Feb. 22, 2009
PALO ALTO, Calif. --- Vanderbilt split a doubleheader with No. 5 Stanford today, winning 12-9 in the opener, before losing 6-5 in the nightcap as the Cardinal rallied for three runs in the eighth to take the series.
Vanderbilt dropped to 1-2 on the year with one game remaining on its West Coast trip against Cal either tomorrow or Monday at 1 p.m. weather permitting.
For the second straight day, the Commodores jumped out to a huge lead, this time by a 12-1 advantage. The Cardinal (2-1) broke through with seven runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to make it 12-9 before Russell Brewer struck out Kellen Kiilsgaard to end the game.
VU starter Caleb Cotham (1-0) shackled Stanford, allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and a walk.
"We really wanted to go in and establish the fastball and get ahead in the count early," said Cotham. "I stuck with it and really didn't throw too many off-speed pitches."
Vanderbilt jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run single by Brian Harris. The Dores added two more in the fourth with Steven Liddle's RBI double the big hit in the inning.
Jason Esposito's first collegiate homer came in the fifth, a grand-slam shot to straight away centerfield to make it 6-0. VU added another run in the frame on a squeeze bunt single by Riley Reynolds.
Kiilsgaard homered in the fifth to put Stanford on the board at 9-1.
Curt Casali's solo homer in the sixth pushed the lead to 10-1. Brian Harris added a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 12-1 and Vanderbilt appeared to be cruising to a win.
Freshman pitcher Jack Armstrong had some control issues in the bottom of the eighth, giving up seven runs on three hits with three walks, two hit by pitches and two wild pitches. Drew Hayes came on with two outs and runners and first and second and got Brian Moon to strikeout to end the threat.
After striking Mike Garza out swinging to start the ninth, Hayes walked Kellen McColl and Joey August. Russell Brewer came on and induced Christian Griffiths to ground into a force out, eliminating August at second. Jonathan Kaskow hit a bloop RBI single to left to score McColl and make it 12-9 with the tying run at the plate in Kiilsgard. Brewer struck him out looking to pick up his first save of the year and ninth of his career.
Brian Harris and Jason Esposito both had three hits and four RBI in the game with Jonathan White adding three hits of his own to lead the 17 hit attack.
For the first time in the series, Stanford scored the first run of the game in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Zach Jones' RBI grounder in the third gave SU a 1-0 lead.
Curt Casali homered for the second time on the day; a solo shot in the fourth, tie the game at 1-1. Aaron Westlake singled up the middle and moved to second on a single by Jason Esposito before scoring on a throwing error by Max Fearnow to make it 2-1.
Stanford tied the game in the bottom half on a RBI single by Colin Walsh that scored Brent Milleville who had singled and stole second earlier in the frame.
VU came right back in the fifth scoring two runs to take a 4-2 lead. Alex Hilliard led off with a walk and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single by Jonathan White. White advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a sac bunt by Riley Reynolds. He then stole home to make it 4-2.
The Cardinal cut the lead to one in the sixth, courtesy of a RBI double by Milleville.
Nick Christiani gave up three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and just one walk in six innings of action.
Jason Esposito singled with two outs in the eighth, stole second and then scored on a RBI double to right-center by Steven Liddle to make it 5-3.
Taylor Hill relieved Christiani to start the seventh and was sharp recording a 1-2-3 inning. He recorded an out in the eighth before Toby Gerhart singled through the left side. Joey August then reached on a pop fly to left that Matt Marquis misjudged and dropped allowing runners on first and second. Sean Bierman came on in relief and walked Christian Griffiths to load the bases. Russell Brewer then came on to try and get his second save of the day and promptly struck out Brett Milleville for the second out of the inning. Colin Walsh then doubled to left-center to score two runs to tie the game. A third run came in as well due to an errant throw from centerfielder Alex Hilliard into short.
Stanford ace reliever Drew Storen (1-0), who came on in the seventh, closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the win.
Aaron Westlake and Jason Esposito both had two hits to lead the Commodores in the nightcap.
Vanderbilt 002 251 200 -12 17 1
Stanford 000 010 071 -9 7 0
Cotham, Armstrong (8), Hayes (8), Brewer (9) and Giobbi. Sandbrink, Snodgress (4), Marshall (5), Thompson (6), Hancock (8), Schwartz (9) and Clowe, Griffiths. W- Cotham 1-0, L- Sandbrink 0-1. Sv- Brewer (1). HR: VU: Harris (1), Casali (1), Esposito (1). SU: Kiilsgaard (1).
Vanderbilt 000 220 010 -5 8 3
Stanford 001 101 030 -6 8 2
Christiani, Hill (7), Bierman (8), Brewer (8) and Giobbi. Pernow, Mooneyham (5), Storen (7) and Jones. W- Storen 1-0, L- Bierman 0-1. Sv- None. HR: VU: Casali (2)