Card Outlast Texas To Salvage Series

In a nine-inning contest that lasted nearly four hours, the Cardinal were able to salvage a game of their series at Texas. Stanford scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a tie and then held off a Longhorn rally in the bottom of the frame for a 10-8 win. Here is a complete recap with full statistics and various notes of the Cardinal's dramatic victory.

Brendan Domaracki's two-run single ignited a four-run rally in the ninth inning for the Stanford Cardinal as they outlasted Texas 10-8 on Sunday afternoon.  Stanford entered the ninth inning with the score tied at 6-6 facing Longhorns closer Randy Boone - who had stymied the Cardinal bats the previous two days.  But five consecutive hitters reached base in the ninth (the first four against Boone) with four eventually coming home to score as Stanford built a lead.

It wouldn't come easy though as Texas rallied in the bottom of the ninth for two runs and had the potential winning run at the plate before a critical line drive double play off the bat of Jordan Danks.  In the end, Max Fearnow struck out the dangerous Preston Clark on three pitches to seal a much-needed Cardinal victory.

The wild affair saw the teams combine for 18 runs and 32 hits in a game witnessed by 6,633 fans in Round Rock.  Texas hit three home runs while Stanford left the yard once.  In addition, Texas pitchers plunked six Cardinal batters with pitches.  With the win, Stanford avoids the sweep and improves to 3-5 on the season.

Stanford had control of the game throughout much of the early-afternoon as they held a 5-1 lead at the start of the bottom of the fifth.  Jeremy Bleich, who pitched well through the first four innings, would struggle though starting in the fifth.  Clark smacked his first home run of the season - a two-run blast in that fifth inning - to make the score 5-3.  Then in the sixth, Bleich surrendered a two-run homer to Danks tying the game at 5-5.  Bleich was immediately pulled after the Danks longball in favor of junior David Stringer.

With the game tied, both teams were unable to score in the seventh inning despite each loading the bases.  For the Cardinal, Joey August grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with Boone on the mound to end the threat.  Then in the bottom of the frame, Stringer induced Nick Peoples to ground out leaving three runners on base.

Stanford took back the lead in the top of the eighth inning as Sean Ratliff connected for a solo home run to deep center field.  Ratliff, who has started every game this season in center field, had a big afternoon at the plate with three hits and two RBI.  His eighth-inning solo blast gave the Cardinal a 6-5 advantage.

Stringer went back to work in the bottom of the eighth, but didn't record an out as back-to-back doubles from Danks and Clark tied the score at 6-6.  Mark Marquess again went to the bullpen summoning left-hander Blake Hancock into pitch.  Hancock, a lightly recruiter hurler who didn't see any game action as a freshman, has been used in a number of big short-relief spots early this season.  And the Texas native would come through in a big way in the bottom of the eighth setting down the 4-5-6 hitters in the Longhorns order.  Hancock retired Bradley Suttle on a pop-out before a ground out off the bat of Travis Tucker and a fly out from Kyle Russell.

Then came the marathon ninth inning.

Boone retired the first hitter of the inning before a walk to Jason Castro opened the door for the Cardinal.  With Castro in motion, Cord Phelps perfectly executed a hit-and-run when he reached out and lined a double into left field putting a pair of runners in scoring position.  Pinch-hitter Randy Molina was intentionally walked to load the bases which set the table for Domaracki. 

On a 1-2 pitch, Domaracki singled into left field scoring both Castro and Phelps giving Stanford an 8-6 lead.  For Domaracki, it was just his second hit (in eight at-bats) this season.  But the Cardinal weren't done.  Ryan Seawell was up next and the leadoff man in the order singled into left field plating pinch-runner Austin Yount for a three-run cushion.  Then three batters later, Brent Milleville delivered a clutch two-out single into right field scoring Domaracki.  Stanford could have had more in the ninth, but Seawell was thrown out at the plate trying to score another run on Milleville's hit.  Still, the Cardinal found themselves with a 10-6 lead needing just three outs for the victory.

Unfortunately, the Blake Hancock magic would not continue in the bottom of the ninth.  Brett Lewis led off with a double before Chance Wheeless belted a two-run home run to right field cutting the Stanford lead in half.  After the home run, Marquess brought in his fourth pitcher of the day as sophomore Max Fearnow entered the contest to face pinch-hitter, and former Stanford player, Jeff Boes.  Boes, who transferred to Texas last year, grounded a ball to third base that was mishandled by Seawell for an error - the senior's first miscue at the hot corner this weekend.  The error though obviously came at a bad time as Texas brought the potential tying run to the plate in the form of their leadoff hitter, Nick Peoples.

Peoples kept the Texas momentum going when he singled sharply into right field moving pinch-runner Michael Demperio to third base.  But then things would turn back to Stanford's favor. 

The potent Danks, who had already doubled twice and homered today, followed with a scorching line drive to first base.  Milleville though, lunging to his left, made the catch and stepped on the bag for a huge double play.  Then Clark, who had also already homered this afternoon, struck out on three pitches to end the game.

Hancock was credited with his first collegiate victory while Fearnow notched the first save of his Stanford career.

Stanford jumped out of the gates early today scoring two runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth as they built a 5-1 lead.  In the third, Milleville brought home both runs with a single.  Then in the fourth, back-to-back singles from Ratliff and Michael Taylor scored runs before a Milleville sacrifice fly capped the rally.


