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Stanford routs Illinois to move on in college baseball playoffs

Ben-clowe_350 Apparently Ben Clowe did not want to play baseball Monday. So, to be sure he could have the day off, the Stanford designated hitter doubled Illinois’ offensive output in the Cardinal's 14-2 victory over the Illini in the NCAA regional final Sunday.

Clowe hit a pair of two-run homers and added two doubles while scoring three times.

“I don’t think I’ve hit two home runs in a game since I’ve been in college,” said Clowe, a senior. “It’s nice as my career is winding down to contribute like this.”

Cardinal second baseman Lonnie Kauppila and right fielder Austin Wilson each added three hits and three RBIs in the rout. Wilson joined Clowe in the home run derby with a two-run shot of his own.

“I thought we came down here and played very well," Stanford Coach Mark Marquess said. “We’re really playing our best baseball now, a great three days for us.”

In many ways, Stanford pitcher Danny Sandbrink rendered the 12-run onslaught largely unnecessary. Sandbrink threw seven innings, scattering eight hits while striking out six and giving up the two runs.

Stanford will face North Carolina in the NCAA super regional, a best-of-three series beginning Friday.

-- Douglas Farmer

Photo: Stanford's Ben Clowe (29) is congratulated by teammate Jake Stewart after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against Illinois on Sunday night. Credit: Jake Roth / US Presswire

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