June 18, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Sean Ratliff homered and Cord Phelps tripled in Stanford's four-run fifth inning, and the Cardinal ousted top-seeded Miami from the College World Series with an 8-3 victory Wednesday night.
The Cardinal (41-23-2) advanced to the Bracket 1 finals against Georgia, needing to beat the Bulldogs twice to return to the best-of-three championship round for the second time since 2003.
Starter Danny Sandbrink and reliever Erik Davis held the potent offense of Miami (53-11) in check. The Hurricanes failed to join the 1999 squad as the only No. 1 national seeds to win the College World Series.
Miami, ranked No. 1 for most of the second half of the season, has been eliminated in three games in each of its four CWS appearances since 2003.
Phelps collected three of Stanford's 11 hits and drove in two runs. He had a single and double to go with his triple and missed out on hitting for the cycle when he flied out to short right in the seventh inning.
After Miami's first two batters reached base on singles, Sandbrink and Davis combined to hold Miami without a hit until the sixth inning.
Davis (8-3), sent to the bullpen for the CWS after struggling as a starter late in the year, shut down a Hurricanes threat when he entered in the fifth. After Sandbrink issued a leadoff walk, Davis walked his first batter to put two runners on.
But he got Jemile Weeks to foul out trying to bunt and struck out Miami's top sluggers, Yonder Alonso and Mark Sobolewski.
For Alonso, the No. 7 pick in the draft by the Cincinnati Reds, it marked the first time since March 2007 that he struck out three times in a game.
Davis worked out of trouble again in the eighth after giving up three straight singles to open the inning. Jason Hagerty's sacrifice fly pulled Miami within five runs, but the Hurricanes would get no more as Davis struck out Yasmani Grandal and Blake Tekotte.
Drew Storen took over for Davis with no outs in the ninth after Weeks walked and Alonso doubled. He got Sobolewski to pop out and struck out Ryan Jackson, then got the last out when he snagged Adan Severino's hard liner.
The Cardinal took a 2-1 lead in the third on Randy Molina's sacrifice fly and added another run in the fourth before breaking things open in the fifth.
Ratliff's 22nd homer of the season and fourth in 10 NCAA tournament games ended Miami starter Enrique Garcia's night after 4 1-3 innings. Garcia (7-3) had worked at least five innings in eight of his nine previous starts, but was tagged for five runs on eight hits - the last being Ratliff's high fly into the stands in right-center.
Toby Gerhart reached on Sobolewski's error at third and Jake Schlander singled before Phelps sent a pitch from Anthony Nalepa into deep center for a two-run triple.
Davis, a 13th-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres, earned a measure of redemption with his performance. He had been a starter in all 16 of his appearances before the CWS but landed in the bullpen after three straight poor outings. He had allowed 11 earned runs in his previous 13 innings coming into Omaha, and pitched an inning of relief against Florida State on Saturday and allowed a run on two hits.
In his four innings against Miami, Davis gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out six.
Sandbrink, a freshman, allowed two hits and a run in the sixth start of his career.