BOXSCORE

Stanford    0 0 2  3 0 0  0 1 4   -  10  15   1
Texas       1 0 0  0 2 2  0 1 2   -   8  17   1

Stanford          POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO   AVG
Ryan Seawell       3B   5   2   2   1    0   1  .267
Sean Ratliff       CF   5   3   3   2    0   1  .333
Michael Taylor     RF   5   0   3   1    0   0  .242
Brent Milleville   1B   4   0   2   4    1   1  .333
Brian Juhl          C   3   0   1   0    0   0  .333
Jeff Inman         DH   0   0   0   0    0   0   ---
 Jason Castro     PH/DH 4   1   0   0    1   1  .111
Cord Phelps       2B/SS 4   1   2   0    1   0  .308
Adam Gaylord       SS   3   0   1   0    0   1  .357
 Joey August       PH   1   0   0   0    0   0  .250
 J.J. Jelmini      2B   0   0   0   0    0   0  .000
 Randy Molina      PH   0   0   0   0    1   0  .286
 Austin Yount     PR/2B 0   1   0   0    0   0  .250
Jeff Whitlow       LF   2   1   0   0    0   0  .400
 Brendan Domaracki PH/LF 2  1   1   2    0   0  .250

E: Seawell
2B: Taylor, Juhl, Phelps
HR: Ratliff (1st, 8th inning, 0 on, 2 out)
HBP: Juhl 2, Seawell, Ratliff, Taylor, Whitlow

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
Jeremy Bleich       5.1  11   5   5   2   2  6.89
David Stringer      1.2   3   1   1   2   1  4.76
Blake Hancock (W)   1.0   2   2   2   0   0 11.57
Max Fearnow (S)     1.0   1   0   0   0   0  1.69



Texas              POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO
Nick Peoples        CF   5   1   2   0    0   0
Jordan Danks        LF   5   4   3   2    1   0
Preston Clark        C   6   1   3   3    0   0
Bradley Suttle      3B   4   0   0   0    1   0
Travis Tucker       2B   4   0   2   1    1   0
Kyle Russell        RF   4   0   1   0    0   2
Brett Lewis         DH   5   1   3   0    0   1
Chance Wheeless     1B   3   1   2   2    1   0
Pat McCrory         SS   3   0   0   0    0   0
 Clay Van Hook      PH   1   0   1   0    0   0
 Chais Fuller       SS   0   0   0   0    0   0
 Jeff Boes          PH   1   0   0   0    0   0
 Michael Demperio   PR   0   0   0   0    0   0

E: Clark
2B: Danks 2, Clark, Lewis
HR: Danks (1st, 6th inning, 1 on, 1 out), Clark (1st, 5th inning, 1 on, 0 out), Wheeless (1st, 9th inning, 1 on, 0 out)
HBP: Peoples

                      IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Austin Wood          3.0   6   2   2   0   3
Hunter Harris        0.1   2   3   2   0   0
Keith Shinaberry     1.2   0   0   0   1   0
Joseph Krebs         1.1   1   0   0   1   1
Randy Boone (L)      2.0   4   5   5   2   1
Juston Street        0.2   2   0   0   0   0


WP: Blake Hancock (1-0)
LP: Randy Boone (0-3)
S: Max Fearnow (1)

Records: Stanford (3-5), #14 Texas (6-5)


NOTES
* The nine-inning game lasted three hours and 48 minutes.

* With the victory, Stanford records their first road win of the season (1-5).

* Outfielders Sean Ratliff and Michael Taylor both notched three hits as part of the 15-hit Stanford offensive attack.  Ratliff, who was hitless as a freshman, raised his season batting average to .333 (12-for-36).  The home run was the first of his collegiate career.  Meanwhile, Taylor broke out of a slump with his 3-for-5 performance at the plate.  Taylor singled twice, doubled, and was hit by a pitch.  He raised his average from .179 to .242.

* It wasn't all good news for Stanford today as freshman left fielder Toby Gerhart will miss at least six weeks because of a broken bone in his right forearm.  Gerhart was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning yesterday and immediately left the contest for a pinch-runner.  X-rays Saturday night revealed a fracture and thus the two-sport stat isn't expected to return until well into the Pac-10 season.  In his absence, sophomores Joey August and Jeff Whitlow along with junior Brendan Domaracki figure to battle for playing time in left field.  Ryan Seawell, who played third base this weekend, could also return to the outfield.  With a left-handed starting pitcher on the mound (Austin Wood), Marquess went with the right-handed bat of Whitlow today.  It was Whitlow's first career start.

Gerhart is hitting .273 (6-for-22) with one home run and three RBI this season.

* Seawell (2-for-4, RBI), Brent Milleville (2-for-4, 4 RBI), and Cord Phelps (2-for-4, 2B) also had multi-hit games for Stanford.  The ten runs and 15 hits both matched season-high totals for the Cardinal.

* After starting strong, Bleich again had difficulties working through the middle innings.  The sophomore was tagged for 11 hits and five runs in his 5 1/3 innings today.  Bleich's season ERA now sits at 6.89.


ON DECK
The Cardinal will look to build on this important win when they return home for four home games this week.  Stanford hosts the San Francisco Dons on Tuesday evening with first pitch at Sunken Diamond scheduled for 5:00 P.M.  Over the weekend, the Cardinal will take on the Kansas Jayhawks for three games.  Stanford will play ten of their next 11 games at home up until finals break in three weeks.

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