STANFORD, Calif. - Sophomore second baseman Colin Walsh drove in a career-high four runs - including the go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth - as Stanford (23-19) rallied from a 7-1, third-inning deficit to defeat visiting San Jose State (32-16) by a final score of 9-8 tonight at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal has now won 10 consecutive non-conference games for its longest such streak since winning the final 10 non-conference contests of the 2000 season.
Stanford, which has won three straight and five of its last six games overall, used its biggest comeback of the season - six runs - to overcome San Jose State tonight. After the Spartans took a 7-1 lead in the third inning, the Cardinal scored eight unanswered runs by tallying one in the third, four in the fourth, two in the fifth and two more in the eighth. Adam Gaylord tied his career high for hits by going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, Ben Clowe homered for the second straight game, while both Toby Gerhart and Brent Milleville delivered RBI-singles.
With the game tied 7-7 in the eighth, Gaylord started the winning rally with a one-out double off Spartans reliever Luke Mazzanti (1-2). Jack Adams relieved Mazzanti, and Jake Schlander drew a walk ahead of Walsh. Stanford's second baseman quickly fell behind 0-2, but battled back to a full count - including a wild pitch that moved the runners up to second and third. Walsh then came through with his third hit of the night - a line-drive single to center that plated both runners and gave Stanford a 9-7 lead. Walsh, who finished 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, has now reached base safely via a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 25 consecutive games.
Cardinal closer Drew Storen (6-1) picked up his team-leading sixth win of the season by recording the final four outs. Storen stranded the potential go-ahead run at second in the eighth and, although he allowed a solo homer and a walk to open the ninth, the right-hander bounced back to get the final three outs and close the door on Stanford's victory.
Clowe's solo homer - the first of his two extra-base hits on the night - came in the bottom of the second after San Jose State had scored two in the top of the frame. After the Spartans sent 11 men to the plate during its five-run, third-inning outburst, Stanford got one run back right away on Gerhart's two-out, RBI single. The Cardinal then really got back into the game with a three-run fourth that featured an RBI-single by Gaylord and a clutch two-out, two-run, opposite field double by Walsh.
Stanford knotted the contest at 7-7 with two runs in the fifth. Consecutive singles by Gerhart, Kellen Kiilsgaard and Milleville resulted in the first run. Gaylord came through with more two-out magic later in the inning, drilling an RBI-single that plated Milleville and tied the game.
Tonight's win would not have been possible without the relief pitching of Stanford's Michael Marshall, who escaped an inherited two-on, no-out jam in the sixth en route to 2.2-scoreless innings. The right-hander entered in the sixth with runners at first and second and nobody out, and immediately helped himself by alertly stepping off the rubber and nailing the Spartans' Jason Martin trying to steal third. Although the first batter he faced reached on an infield single, Marshall retired the next two hitters to end the frame. Marshall pitched around a leadoff error in the seventh, and retired the first two batters in the eighth before yielding a double and giving way to Storen.
Stanford will look for its 11th consecutive non-conference win tomorrow night, when the Cardinal visits Santa Clara. First pitch from Schott Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m. PT.