Stan-UT: Instant Classic

By Glenn Tanner - February 18, 2007

Getting paid to watch this game almost feels like stealing money.

Stanford scored four ninth-inning runs, then got a huge defensive play to hold off a Texas rally and collected a much-needed 10-8 win.

Tied 5-5 in the seventh, Stanford had a prime opportunity to take the lead. But with the bases loaded and only one out, Texas closer Randy Boone came on and induced a comebacker that he turned into a 1-2-3 double play.

In the eighth, however, Cardinal centerfielder Sean Ratliff broke the tie with a solo homer that was an absolute bomb. We don't have Tale of the Tape here, so take a look at this picture:


It's a little over 400 feet to center, and Ratliff's missile landed over halfway up on the roof of that building behind the wall.

Unfortunately for Stanford, Texas quickly tied the game thanks to two guys who killed the Cardinal today. Jordan Danks led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored his fourth run of the game when Preston Clark followed with a double for his third RBI. Blake Hancock came out of the bullpen to pitch the Cardinal out of further trouble.

Stanford answered in the top of the ninth. With one out, a Jason Castro walk and a Cord Phelps double put two runners in scoring position. After an intentional walk, both scored on Brendan Domaracki's single, and the Cardinal led 8-6. Ryan Seawell and Brent Milleville each plated what proved to be important insurance runs with singles.

But like they always seem to do, Texas made it very interesting in the ninth. Brett Lewis led off with a double that hit third base and Chance Wheeless followed with a homer to make it 10-8. A Stanford error brought the tying run to the plate with none out, and a Nick Peoples single brought the winning run to the plate.

Stanford answered with the biggest defensive play of the weekend. Danks yanked a line drive that looked like extra bases, but Stanford first baseman Brent Milleville made an instinctive dive to his left. The ball landed in his glove and Milleville landed on the bag for an unassisted double play. Max Fearnow then struck out Clark to end it.

Whew! What a game!

Texas actually out-hit Stanford 17-15 today, but Stanford also benefited from four walks and six HBP's. Danks, Clark, and Lewis each had three hits for the Horns.

The top of the order did the damage for Stanford today. Numbers one through four in the lineup (Seawell, Ratliff, Taylor, and Milleville) combined for 10 hits and 8 RBI.

Texas drops to 6-5 with the loss. The Longhorns will make their Disch-Falk Field debut Tuesday when they host neighbor Texas State. Then another Pac-10 team, Washington State, will make the weekend visit to Austin.

Stanford's record moves to 3-5, and their upcoming slate looks favorable for getting their heads above .500. Their next seven games are at home and they won't leave the state of California again until April. San Francisco visits Sunken Diamond for a single game Tuesday, and Kansas comes in for the weekend.

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 05:56 PM on February 18, 2007

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