SEATTLE – Ninth-ranked Washington scored twice in both the first and second innings and never looked back Saturday night at Husky Ballpark in a 7-2 win over visiting Stanford to assure the series victory over the Cardinal.
The Huskies (24-6-1, 12-2) pounded out 13 hits on the night and flashed some fancy leather on defense in winning for the 21st time in 23 games. The victory keeps the first-place Huskies two games ahead of Oregon State in the Pac-12 standings and gives them wins in each of their five Conference series this season.
The win also made starting pitcher Tyler Davis, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, the team’s first seven-game winner.
Davis, who was named to the Golden Spikes Mid-Season Watch List this week, wasn’t nearly as sharp as he had been over his previous six starts. He gave up a season-high tying seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, allowed two earned runs and walked a season-high two batters, but both the defense behind him and the Huskies’ potent offense picked him up.
Washington drew first blood in the first inning to give Davis a 2-0 advantage to work with. Braden Bishop led off with a single off starter Cal Quantrill (3-3) and then swapped places at first base with Andrew Ely after the Huskies’ second baseman bunted into a fielder’s choice.
Robert Pehl followed with his 12th double of the season to put runners at second and third. Brian Wolfe hit a single to center field to pick up his 23rd RBI of the year. Trevor Mitsui capped the scoring in the inning with a RBI double down the left field line.
The Huskies tacked on two more runs in the second inning to increase their lead to 4-0. Erik Forgione led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and then advanced to third on an errant pick-off attempt at second base. Ely took advantage of the error and laid down a safety-squeeze bunt to score Forgione from third.
UW wasn’t done in the inning though. With two outs, Pehl singled and Wolfe crushed a ball to the right-center gap that scored Pehl.
Stanford answered with a run in the top of the third inning, but centerfielder Bishop made his second sensational home run-stealing catch of the season to keep the Cardinal off the board with additional runs.
With Wayne Taylor on third base and one down, Cardinal lead-off hitter Alex Blandino hit a shot to the left-center gap that Bishop tracked to the wall and leaped up and snagged right before it sailed over the yellow line at the top of the fence. Instead of a two-run homer, the Cardinal had to settle for a sacrifice fly that made the score 4-1.
An inning later, the Huskies’ defense once again kept Stanford from putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard. The Cardinal cut the Huskies’ lead in half, 4-2, after four singles pushed a run across the board. But, with the bases loaded and two outs, Ely made a diving stop of a Drew Jackson smash that was headed through the hole between first and second. Ely gathered himself and threw out Jackson at first to end the threat.
Washington increased its lead to three runs in the fifth inning when with Wolfe, who reached after his third hit of the game, on third and Branden Berry on second, Quantrill unleashed a wild pitch. Wolfe scored easily and Berry tried to also sneak in all the way from second, but was out on a play at the plate.
The Huskies added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on an Alex Schmidt two-run double. Pehl collected his third hit of the game to lead off the inning and Wolfe sacrificed pinch-runner Jack Meggs over to second base. Berry was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second and both advanced a base on a wild pitch. Schmidt made the Cardinal pay with a drive to the left-field corner that scored both Meggs and Berry.
Besides Pehl and Wolfe’s three-hit nights, Forgione and Bishop recorded multi-hit nights for the Huskies with two hits each.
The Huskies go for the sweep Sunday at Husky Ballpark with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. PT. Washington will send right-hander Jeff Brigham (4-0, 1.77) to the mound.
#9 Washington 7, Stanford 2
STAN 001 100 000 –- 2 10 1
WASH 220 010 20x –- 7 13 1
Tyler Davis, Trevor Dunlap (6), Troy Rallings (9) and Austin Rei. Cal Quantrill, Chris Castellanos (6), Sam Lindquist (7) and Wayne Taylor. W – Davis (7-1). L – Quantrill (3-3). Sv – none. HR – none. 3B – none. 2B – STAN, Zach Hoffpauir, Wayne Taylor, Brett Michael Doran; UW, Robert Pehl, Trevor Mitsui, Brian Wolfe, Alex Schmidt. Time – 2:47. Attendance – 1,585.