College Baseball Roundup

The Cardinal got off on the right foot in Pac-10 play last weekend with a key series win at Arizona State to open the conference schedule. This week's Roundup has an in-depth look at that series, recaps last weekend's Pac-10 action, plus has an updated "Super Sixteen" national poll.

Pac-10 Standings :

                  Conf. Overall

Arizona            2-1   21-8
Stanford           2-1   16-8
California         2-1   15-11
Washington         0-0   16-7
Oregon State       0-0   12-11
UCLA               0-0   14-14

Arizona State      1-2   32-5

USC                1-2   13-13

Washington State   1-2    6-18

Pac-10 play got underway last weekend with three series'.  The marquee series was, of course, Stanford at Arizona State and the Cardinal came away with two wins in three closely contested games.  In Tucson, the Arizona Wildcats took 2-of-3 games from the USC Trojans.  The Trojans rolled to a 12-2 win in the opener but the Wildcats came back to post 6-5 and 16-3 victories to win the series.  USC continues to play without numerous key pitchers including #1 starter Anthony Reyes, nevertheless, a good series win for the Wildcats.  In Berkeley, it was the Cal Bears winning 2-of-3 from the lowly Washington State Cougars.  The Bears are really struggling right now as they needed a late big inning to win the first game and then dropped a 5-4 decision in the series finale (Cal also lost a midweek game to Saint Mary's).  While the Bears still got the series win, they really could have used a sweep if they had any thoughts of challenging for the conference title as the schedule will get much tougher for them.  In non-conference action, all three Pac-10 teams won their respective series'.  UCLA posted a two-game home sweep over a good Wichita State team.  The Bruins continue to play well on weekends but have  struggled mightily in their midweek contests.  Oregon State went over .500 with a 2-of-3 series win versus UC Santa Barbara while Washington took 2-of-3 at UC Irvine.

A full slate of Pac-10 games this weekend headlined by Arizona State's visit to USC.  The Trojans are at .500 right now and could use a series win this weekend or else they fall in the danger of dropping way back in the Pac-10 title race.  ASU is looking for a bounce back effort after their series loss to Stanford last weekend.  The Cardinal welcome the hot Washington Huskies to town for a three-game set.  The Huskies have won 12-of-13 and will be opening their conference schedule this weekend.  Arizona heads out on the road as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins while Oregon State hosts California in a three-game set.  

Arizona State Series Recap/Notes :

A great weekend on the field for the Stanford Cardinal as they took 2-of-3 games from the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe.  The Cardinal were dealt a difficult 7-6 loss in 11 innings on Saturday night but came back in a big way to post 9-8 ( in 10 innings) and 4-2 victories to record the series win.  On Saturday, Stanford had a 5-0 lead after 5 1/2 innings but the Sun Devils scored three in the sixth and two in seventh to tie the game.  The Cardinal came back to score a run in the top of the eighth but ASU responded with a single run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game.  The Sun Devils' run that inning came home on an infield single when ASU's Travis Buck beat out a ground ball to second with the bases loaded.  A controversial safe call by the first base umpire was argued profusely by Mark Marquess and Tom Kunis to no avail as ASU tied the game.  In the top of the ninth, Sun Devils center fielder Ryan Bosch robbed Jonny Ash of a base hit as he made a diving catch in center field with John Mayberry, Jr. at third and two outs.  ASU won the game in the bottom of the 11th when with the bases loaded and two outs, Dennis Wyrick grounded a ball down the third base line off the glove of Jed Lowrie (it was scored a hit, but probably should have been an error) to score the winning run.

Stanford would bounce back though on Sunday as they jumped out to an 8-1 lead thanks in large part to the hitting of Sam Fuld and Brian Hall and the pitching of Ryan McCally.  ASU would again come back though as they scored four in the eighth and then Andre Either blasted a game-tying three-run homer off David O'Hagan in the bottom of the ninth.  Stanford though responded as they pushed across a run in the top of the 10th off ASU closer Ryan Schroyer (Schroyer had not allowed an earned run all season) when Fuld singled home pinch-runner Donny Lucy with two outs.  In the bottom of the tenth, reliever Kodiak Quick had to work out of a bases loaded, one out jam to secure the victory.

In the series finale, the Cardinal trailed 2-1 until Fuld tripled home Tobin Swope with two outs in the seventh inning.  Then with the game tied 2-2, Ryan Garko blasted a two-run home run to center field to give Stanford a 4-2 lead.  Freshman lefty Mark Romanczuk had a great game on the mound as he went distance yielding just two runs on five hits while not walking a batter.

A good weekend offensively for Stanford as they recorded 13 hits in every game of the series.  Sam Fuld remained hot with a 9-for-17 series including a 4-for-5 performance on Monday capped by the huge triple in the seventh inning.  Brian Hall in the #2 spot played well offensively the first two games of the series contributing six hits and six RBI while Ryan Garko had a huge game on Monday going 4-for-4 with the big home run in the eighth inning.  John Mayberry, Jr. saw his hitting streak come to an end at 16 games with an 0-for-4 performance on Monday.  Carlos Quentin didn't have a great weekend with the bat, but hit safely in all three games and now has the longest current hitting streak of any Stanford player at 12 games.  Tobin Swope had a good weekend in the #7 spot in the order as he went 2-for-4 in every game and played flawless defense at shortstop.

