With the victory, the Huskies moved to within a half game of top ranked Stanford for first place in the Pac-10. They improved to 12-6 in league play (28-15-1 overall) while Stanford dropped to 11-4 (37-8). With the victory the Huskies also won the series two games to one and handed the Cardinal their first loss in a three game series after the Cardinal had won 11 consecutive in 2004 and 15 straight overall.
With his eight innings, Lincecum equaled Kyle Parker's stint in the series opener on Friday night for the longest Husky start of the season. He improved his record to 7-1 and got both Husky wins in the series, as he picked up his sixth win with two innings of relief on Friday. For the game he gave up seven hits and four walks, but struck out 13 for his fifth double figure strikeout game of the season.
Despite throwing 146 pitches, a high number of pitches even for a major leaguer, he got stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the fifth, seventh and eight innings and recording 10 of his last 12 outs via the punchout. He also raised his season total to 127 and only needs five more to break the all-time single season Husky record of 131 set by Jeff Heaverlo in 1999. With his four bases on balls, he also set a dubious record with 61 walks, breaking the single season record of 58 set by Ray Ewing in 1968.
"Lincecum was unbelievable. He just goes out and finds a way to get it done," said second baseman Greg Isaacson.
Closer Will Fenton pitched the ninth inning in relief in mop up duty for Lincecum and yielded a hit but struck out two. With two outs and two strikes against pinch hitter John Hester, many in the crowd of 1,057, understanding the importance of the series, stood up and applauded, marking the first time in 20 home games that the fans did so. Hester made them wait, fouling off four pitches from Fenton and looking at a ball before finally striking out swinging and sending the fans happily to the exits.
The Huskies gave Lincecum the support he would need offensively, with runs in each of the first five innings They did not waste any time getting on the board, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Brent Lillibridge connected on the very first pitch from Greg Reynolds and drove it over the left field wall for his sixth leadoff home run of the season and ninth overall.
"Lillibridge's home run gave us a lot of confidence. It showed us that we can hit these guys," said Isaacson.
In the second Aaron Hathaway walked and John Otness lined a frozen rope on a 3-2 pitch into the left field bullpen for his eighth home run of the season and a 3-0 lead.
Then in the third, the Huskies loaded the bases on singles by Kyle Larsen and Matt Lane and a walk to Nick Batkoski, with Larsen scoring on a sacrifice fly to right by Hathaway.
In the top of the fourth, Stanford got three consecutive singles from Chris Minaker, Jed Lowrie and Danny Putnam, respectively, with no one out but did not score any runs as right fielder Taylor Johnson threw Minaker out at home attempting to score from second on Putnam's base hit.
It seemed like Minaker slid home safely, beating Hathaway's tag, but home plate umpire Phil Benson called him out. Lincecum then struck out Donny Lucy looking on three pitches and got Brian Hall to fly out to Johnson to escape the inning with no damage.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Huskies made it 5-0 with a run as they loaded the bases and Lillibridge scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Larsen.
The Cardinal got on the board in the top of the fifth on a leadoff home run to right by Chris Carter, his sixth of the season, and had a chance for more when Rapoport and Sam Fuld singled, but Lincecum struck out both Minaker and Lowrie swinging to end the inning. The Huskies then put the game away with four runs in the bottom half.
Lane grounded a single to center and third baseman Chris Lewis committed an error on a ground ball by Hathaway, allowing Lane to take third and Hathaway to move into second. Otness plated Lane with a soft line single into right center, Johnson walked to load the bases, and Lillibridge drew another bases on balls to force in Hathaway. Isaacson came within a few feet of a grand slam when he drove a 1-2 pitch to right, but only came away with a sacrifice fly as Rapoport caught the ball at the wall, with Otness scoring. Then Zach Clem grounded out to short to plate Johnson with the Huskies' final run.
Stanford made it 9-2 in the top of the eighth when Putnam sent a 3-2 delivery from Lincecum just over the wall in left field for his 13th home run of the season.
On the mound for the Cardinal, Reynolds suffered his first loss of the season to drop to 3-1, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks, with no strikeouts.
Following the showdown with Stanford, the Huskies get a well deserved day off before returning to Husky Ballpark to host Portland in a non-conference series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games will begin at 6:30 p.m. and air on 1150 KKNW radio.
Huskies win Series
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