Baseball Records Huge Series Win At ASU

The Stanford Cardinal began the Pac-10 season with a bang as they picked up a 4-2 win over the third ranked Arizona State Sun Devils on Monday to get the series win. Mark Romanczuk fired a five-hit complete game while Ryan Garko and Sam Fuld were the stars at the plate. Read on for a complete recap.

The 8th ranked Stanford Cardinal baseball team picked up a huge series win today with a 4-2 victory over the third ranked Arizona State Sun Devils at Packard Stadium in Tempe.  Ryan Garko blasted a two-run homer to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning while freshman pitcher Mark Romanczuk fired a complete game five-hitter.  With the win, Stanford improves to 16-8 on the year, 2-1 in Pac-10 play.

It looked as if the Card would jump on the Sun Devils early as Sam Fuld led off the game with a single and then two batters later, Ryan Garko singled.  But with runners on the corners and two outs, John Mayberry, Jr. fouled out to the catcher to end the inning.  Mark Romanczuk looked good early on putting up two quick zeros in the first and second innings.  He gave up just one hit during that stretch while recording one strikeout.

Stanford broke through off ASU starter Ben Thurmond in the third with a single run to take an early lead.  Fuld got things started with a leadoff triple to right center field.  But it looked as if Fuld was going to be stranded at third as Brian Hall popped out and Carlos Quentin struck out and all of a sudden there were two down.  Ryan Garko though came through with the clutch hit singling to right field scoring Fuld for the 1-0 lead.

Romanczuk went back out in the bottom of the third and threw a quick 1-2-3 inning, but then ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth.  He hit Dennis Wyrick with a pitch to lead off the inning and then a wild pitch advanced Wyrick to second.  With two outs and Wyrick at third, ASU #5 hitter Andre Either doubled down the right field line easily scoring Wyrick to tie the game at 1-1.  The Sun Devils then went ahead with a run in the bottom of the fifth.  With one out, Rod Allen tripled to left center field and he would score when the next hitter, Tuffy Gosewisch, filed out to right field.

The Cardinal had base runners every inning in the middle frames against Thurmond but were never able to push across any runs.  In the fourth inning with Jonny Ash at third base and one out, Jed Lowrie struck out and then Chris Lewis grounded out to end the threat.  Fuld singled to lead off the fifth but was quickly erased when Hall grounded into a double play.  In the sixth, Garko led off with a single, but didn't come home to score.  Finally in the seventh, Stanford got that clutch hit to tie the ballgame.  Tobin Swope led off with a double down the left field line.  Lowrie then had a nice at-bat as he moved Swope to third with a ground out to second.  But Lewis struck out and once again it appeared Stanford was going to come up empty.  But Sam Fuld continued his hot hitting ripping a triple off the base of the wall down the right field line to score Lewis which tied the game at 2-2.  Fuld would be stranded at third when Hall grounded out to end the inning.

At this point, Romanczuk was in cruise control on the mound.  The freshman southpaw worked perfect 1-2-3 sixth and seventh innings throwing just 19 pitches in the process.  With the game still tied 2-2 heading into the eighth, the Cardinal went ahead for good thanks to huge two-run homer.  With new relief pitcher Mark Sopko in the game, Carlos Quentin began the inning with a single and then senior catcher Ryan Garko crushed a deep home run to center field to put Stanford in front 4-2.  It was the Cardinal's first home run of the series and Garko's team-leading fifth of the year.

Romanczuk went back out in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a two-out single to Wyrick (which snapped a string of nine consecutive batters that he had retired), but got ASU's leading home run hitter Jeff Larish to pop out to Garko behind the plate to end the inning.  The bottom of the ninth was no problem for Romanczuk as he continued his dominance of the Sun Devils hitters firing a perfect 1-2-3 frame striking out the final two batters to seal the victory.

Game Notes:
* Romanczuk's final line : 9 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO.  He's now 6-0 on the year with a 3.21 ERA.  

* It was the Ryan Garko and Sam Fuld show at the plate today for the Cardinal.  Garko went 4-for-4 with the big two-run homer in the eighth while Fuld finished 4-for-5 with the huge triple that tied the game in the seventh inning.

* John Mayberry, Jr. saw his hitting streak come to an end at 16 games with an 0-for-4 performance this afternoon.  Carlos Quentin and Sam Fuld extended their hitting streaks to 12 and eight games respectively.

* Fuld has been on fire as in his last eight games he's hitting at a .538 clip (21-for-39).  He went 8-for-11 over the final two games of this series to raise his average to .330.

* Stanford pitchers did a great job all weekend containing ASU slugger Jeff Larish.  Larish came into the weekend with an average above .400, 11 homers and an amazing 58 RBI.  But he only went 1-for-13 in the series including an 0-for-4 game today.

* This was Stanford's fifth consecutive series win and the first series loss of the season for ASU.  The Sun Devils had only three losses in their first 34 games prior to losing 2-of-3 this weekend to the Cardinal.

Stanford       0 0 1  0 0 0  1 2 0    -    4  13   0
Arizona State  0 0 0  1 1 0  0 0 0    -    2   5   1

WP: Mark Romanczuk (6-0)
LP: Mark Sopko (2-3)

HR: Ryan Garko (5th)

Records: #8 Stanford (16-8, 2-1), #3 Arizona State (32-5, 1-2)

* The Cardinal will next be in action this weekend when they welcome the 24th ranked Washington Huskies to Sunken Diamond for a three-game series.  Friday's contest begins at 6:00pm while the games on Saturday and Sunday start at 1:00pm.  

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