Pac-10 Recap Saturday 4/12

Erik DavisStanford 6 – @ Oregon State 4

@ USC 11 – Cal 5

BYU 11 – @ Washington 7

@ UCLA 18 – UC Riverside 7

@ Arizona 5 – Indiana State 0

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(Corvallis, OR) – No. 10 Stanford (16-11-1, 5-3 Pac-10) scored twice in the top of the ninth inning and Erik Davis pitched his third straight complete game in a 6-4 victory Saturday over Oregon State (16-11, 4-4 Pac-10). The Stanford victory evened up a three-game Pac-10 set between the teams at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Cord Phelps (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) was the offensive star for the Cardinal, driving in a run in each of his final three at bats including a ninth inning RBI single to score Jeff Whitlow with the game-winning run. The victory moved Stanford into a tie for first place with Arizona State as both teams have 5-3 conference marks after the Sun Devils lost at Washington State on Saturday.

“I guess you focus a little bit more with runners on base,” offered Phelps, who has driven in an amazing 14 runs from his leadoff spot over the last five contests. “But lots of times especially with two outs, you know the pitcher wants to throw strikes and is going to attack you. You try to take advantage of that opportunity.”

“Cord Phelps has been great all year for us,” said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, who moved into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I coaches with his 1301st career victory. “He came up with another huge hit for us today in the ninth inning and a couple of big ones earlier as well. I really think he is one of the best second basemen in the country.”

Davis (9.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO) struggled early as he gave up runs in each of the first two innings to spot Oregon State a 2-0 lead.

“I battled every inning early in the game and then found it in the middle of the game,” said Davis. “At some points, things were clicking on all cylinders.

“That was a great pitching effort by Erik Davis once again today,” added Marquess. “I’ve been at Stanford a long time, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had anybody pitch three consecutive complete games in their first three league starts. He really battled well today and came up big in big spots.”

Chris Hopkins walked to lead off the game before moving to third on a Joey Wong single. Stanford just missed a double play on Jason Ogata’s RBI fielder’s choice before turning one on a ground ball by Ryan Ortiz to get out of the inning with just one run scored.

John Wallace singled to start the second, stole second base and moved to third on a Drew George ground out before scoring when Jordan Lennerton singled.

Davis started to find his groove in the third and fourth frames with a pair of hitless innings before Stanford tied the score at 2-2 with a two-run fifth. The Cardinal took advantage of a wild spell by Tanner Robles (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) when the Oregon State starter walked Ben Clowe and hit Whitlow to begin the inning after allowing only two harmless singles to Jason Castro through the first four frames. Zach Jones sacrificed the runners to second and third before Jake Schlander and Phelps brought them home with a sacrifice fly and two-out RBI single, respectively.

Oregon State went back in front, 3-2, in the bottom of the fifth. Wong singled to lead off the inning before moving to second when Ogata was hit by a pitch, third on Ortiz’ sacrifice and home on an RBI ground out by Wallace.

Stanford came right back and tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the sixth when Ratliff doubled off the left field with two outs and scored on an RBI single by Clowe up the middle.

The Cardinal took its first lead in the contest on a two-out solo homer by Phelps in the seventh.

Oregon State tied the game at 4-4 with a run in the bottom of the eighth in an inning that could have turned out much better or much worse for the Cardinal. The Beavers loaded the bases with just one out on three consecutive singles by George, Lennerton and Daniel Robertson. Davis stayed in the game and struck out pinch-hitter Koa Kahalehoe before uncorking a wild pitch that brought George trotting home from third to tie the contest. With the go-ahead run just 90 feet away on third base, Davis was able to come back and strike out Hopkins to get out of the situation without any further damage.

“That was a big spot to win there in the eighth inning after the wild pitch to keep the game tied,” commented Davis.

Whitlow started Stanford’s ninth with an infield single as replacement second baseman Lonnie Lechelt’s throw fell short at first base after he had ranged up the middle to snare Whitlow’s grounder. Kevin Rhoderick (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) replaced losing pitcher Josh Osich (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB) and Jones laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the contest to move Whitlow into scoring position at second base with only one out. Pinch-hitter Randy Molina drew a walk to set the stage for Phelps, who lined a single to right field to score Whitlow on a close play at the plate. Phelps and Molina advanced to second and third on the throw home and then pinch-hitter Brendan Domaracki gave the Cardinal an insurance run on his sacrifice fly to right field that scored Colin Walsh, who had pinch-run for Molina after he reached third.

Oregon State had one final chance in the bottom of the ninth. Ogata started a rally when he singled with one out and the Beavers looked to be in business when Ortiz hit a long ball into the rightcenter field gap that. But Whitlow sprinted over to make a spectacular running catch and threw into shortstop Adam Gaylord, who flipped over to first baseman Brent Milleville to easily double off Ogata, who had rounded second before trying to head back to where he started from on the play.

Castro (2-5) was the only Stanford player other than Phelps with more than one hit, while Lennerton (2-4, RBI) and Won (2-5) had two hits each for the Beavers.

The Stanford win set up a rubber game on Sunday (1 pm, PT) to decide the series. Stanford is 5-0 in rubber games in 2008 and has also posted a perfect record with a 6-0 mark in three-game set finales. Neither team has announced a probable starting pitcher for the contest.

“This was a really important win for us today, because we still have a chance to win the series,” said Phelps. “Good teams have to be able to bounce back like we were able to do today from last night’s loss.”

(Los Angeles, CA) – Sophomore shortstop Grant Green (Anaheim Hills/Canyon HS) went 4-for-4 with a triple while sophomore Brad Boxberger (Tustin/Foothill HS) allowed three runs in eight innings Saturday as the USC Trojans beat the No. 5 California Golden Bears for the second straight game, 11-5. USC won its third Pac-10 Conference series of the season against a Top 25 opponent (No. 2 Arizona and No. 23 UCLA).

The Trojans (18-15, 6-5) have won seven of their last eight games with six of the wins coming against Top 25 opponents.

Green and Boxberger, who were freshman All-Americans last season, enjoyed a solid outing. Boxberger allowed just five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts while Green collected his second four-hit game in his past five games.

USC jumped on Cal starter Craig Bennigson (3-1) early in the first inning. Nick Buss led off with a double to center, moving to third on a wild pitch. After Green walked, Derek Perren hit an RBI groundout to first. Roberto Lopez then walked before Hector Rabago was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Anthony Vasquez then hit a two-run single through the right side for a 3-0 Trojan lead.

Cal (22-9-2, 4-3) answered with two in the second. After Brett Jackson’s leadoff single, Jeff Kobernus raked an RBI triple to right center and later scored on Dylan Tonneson’s sacrifice fly. Both teams added a run each with the Trojans getting two more runs in the fourth to lead, 6-3.

In a pivotal sixth inning, USC got to Cal reliever Kevin Miller, who before the game had not allowed an earned run in 38 2/3 innings. Green hit a one-out triple and Miller walked Perren and Lopez back-to-back to load the bases. Senior designated hitter Mike Roskopf, who struck out twice in the game, then unloaded his second grand slam of the season to right center. Miller finished the game by giving up four runs in three innings.

The series concludes tomorrow with a 1 p.m. game at Dedeaux Field. The game will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com by video webcast, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access.

Notes: USC is now third in the Pac-10 Conference with a 6-5 record behind leaders Arizona State and Stanford (both at 5-3)…Grant Green has an eight-game hitting streak where he is batting .606 (20-for-30) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI…Green is batting .750 (15-for-20) in his last five games and is batting .387 on the season…Green’s triple was the 12th in his career, one away from the school career mark of 13 held by Mark Smith and Seth Davidson…Saturday was the seventh straight game where the USC starting pitcher has thrown six or more innings.

(Seattle, WA) - Kasey Ko smashed a grand slam to give BYU its first lead of an 11-7 victory Saturday afternoon over Washington.

Ko’s slam put BYU up 8-6 in the six-run eighth inning and snapped a three-game skid for BYU as it improved its record to 15-20. The Hawaiian junior’s blast was one of three over the fence for the Cougars.

Jonathan Cluff, who extended his hitting streak to a team-leading eight games, followed Ko and his homer made it back-to-back belts over the wall. Washington native Sean McNaughton hit a two-run homer in the ninth to put BYU up 11-7.

With no outs in the eighth, BYU loaded the bases with a walk, a hit by pitch and a walk in the eighth when Vargas drew a base on balls off a new Husky reliever. Prior to that point, it looked like Washington was set for a sweep despite some occasional bright spots for BYU.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first, BYU answered with a two-run single from Bryce Ayoso to score Dan Vargas and Cluff. But Ayoso was picked off second and Brandon Relf struck out to end the inning.

Ayoso made a diving grab from his catcher’s stance to rob the Huskies of a bunt, ending inning number two.

Starting BYU pitcher Blake Torgerson found his stride, striking out four consecutive batters in the third and fourth innings. He tallied six strikeouts on the day.

UW’s Brian Pearl hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh after Torgerson was replaced by Jared Miller, who ended up with his fourth victory. Husky Bradley Boyer led off the eighth with a dinger, making it 9-7, favoring BYU.

The Cougars tried to rally a couple times in the game, for instance in the fifth inning. Kent Walton grounded into a double play with the bases loaded from walks to end the frame.

Vargas a two-out double kept BYU alive and he scored off Ko’s single to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth.

Washington suffered its 10th loss of the season against 23 victories, ending a four-game win skein. It was BYU’s first Pac-10 victory since claiming a pair last season in Provo and the first road win for the Cougars over that conference since beating Washington in 2006.

The Cougars return home to host Southern Utah on Tuesday at 6 p.m., at Larry H. Miller Field.

(Los Angeles, CA) – The UCLA baseball team belted a season-high five home runs and 26 hits to cruise past UC Riverside, 18-7, Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Alden Carrithers, Brandon Crawford, Blair Dunlap and Casey Haerther each recorded four hits in the non-conference victory, UCLA’s third win in its last four games.

Haerther went 4-for-6 with a career-high two home runs, three RBI and four runs. Carrithers, Crawford and Cody Decker each hit their fourth home runs of the spring. UCLA (16-13) registered its largest home run total since depositing five round-trippers at N.C. State on March 5, 2006.

Carrithers went 4-for-5 with four RBI, tying his career high. Crawford went 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs, and also provided a highlight-reel defensive play in the top of the fifth, diving to his left and standing to throw out Jordan Opdyke on what appeared to be a routine single through the left side of the infield. The Bruins’ shortstop finished one triple shy of the cycle (one home run, two doubles and one single).

Dunlap established career highs with four hits and three RBI. Jermaine Curtis was 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI and Gabe Cohen went 2-for-4 with two runs.

Right-hander Charles Brewer (4-3) earned his team-leading fourth victory, allowing seven runs and nine hits in six innings. Brewer tallied four strikeouts and walked three hitters. Garett Claypool, Brendan Lafferty and Matt Grace each hurled one scoreless innings of relief against the visiting Highlanders (9-20).

UC Riverside right-hander Matt Larkins (4-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 1.2 innings.

UCLA claimed a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and led the rest of the way. With one out, Dunlap and second baseman Niko Gallego reached via a double and single, respectively. Carrithers and Curtis each followed with RBI-singles, and both runners scored on a three-run blast by Crawford. After a base-hit by Haerther, Decker followed with a two-out, two-run homer to left field.

UC Riverside answered with two runs in the third inning and three in the fourth, cutting the Bruins’ advantage to 7-5. UCLA scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth to assume a 12-5 lead. The Bruins batted around in the fourth inning, as Haerther led off the frame with a solo blast to left field. A base-hit by Cohen and a double down the left-field line by Ryan Babineau were followed by an RBI-single from Dunlap and a two-run homer by Carrithers.

The Highlanders added two runs in the sixth inning, closing the gap to 12-7. UCLA scored four runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.

UCLA and UC Riverside conclude their three-game series Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.

Game Notes: Alden Carrithers extended his hit streak to 10 games, his second 10-game streak of the spring…Carrithers has hit safely in 25 of UCLA’s 29 games…UCLA improved its all-time record against UC Riverside to 18-9, including a 5-3 mark under head coach John Savage…the Bruins’ 26 hits were the most in program history since the 1997 season.

(Tucson, AZ) – The University of Arizona scored two in the bottom of the second and three in the bottom of sixth while holding the visiting Indiana State Sycamores scoreless in Saturday evening action. The 5 to 0 win gives the Wildcats the series victory and they will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon.

David Coulon gets the win for Arizona while the Brad Glenn was the only Wildcat player with two hits. For Indiana State, Matt Shelton takes the loss while David Brumagin was the only Sycamore to have two hits in the loosing effort.