Washington Preview

After a huge series victory in Tempe over the Sun Devils last weekend, the Cardinal get only three days to savor the victory and prepare for the red hot Washington Huskies, who have won 14 of 15. The Huskies took 2 of 3 from Stanford last year in Seattle, and the Cardinal will try to exact revenge this weekend at Sunken Diamond, where they have lost just three games this season. Read on for the series preview.

#24 Washington (18-7, 0-0 Pac-10) vs. #8 Stanford (16-8, 2-1 Pac-10) 

Friday:  6:00 PM

Saturday: 1:00 PM

Sunday: 1:00 PM 

All games will be played at Sunken Diamond and all times are Pacific. 

While Spring Break in Tempe, Arizona treated the Stanford Cardinal well, three games at the friendly confines of Sunken Diamond are much appreciated. While ASU may be the toughest team that the Cardinal will play for the rest of the year, the schedule does not get a whole lot easier as Washington comes to town. The Huskies don't have the gaudy record or the national recognition that the Sun Devils have, but they are getting the respect they deserve after winning 14 of 15. 

Last year, the Cardinal went to Seattle and were handed their first series loss of the year. Losing a close game 1 to Washington after Jeremy Guthrie left with arm stiffness, the Card bounced back to win game 2 and led in game 3, but the Huskies battled back to win the game and the series. UW qualified for NCAA Tournament play and almost knocked off Rice on route to a Super Regional, pushing the Owls to a 2nd Regional Championship Game. Ken Knutson's squads are typically quite competitive with the more southern teams in the conference, despite basing in Seattle. 

The series is the first of nine consecutive Pac-10 games Stanford will play against the Northwest schools. The Cardinal take on Washington at Sunken this weekend, travel to Washington St. next weekend (with a midweek game against USF on Tuesday the first in between), play two games with Sacramento St. the following weekend before returning home to take on Oregon St. Until 1999, Washington, Washington St. and Oregon St. joined Portland St. in the Nor-Pac, playing a separate conference schedule from the Six-Pac teams in the south. With the advent of the modern Pac-10 for baseball, Stanford now plays Washington and the other NW teams in one series each year.  

STANFORD  

Shaking off the rust of the 12-day layoff last Saturday, the Cardinal squandered a five run lead and eventually lost 7-6. While they blew a seven run lead on Sunday, Stanford did win the final two games against the Sun Devils in dramatic fashion. The offensive produced all weekend, despite only one home run. The Card had 13 hits in each game, scoring a very respectable 19 runs against a pitching staff that came into the series with a 3.06 ERA. Pitching, as Joe mentioned in his College Baseball Roundup, was up and down with Hudgins performing in so-so fashion, the bullpen incredible at times and suspect at others, and McCally and Romanczuk throwing very well. Romanczuk's 9 inning masterpiece in which he walked 0 batters and gave up only 5 hits was simply amazing, and makes it very difficult for Mark Marquess to take the young lefty out of the rotation, even though Tim Cunningham is healthy. 

If Stanford can get some at-bats out of either Danny Putnam or Chris Carter (or both) this weekend, they figure to look even better offensively. Putnam is Stanford's leading hitter at .377 and has 4 HR, while Carter hasn't played all year but is very close to coming back. Getting one or both lefties back would be additionally advantageous as Washington is slated to start three righties. The Card brought just 12 position players to Tempe and I am sure that Mark Marquess would love some additional flexibility this weekend. Sam Fuld is scorching hot after a 9-hit weekend, including 4-5 on Monday with 2 3B. Ryan Garko struggled early against ASU but responded with a 4-4 day on Monday, hitting the game winning homer. The bottom half of the lineup also contributed this past weekend, with Tobin Swope and Jed Lowrie turning in nice offensive performances.

The bullpen is starting to solidify. Despite his outing on Sunday, David O'Hagan has been a pleasant surprise for Stanford, leading the team in appearances with 9 and striking out 25 in 18 innings. Matt Manship and Kodiak Quick are parlaying early season appearances into mid-season experience in their freshman year, and whichever lefty doesn't start for Stanford (either Romanczuk or Cunningham) will be a valuable arm out of the pen. 

Probable Starting Lineup: 

  • C Ryan Garko (.330, 5 HR, 28 RBI)

Garko was silent in the first two games of the ASU series, going 0-9 with 5 Ks. He entered the series with only 4 Ks in 2003. However, he exploded on Monday going 4-4 with the game winning 2-run homer in the 8th. Garko's defense has been much improved this year, especially blocking balls in the dirt.  

  • 1B John Mayberry, Jr. (.350, 3 HR, 18 RBI)

Junior's 16 game hitting streak came to an end on Monday went he went hitless in a game for only the second time all year. He hit his team leading 6th triple on Saturday night; the Stanford single season record is 10. Third leading hitter on the team and he is making the team better defensively with his huge reach at 1B. 

  • 2B Chris Lewis (.185, 1 HR, 10 RBI)

Lewis struggled mightily with the bat in the ASU series, going only 1-11 with a 2B. However, while he is hitting .185, his on-base percentage is .348, as Lewis is second on the team in walks with 11. Good range at 2B and made some nice defensive plays this weekend. 

