March 8, 2008
Box Score |
Austin, Texas - Jason Castro's second two-run homer in as many days and Drew Storen's 3.2 innings of scoreless relief lifted Stanford (7-4) to a 6-5 victory at No. 16 Texas (9-2) on Saturday before a paid attendance of 7,004 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field to even a three-game non-conference series.
Stanford trailed 5-4 until Castro connected for his two-run blast to rightcenter field off losing pitcher Marcus Tackett (2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 SO) with one out in the top of the seventh. Castro equaled a career-high and had a season-best three RBI as he also drove in the first Cardinal run of the day with an RBI groundout in the first inning.
"I'm seeing the ball and well and have made some adjustments to my swing that I'm sticking with," said Castro, who leads the club with a .385 batting average, five homers and 15 RBI on the season. "I've been feeling really good."
Storen, who had allowed a pair of inherited runners to score in the bottom of the sixth as Texas took a 6-5 lead, shut the Longhorns out the rest of the way to record his first collegiate victory. He pitched in pressure spots in both the seventh and ninth but stranded a Texas runner in scoring position during both innings. Storen struck out a career-high four and allowed just three hits and a walk as the only reliever for Cardinal starter Erik Davis (5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO).
Joey August (2-4, RBI), Randy Molina (2-4, 2 RBI), Sean Ratliff (2-4, SB) and Brendan Domaracki (2-5, 2B) had two hits each for the Cardinal.
"We swung the bats a lot better and more importantly we didn't give them a lot, which is important when you play a team as good as Texas is," said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, who recorded his 1292nd career victory and watched his squad play errorless baseball for only the second time this season and the first time since opening day.
Travis Tucker (2-4, 3B, RBI, 2 SB) and Jordan Danks (2-4, 2 2B) were the only Texas players with more than one hit, while Russell Moldenhauer drove in a pair.
The Longhorns used four pitchers in relief of starter Kenn Kasparek (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) with the outing by Thomas Stayton (2.0 IP) to hold the Cardinal scoreless in the eighth and ninth frames the most effective.
The teams exchanged runs in the first inning.
A leadoff single by Cord Phelps and a one-out single from August gave Castro his RBI opportunity in the Cardinal first.
Texas answered in the bottom of the first when Danks doubled with two outs and scored on an RBI single by Brandon Belt.
The Longhorns went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Davis plunked Preston Clark to lead off the inning before Moldenhauer singled him home two batters later.
Stanford tied the score at 2-2 in the third when Phelps walked with one out, moved to second on a ground rule double from Domaracki and scored on August's sacrifice fly.
The Cardinal went back in the lead with two runs in the fifth on a clutch two-out RBI single by Molina that ended a short relief outing for Kyle Walker (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB) and brought in Domaracki and August, who had reached on a fielder's choice and single.
Texas cut the Cardinal lead to 4-3 in the fifth on an RBI triple by Tucker after Michael Torres drew a two-out walk.
The Longhorns went back in front by a 5-4 count with two runs in the sixth. Danks started the inning with his second double of the game before Davis walked Belt to put runners on first and second with no outs. Davis got Clark to line out to Ratliff in center field before being removed in favor of Storen. Pinch-hitter Tant Shepherd tied the game with an RBI single before Moldenhauer's RBI groundout gave the Longhorns the lead.
Texas would threaten in its half of both the seventh and ninth after Castro's seventh inning blast put the Cardinal back in front but Storen turned them back both times.
In the seventh, Tucker drew a one out walk and stole second to get a rally started. David Hernandez then grounded a bal up the middle that seemed to be going into center field for an RBI single but Stanford shortstop Jake Schlander got to the ball and made an attempt to throw Hernandez out at first. Hernandez just beat the throw but Schlander's play potentially saved a run and Storen struck out Danks and Belt to end the threat.
"I was just going to throw my best pitch [a backdoor slider] in those situations and if they hit, I would tip my cap to them," offered Storen.
Cameron Rupp led off the Texas ninth with a single and Torres bunted pinch-runner Connor Rowe to second but Storen got Tucker to fly out to center field and pinch-hitter Kawika Emsley-Pai to fly out to left to end the game.
"I was just trying to throw strikes," Storen summarized. "I know I have a great defense behind me, and I just wanted to let them do their jobs."
"He really came in and threw some clutch pitches in some key situations," added Castro. "He located his off-speed stuff really well and that was key for him."
The teams will play the rubber game of the series on Sunday (1:00 pm, CT/11:00 am, PT). Stanford is scheduled to send RHP Jeffrey Inman (1-0, 3.52) to the mound to face Texas RHP Cole Green (0-0, 4.22).
"It was a great team win today," said Castro. "Hopefully we can carry that over into tomorrow and come out of here with a series victory."