June 19, 2008


Stanford eliminates No. 1 Miami

Cardinal uses balanced offense to defeat Hurricanes

Cardinal Rule

Downgraded Hurricanes

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – It was balanced offense.


Every starter either scored or drove in a run as Stanford defeated No. 1 Miami 8-3 Wednesday in front of 22,774 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium to eliminate the Hurricanes from the 2008 College World Series.


Stanford (41-23-2) must beat No. 8 Georgia on Friday at 2 p.m. ET and again on Saturday to advance to the Championship Series. Miami finished its season 53-11.


The Cardinal had seven different players score and six different players knock in a run. Leadoff hitter Cord Phelps went 3 for 4 with a run and two RBI and needed a home run to hit for the cycle. He singled in the first, doubled and scored in the third and had a two-run triple to cap a four-run fifth.


“I knew in the back of my mind that I was a home run away from the cycle,” Phelps said, “but in baseball, when you think about something like that it never happens. That last at-bat, I was just trying to get on base and keep it rolling. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but it was a good night.”


Sean Ratliff had a two-run homer earlier in the fifth for Stanford, his 22nd.


“He threw the first pitch for a ball and I saw it really well out of his hand,” Ratliff said. “I thought he was either going to come with a fastball in or he was going to try to throw that split and get me to chase. I saw it out of his hand really good and he left it up over the middle of the plate, something I could get extended on and I put a good swing on it.”


“The key for us was our offense,” said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. “I thought we got some big hits. When you get here, everybody’s playing well. That means they’re winning the big spot with the pitch, getting the big hit at the right time. We weren’t able to do that the other night against Georgia and Georgia was able to do that and they won. Tonight we got a couple big hits with guys on base. Ratliff’s [two-run homer] was big.  Cord Phelps battled and got a big two-run triple. We won the big spots tonight against a very strong University of Miami team.”


Miami got on the board in the top of the first as Blake Tekotte led off with an infield hit to the shortstop. He stole second, moved to third on a bunt single by Jemile Weeks and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Sobolewski to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. Stanford starter Danny Sandbrink was able to work out of trouble and strand Weeks at third.


Stanford rallied in the third. Phelps started the uprising with a double to left. He moved to third on a base hit by Joey August and came home on a single by Jason Castro. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Brent Milleville and August scored on Randy Molina’s sacrifice fly to give the Cardinal a 2-1 advantage.


The Cardinal added a run in the fourth as Zach Jones drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a fielder’s choice and scored on a two-out single by August to stretch the lead to 3-1. The four-run fifth pushed the lead to 7-1. Toby Gerhart’s RBI double in the sixth made it an 8-1 contest.


The Hurricanes added a run in the seventh on Yasmani Grandal’s seventh home run and Ryan Jackson singled and scored in the eighth to make it an 8-3 game.


Miami had runners on in every inning. The Hurricanes hit 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and 5 for 21 with runners on base. Miami stranded 12, including two in each of the final three innings.


“I want to congratulate Stanford on the win,” said Miami head coach Jim Morris. “They outplayed us tonight. They outplayed us in every phase of the game: pitching, defense and hitting. They played a very solid game. We didn’t get it done. We left too many guys on base. We had some opportunities.”


Sandbrink went four innings for Stanford with two hits, one run, three walks and three strikeouts. Erik Davis (8-3) took the mound in the fifth and also pitched four innings with seven hits, two runs, two walks and six strikeouts. Drew Storen recorded the final three outs in the ninth to secure the win.


“Maybe not my best statistics-wise but one of my biggest, team-wise,” Davis said. “Danny Sandbrink, myself, Drew, we held a very good offense in check for most of the game. Today, all three of us did a very good job of keeping them off-balance and not allowing them to get that big inning.”