Clayton Stewarts nails down 8-7 win over Stanford
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Cardinal scored six times in the ninth and had the go-ahead run in scoring position with two down, but No. 1 Texas (10-0), behind the pitching of Clayton Stewart (Angleton, Texas) and a two home run game from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas), pulled out an 8-7 victory over No. 5 Stanford (7-4) in front of a season-best crowd of 5,938 at Disch-Falk Field on Saturday, Feb. 19. Notably, with their two wins to open this series, the Longhorns clinched their first regular-season series win over the Cardinal since 1999.
After two scoreless frames to open the ballgame, Stanford grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Chris Lewis, who reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a groundout, scored on a two-out, bloop single to right off the bat of John Hester. Texas immediately answered in the bottom of the third as Stubbs extended his current hit streak to 10 games with his second home run of the year to knot the score at 1-1. One full inning later, UT claimed its first lead of the contest as Clay Van Hook (Brenham, Texas) started a two-out rally by reaching third base on a three-base throwing error. Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) then delivered a double to the right center field gap to plate Van Hook before Thomas Incaviglia (Monterey, Calif.) lined a single to center to plate Hudson and stake the Horns to a 3-1 advantage.
In the fifth, Texas upped its lead to 6-1 as Van Hook and Hudson each came up with a run-scoring singles after the Longhorns had loaded the bases on two hits and a walk with one out. Stanford, meanwhile, put at least one runner on base from the fourth inning on, but UT starter Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas) and reliever Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) kept the Cardinal off the board. Stubbs then hit a line drive to center field with one out in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on first that got by the center fielder and rolled all the way to the wall for an inside-the-park, two-run home run that made the score 8-1 in favor of UT. Of note, the inside-the-park home run marked the first for a UT player since Omar Quintanilla turned the trick against Arizona at Disch-Falk Field on March 9, 2003.
Down to their final three outs, the Cardinal then rallied in the top of the ninth. Stanford strung together five consecutive singles, including three infield base hits, to plate a pair of scores to open the frame before receiving a grand slam home run off the bat of Jed Lowrie to make it a one-run game. After John Mayberry, Jr. continued the rally with another infield single, Stewart came out of the UT bullpen and, after surrendering a bloop hit in between a pair of fielder's choices, struck out the fourth man he faced with the tying run on third and the go-ahead score at second to close out the win. While Stewart earned his first career save and McCulloch improved to 2-0 with a five-inning effort in which he allowed only one run on six hits and fanned three, Stanford starter Jeff Gilmore shouldered the loss.
Topping the Texas offense on the day was Stubbs, who notched his first multi-home run game of his career with a 2-for-4 outing in which he scored twice and drove in three runs, Incaviglia, who posted a pair of hits and one RBI, and the duo of Calvin Beamon (Aurora, Colo.) and Hudson, who each went 2-for-3 while combining for three runs scored and two RBI. Stanford's 17-hit attack, meanwhile, was paced by Lowrie, who drove in four of the Cardinals' six runs in the ninth with his second home run of the series, Adam Sorgi, who went 3-for-5 on the day, and Lewis, who tallied three hits while scoring two runs. Of additional note for Texas, Van Hook, who drove in two runs with a hit and scored once, extended his reaching base safely streak to 10 games and Incaviglia upped his current hit streak to eight games dating back to 2004.
The Longhorns and Cardinal conclude their three-game series at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. Central.