.m.