May 19, 2008
Tucson, Ariz. - No. 16 Stanford baseball encountered a bizarre game on a very warm Monday afternoon at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, but blew an 8-0 lead and fell 15-11 in eight innings to an Arizona team that improved to 23-4 at home this season. The top three hitters in the Stanford order went a combined 9-12 with three walks, but it wasn't enough to lead the team to victory.
The Cardinal got on the board first again when they exploded for five runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 commanding early lead. Ratliff started the inning off with a walk and the Cardinal gained a big break when Jeff Whitlow's ground ball was booted by Arizona shortstop Bryce Ortega, which likely would have been a double play ball.
Stanford took advantage of the error as five consecutive batters reached base with four singles and a walk. Sophomore Adam Gaylord in his first start got a base hit to left to plate Ratliff for the first run of the day for the Cardinal. Freshman Jake Schlander walked to load the base and consecutive singles by Cord Phelps, Toby Gerhart, and Jason Castro to make the score 5-0.
The onslaught continued in the third inning as Whitlow doubled to right center to begin the inning. Gaylord came up again and sent a deep ball to center field that was run down by Wildcat centerfielder T.J. Steele, but an errant throw to third base enabled Whitlow to come all the way around and score. Phelps then walked and Gerhart hit his fourth home run of the season to push the lead out to 8-0.
As many visiting teams have found out, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium plays very live when the temperature rises and Monday was no different. The Wildcats roared back in the third for nine runs and came all the way to take a one-run lead. The big hits were a two-RBI single by Steele and a two-run home run by DH Dillon Baird. It was Baird's seventh home run of the season and second of the series. Arizona started the inning with six consecutive baserunners and 10 of the first 11 batters reached base in the inning. At one point Arizona had six straight at bats that resulted in runs scored.
The Cardinal continued to claw back against the Wildcats as they tied the score in the fifth inning when Phelps hit his tenth home run of the season and second in as many days. Stanford then regained the lead in the sixth inning when Randy Molina lined a single right and came around on pinch hitter Joey August's double. This made the score 10-9 through six complete innings at Frank Kindall Field.
Phelps started another scoring rally in the seventh inning with a single and moved to second on Gerthart's walk, the fourth time the sophomore outfielder reached base in the game. Both runners moved up on a Castro ground out, and when Milleville lined a ball into left field Ratliff was able to score on a sacrifice fly. Wildcat outfielder Bobby Coyle thought the inning was over and didn't get the ball in quickly and Ratliff was able to tag up and score to make it 11-9.
The undoing tonight was in the seventh inning when the Wildcats scored six runs keyed by a grand slam by C.J. Ziegler, his 18th home run of the season. It was a tough loss to take with Arizona only scoring in two of their seven at bats, but nine and six run innings did in Stanford on the evening.
Stanford was able to have a positive in the game as Jeremy Bleich, the opening day this starter this season for Stanford came in to pitch the final two outs in the eighth inning. He gave up one hit and struck out one.
Stanford will now travel to Washington where they take on the Huskies in a three game series next Friday, May 23-25.