Descalso's Heroics Send Cards to NLCS

St. Louis Cardinals' Daniel Descalso watches his solo home run in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the National League division baseball series against the Washington Nationals on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in Washington.

Oct. 12, 2012

Highlights: Game-tying single | Homerun | Postgame Interview | Photo Gallery

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former UC Davis standout Daniel Descalso provided the heroics for St. Louis on Friday night, delivering a game-tying, two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Cardinals battled back to beat the Washington Nationals 9-7 in decisive Game 5 of their National League Division Series.

Descalso, who was drafted in third round of the 2007 MLB Draft after starring for the Aggies, finished 3-for-5 with 3 RBI's and three runs scored as the defending World Champions battled back from an early six-run deficit. Besides his heroic single, which bounced off the glove of Nationals shortstop Ian Desmon, Descalso doubled in the fifth inning and homered to lead off the eighth.

But it was his sharp single that bounded into center field that was the biggest hit of the game as St. Louis scored four times in the ninth to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead. 

"We knew we had a lot of game left after they scored six. Nobody went up there trying to hit a six-run homer," Descalso told the Associated Press after the game. "We needed to scratch and claw and get ourselves back in the game."

Trailing by six runs, St. Louis scored once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and had single runs in the seventh and eighth innings - the latter coming on Descalso's homer to right field - before staging its dramatic rally.

For his efforts, TBS named Descalso the Chevrolet Player of the Game. His performance also helped send the Cardinals into the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants beginning Sunday.