|Nashville, Tenn. | Hawkins Field
|Win: Tyler Ferguson (3-0)|
|Loss: Marcus Brakeman (0-2)|
|Save: Brian Miller (1)|
|Alex Dunlap - 2-3, R|
|Austin Slater - 2-5|
|Alex Blandino - 2-5|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Stanford rallied to tie Vanderbilt, 2-2, in the seventh inning but the Commodores pushed two runs across in the eighth to finish a three-game sweep with a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon.
The Cardinal (4-7) broke through when an Alex Dunlap single and two walks loaded the bases to start the seventh. Wayne Taylor delivered a sac fly to center for Stanford’s first run, before two more walks plated the tying tally.
Danny Diekroeger drew the RBI walk to even the score after falling behind 1-2 in the count to Vanderbilt (10-2) reliever Carson Fulmer. It was one of three walks on the day for the senior first baseman.
Unfortunately for the Cardinal, RBI free passes became the theme of the late innings. Stanford issued four walks and hit another batter to give Vanderbilt a 4-2 lead in the eighth. The Commodores put just two balls in play, both fly outs, in the difference-making inning.
"We walked too many people," said Mark Marquess, The Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball. "We pitched a little bit better, the freshmen pitched better, but still too many walks.
In rainy and cold conditions, Stanford pitchers Cal Quantrill and Marcus Brakeman held Vanderbilt to two runs on four hits through the first eight innings. Quantrill gave up the four hits and two runs, although only one run was earned, while striking out four and walking four in the first five innings.
Brakeman (0-2) came on with two runners on in the sixth and nobody out and worked the Cardinal out of the inning with only one Vanderbilt run coming across. He kept the Vandy lead to 2-0, as Stanford’s bats struggled to get started through the first six innings off of Tyler Ferguson (3-0).
Tyler Thorne relieved Brakeman with one out and one run already in during the eighth. He hit a batter that led to a run but got two outs, including a strikeout, to get Stanford back to the dugout.
Dunlap finished the day with two hits to bring his season average to .500 (7-14). Blandino and Slater, who is on a career-long nine game hitting streak, also registered two hits.
"He has really played well," Marquess said of Dunlap. "He has gotten hits when he has played, got on base and got a couple sacrifices down, so he has done a really good job."
The Cardinal rallied to load the bases in the top of the ninth, before a fly out to right field off the bat of Blandino ended it.
Stanford takes on California Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif. The 6 p.m. game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
Stanford’s first eight batters were retired in order before Drew Jackson doubled … Stanford remains the only team in the country to start a freshman pitcher in each game this season … Mark Marquess’ career record is 1,499-788-7 … Diekroeger leads the team with 11 walks and has reached base safely in five games … Vanderbilt is ranked as high as No. 4 in the country (NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball) … Stanford is now 5-5 all-time against Vanderbilt … The last two series between Stanford and Vanderbilt have been sweeps, as the Cardinal won three straight at home in 2012.