On the mound, it was a mixed bag for the Stanford Cardinal.  On Saturday, John Hudgins looked great for five innings tossing five scoreless frames to start the game until giving up three scores in sixth and another one in the seventh.  Kodiak Quick struggled in short relief on Saturday as the Sun Devils tied the game but then Matt Manship came in and shut the door.  Manship got out of the jam in the seventh, gave up the tough run in the eighth and then worked perfect 1-2-3 ninth and tenth innings.  He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the 11th, thanks in large part to his own throwing error on a bunt and was eventually charged with the loss.  Sunday starter Ryan McCally dominated for seven innings yielding just one run until giving up a two-run homer in the eighth which ended his day.  David O'Hagan looked as if he was going to shut the door in the ninth as he was just one out away until Ethier connected on the game-tying home run.  O'Hagan looked sharp in relief on Saturday, but didn't appear to have the same good stuff on Sunday and the Sun Devils made him pay.  With Stanford leading by one run heading into the bottom of the tenth, Coach Marquess gave the ball to Kodiak Quick and the freshman nailed down the save.  It certainly wasn't easy though as ASU loaded the bases with one out, but Quick came back to strike out #4 hitter Jeremy West and then got Steve Garrabrants to ground out to short to end the game.  It was a real gutsy effort on the part of Quick.  Monday was all Mark Romanczuk's game as he fired a five-hit complete game.  A real key for Romanczuk was that he didn't issue a walk the entire the game.

Stanford played this series without numerous key players.  Danny Putnam (.377, 4 HR, 19 RBI) didn't make the trip because of a bad leg.  It's not expected to sideline Putnam for very long.  It was thought that Chris Carter might make the trip, but the sophomore slugger stayed home.  Carter has yet to play in a game because of offseason shoulder surgery.  Pitchers Tim Cunningham and Billy Paganetti both made the trip and saw substantial bullpen work during games, but never saw any game action.

"Super Sixteen" Poll :

                       Record     Pvs.

1. Rice                 24-1       2
    * Owls move up to the top spot after a perfect 5-0 week including a weekend sweep of Liberty ... Rice has now won 21 straight games.

2. Georgia Tech         20-2       3
    * Jackets lost a midweek game to Auburn but came back to sweep Maryland over the weekend.

3. Cal State Fullerton  21-5       5
    * Titans also lost a midweek game (Loyola Marymount) but bounced back to sweep Northridge.

4. Stanford             16-8       6
    * Cardinal move up after impressive series win at Arizona State.

5. Florida State        25-4       1
    * Seminoles fall back after dropping 2-of-3 at unranked N.C. State.

6. Arizona State        32-5       4
    * Sun Devils drop a few spots after a 2-3 week which includes a series loss to Stanford.

7. Long Beach State     16-7       7
    * 49ers lost the only game they played last week (Pepperdine).

8. Baylor               21-6       9
    * Bears are playing well as they swept a good Oklahoma team at home.

9. Auburn               22-5      11
    * Tigers appear to be emerging as the top team in the SEC as they knocked off GT in a midweek game and then easily swept Kentucky over the weekend.

10. Mississippi State   17-3      16
    * Bulldogs make a big jump after an impressive sweep at Arkansas who was 18-2 heading into the weekend.

11. Nebraska            14-6      12
    * Huskers lost two midweek games to Rice and Sam Houston State but rebounded over the weekend to sweep Kansas State.

12. Alabama             18-5      10
    * Tide drop two spots after a 2-2 week which includes a series loss at Florida.

13. Richmond            18-2      15
    * Spiders with a perfect 5-0 week with their wins coming against Radford, Towson, and Temple.

14. Texas               19-10      8
    * Longhorns falling fast as they dropped a midweek game to SW Texas State and then lost 2-of-3 at Oklahoma State.

15. LSU                 16-7      NA
    * Tigers back in the poll after a three-game sweep at Georgia.

16. Clemson             17-3      NA
    * Tigers have won 14 consecutive games ... swept Maine over the weekend.

Dropped Out : Wake Forest (15-7, 2-2 last week), South Carolina (15-8, 1-3 last week)

Opponents Update :

Texas hasn't been playing particularly well lately as their record now stands at 19-10 after a series loss at Oklahoma State last weekend.  Florida State lost their first series of the year when they dropped 2-of-3 at up-and-coming N.C. State.  Cal State Fullerton continues to play well without their top two starting pitchers (suspension to their #1 and injury to their #2) as they swept lowly Cal State Northridge last weekend.  Fullerton has a tough test this weekend though as they travel to Long Beach to take on the 49ers in a matchup of top-five teams.

Baseball America Poll :

Stanford dropped one spot to #8 in this week's Baseball America poll.  The poll came out on Monday morning, so it was before the Cardinal won the series at Arizona State.  Baylor moved ahead of Stanford after their impressive sweep versus Oklahoma.  Arizona State remained at #3, Cal State Fullerton is at #4, while Texas fell to #12.  Rice remained in the top spot.  Two other Pac-10 teams made their debut in the rankings with Arizona checking in at #21 and Washington at #24.  No other Pac-10 team is ranked.  If Stanford can win at least 2-of-3 versus Washington this weekend, expect a big bump up for the Cardinal.

Up Next for Stanford :

The 8th ranked Cardinal host the 24th ranked Washington Huskies this weekend in a three-game series at Sunken Diamond.  Washington currently sits at 16-7 and has yet to play a conference game.  The Huskies had their 11-game winning streak snapped by UC Irvine last weekend, but still won the series and have been victorious in the 12 of their last 13 games.  A full series preview is coming soon.


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