April 6, 2008
Box Score |
Stanford, Calif. -
No. 13 Stanford (15-9, 4-2 Pac-10) scored six times in the bottom of the fifth inning and then cruised to a 10-2 victory over No. 1 Arizona State (28-3, 4-2 Pac-10) in a rubber game between the teams Sunday at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. Stanford head coach Mark Marquess recorded his 1300th career victory and moved into a tie for 10th place on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I baseball coaches with the win.
"It's nice," said Marquess about the milestone. "But, it just means I've been coaching a long time and have had a lot of good players."
The win moved Stanford into a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-10 with Arizona State and California as all three squads sport 4-2 records in league play. Stanford extended its string of overall consecutive regular season three-game series wins to nine with the victory that was also Stanford's sixth straight series triumph against Arizona State at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, where the Sun Devils have not won a series since sweeping the Cardinal in a three-game set in 1997.
"We battled well the whole series," said Marquess. "I was proud of the way our guys played all three games."
Stanford trailed 2-0 and had just one hit in the first four innings until erupting for a season-high six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Joey August and Austin Yount started the rally with back-to-back singles before a key Arizona State error on the next play helped to open the floodgates. Zach Jones laid down a bunt that Arizona State starter and losing pitcher Stephen Sauer (4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) fielded cleanly in front of the mound but threw away trying to August as the lead runner at third. August scored on the play and the Cardinal ended up with runners on second and third with still no outs. Sauer was removed from the game in favor of Reyes Dorado (1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO), who walked Schlander to load the bases before giving up a sacrifice fly to Cord Phelps to tie the game at 2-2. Brendan Domaracki put Stanford in front to stay when he followed with a two-run double and August plated the final two runs of the inning four hitters later with another two-run double.
"That was an exciting inning for us," said August, who also had two outstanding defensive plays in left field in the top of the fourth inning. "Our coaches always tell us you have to stay out of the big inning on defense and produce the big inning on offense, and that's what we were able to do today. We had so many big hits in that fifth inning. It was a great job by our team."
"This series was a big test for us," added August. "It was good for us to come out and play well. We need to try to carry that over to some mid-week games and then in Corvallis against Oregon State for our next Pac-10 series."
The Cardinal would score another run in the sixth when Jones led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a two-out single from Jason Castro.
Stanford closed out the game's scoring with three more runs in the seventh. August and Yount got the rally started with back-to-back one-out singles before Jones greeted reliever Ike Davis (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER) with a two-RBI triple and Jake Schlander followed with an RBI double.
Stanford starter Jeffrey Inman (5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB) picked up his third consecutive victory before Blake Hancock (4.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO) earned his first save of the season by retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced and holding the Sun Devils hitless in a scoreless outing that equaled the longest of his career.
"To win this series against the No. 1 team in the country is a big thing for us," said Hancock. "We have a lot of pitchers that we can run out there and know they will do a good job. It's not just one or two guys, it's the entire staff."
Arizona State scored twice off Inman in the top of the first as the first four batters recorded hits to give Arizona State half of its total of eight for the contest. Jason Kipnis led off the game with a single, moved to second on a balk and third on a double by Davis before Petey Paramore followed with a two-run single. Brett Wallace kept the rally going with a single before Inman finally recorded an out when he threw Paramore out as the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kiel Roling and then got out of the inning without any further damage.
Sauer faced the minimum number of batters through the first three innings and did not allow a hit until Randy Molina singled with two outs in the fourth to extend his career-high hit streak to 10 games.
Arizona State had a chance to break the game open early in the contest but left 10 of the 12 runners the Sun Devils stranded for the contest over the first four frames. Arizona State had the bases loaded but could not score in both the second and fourth innings, while leaving a pair of runners stranded in the first and third.
"We were very fortunate and dodged some bullets today," offered Marquess. "They had a lot of guys on base early in the game, but Jeffrey Inman won a couple of big spots."
August (3-5, 2B, 2 RBI) equaled a season-best with his three-hit game, while Yount (2-4) and Molina (2-4) both contributed a pair of hits. Jones tripled to drive in a pair of runs, scored a career-high three times and stole a base. Domaracki also had a couple of RBI with his clutch fifth inning double.
Sean Ratliff's hit streak came to an end at a career-high-tying 13 games with his 0-for-5 contest.
Davis (2-5, 2 2B) and Kipnis (2-5, 2B) both had a pair of hits for Arizona State, while Paramore drove in two with his first inning single.
Stanford travels to California (21-7) for a non-conference game on Monday (2:30 pm, PT) before hosting UC Davis on Wednesday (6 pm, PT) and returning to Pac-10 action with a three-game set at Oregon State Friday-Sunday (5 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT).