Stanford scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat visiting Arizona, 2-1, and win the three-game series on Sunday afternoon
May 22, 2011
Stanford 2, Arizona 1 (Box Score)
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Stanford scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally from behind and defeat visiting Arizona, 2-1, and capture a series victory on Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Gaffney collected a run-scoring single off Arizona reliever Bryce Bandilla. Then, with two outs in the inning, Gaffney scored the eventual game-winning run on a single by Austin Wilson.
Cardinal closer Chris Reed, who entered in the eighth inning and stranded two runners, retired the Wildcats in order to end the game. Reed, who also earned the win in Friday's 1-0 decision, improved to 6-2 on the year.
Bandilla, the losing pitcher on Friday, was charged with the loss after giving up the two runs on two hits and one walk. He fell to 4-3 on the season.
The late rally spoiled a fantastic start by Konner Wade, who kept the Cardinal scoreless over the first seven innings. Wade pitched 6.1 innings and scattered six hits. He struck out two and issued just one walk.
Jett Bandy staked the Wildcats to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning thanks to a solo home run. It was Bandy's first home run of the season and, coincidentally, his first home run since launching one against Pries a year ago to the day - May 22, 2010 - in Tucson, Ariz.
The middle innings were smooth sailing for Wade and the Wildcats as the Cardinal mustered just three base hits in the third through sixth innings. But the hosts started to build the momentum thereafter.
Stanford threatened to get on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Zach Jones singled to open the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Tyler Gaffney then put runners at the corners with an infield single.
But Wade did not fold with Stephen Piscotty at the plate. Piscotty grounded a ball to the left side of the infield, where shortstop Alex Mejia fielded the ball and quickly tossed to second baseman Bryce Ortega who relayed to first base for a swift double play.
In the seventh, Wade gave up a pair of leadoff singles before getting a shallow fly out to center field. He was lifted in favor of Bandilla with one out and runners on first and second. Bandilla then retired the next two hitters with another fly out and a strikeout.
After flirting with trouble in the sixth and seventh frames, the Wildcats surrendered their first runs in the decisive eighth inning. Bandilla issued a leadoff walk to Zach Zones, who moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Tyler Gaffney drove in Jones with a single through to left side to tie the game 1-1.
Bandilla remained in the game to give up a single to Piscotty, which put runners at first and second. Arizona elected to go to the bullpen to bring in Chaffee to face Brian Ragira and Wilson.
Chaffee retired Ragira, who lined out to right field. But Wilson pulled a ball through the left side that glanced off the glove third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, who had dived to his left. Gaffney scored from second to give the Cardinal a 2-1 edge.
Arizona squandered several scoring opportunities as its trouble with runners in scoring position continued. The Wildcats left a runner on base in each of the fifth and seventh innings, before two runners were stranded in the eighth inning.
Mejias-Brean opened the top of the eighth with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Ortega worked a walk to put runners on first and second, but Cole Frenzel struck out and Josh Garcia flied out to end the inning.
In the series, Arizona went 2-for-22 at the plate with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Stanford struggled much of the series, too, before picking up a pair of key hits in the eighth. The Cardinal finished the weekend 6-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
Arizona will return home to close out the regular season against Washington next weekend in Tucson, Ariz. (May 27-29). The three-game set will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. (MST) at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.