  • SS Tobin Swope (.344, 0 HR, 9 RBI)

Swope continues to shine on both sides of the ball. His defense has certainly been underrated but Swope makes the routine plays and has good range in the field. It wasn't discussed much, but Swope's play for the last out of the Sunday game wasn't an easy play from deep in the hole. He also had some key hits in the series, going 6-12 with 2 RBI. His 7th inning leadoff 2B paved the way for Stanford's comeback victory on Monday afternoon. 

  • 3B Jonny Ash (.227, 4 HR, 16 RBI)

Ash has started 4 out of the last 5 at 3B and looks to be comfortable with the shift across the diamond. 2-9 against ASU. Defensively has a good arm and at this point looks to be more comfortable at 3B than Jed Lowrie. 

  • LF Brian Hall (.317, 3 HR, 21 RBI)

Hall was Stanford's hottest hitter early in the ASU series, with 6 hits in his first 8 AB and 6 RBI. However, he proceeded to go 0-9 after his first two AB on Sunday. His 7 game hit streak was snapped on Monday. Still, a good series for Hall as his play in out in LF saved several extra base hits. It has become a huge advantage for Stanford to have Hall, who is essentially a true infielder, out in LF.  

  • CF Sam Fuld (.333, 1 HR, 12 RBI)

To think only a few weeks ago Sam was hitting .217. The hottest Stanford hitter right now, Fuld went 9-17 in the series against ASU, putting up back-to-back four-hit games. His 3-2, 2 out 3B in the 7th inning on Monday tied the game; certainly one of the most clutch hits of the year. Fuld has an 8 game hit streak in which he is hitting .538 and is now second on Stanford's career batting average list (.361). 

  • RF Carlos Quentin (.352, 1 HR, 13 RBI)

Not a great series at ASU for Quentin, but he did have a hit in each of the three games to extend his hit streak to a career long 12 games. Has hit Washington well in his career: a lifetime .423 mark against the Huskies. Quentin has been on base for the Cardinal almost half of the time, as his OBP rests at an impressive .487. 

  • DH Danny Putnam (.377, 4 HR, 19 RBI) or DH Jed Lowrie (.277, 0 HR, 6 RBI)

If Putnam is healthy, he will start at DH,otherwise Lowrie will slip back into the spot he filled against ASU. Putnam did not make the trip to Tempe because of an injured leg, and hopes to return either this week or the next. Lowrie had 4 hits in 14 AB against ASU, including a big one out single in the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon.  

Stanford Probable Pitching Rotation: 

Friday:

  • RHP John Hudgins (4-1, 3.63 ERA, 8 GS, 9 BB, 56 K, 57 IP)

Last outing: ND, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

Hudgins has clearly been Stanford's most consistent starter, as the junior righty has gone 6 innings in each of his 8 starts. Was dominant early last Saturday, firing five scoreless to start the game before giving up three runs in the sixth. Hudgins is averaging almost a strikeout per inning and had his highest walk total to date last week against ASU, walking 3. His control has been incredible this year. 

Saturday:

  • RHP Ryan McCally (3-1, 4.05 ERA, 8 G, 7 GS, 12 BB, 28 K, 46.2 IP)

    Last Outing: ND, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K

McCally really should be 4-1 after a great outing last week, leaving the game with an 8-3 lead in the 8th inning. He pitched very well against the Sun Devils, allowing only one run through 7 innings. He gave up a HR to Steve Garrabrants on the last pitch he threw, but he didn't go long last week, throwing only 88 pitches. He should be fine coming back on one day's less rest. 

Sunday:

  • LHP Mark Romanczuk (6-0, 3.21 ERA, 9 G, 3 GS, 2 S, 14 BB, 30 K, 33.2 IP)

    Last Outing: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Romanczuk turned in probably the best performance of the year by any Stanford pitcher on Monday, dominating the Sun Devils in a complete game effort. In what was by far his longest outing, Romanczuk did not walk a better and seemed to almost get stronger as the game went on, allowing just one hit in the last four innings. While Tim Cunningham is back from injury, how do you displace Romanczuk who is Stanford's winningest pitcher this season? 

Bullpen:

  • RHP David O'Hagan
  • RHP Matt Manship
  • RHP Kodiak Quick
  • LHP Tim Cunningham
  • RHP Billy Paganetti
  • RHP Jonny Dyer
 

WASHINGTON 

The preseason Pac-10 coaches poll did not give a lot of respect to Washington. The Huskies were expected to finish behind the Cardinal, USC, ASU, and Cal. However, along with Arizona, Washington has performed above expectations. Over their last 15 games, Washington is 14-1 and has outscored opponents by a total of 130-54. They won 11 in a row at one point, sweeping Washington St., Oregon St. (2 games), Cal St. Northridge, winning 2 of 3 against UC-Irvine St., and sweeping a 2 game series from Portland. Clearly, Washington's schedule has not been as demanding as the Cardinal's, but they have taken care of business and have earned a spot in the Baseball America top 25, breaking in this week at #24. 

Washington has some veteran experience in their lineup and pitching staff. Tila Reynolds returns for his senior season and has hit .333 through 25 games. Aaron Hathaway is back for his sophomore season behind the plate, and looks to improve on his numbers against the Cardinal from last season: 6-11, 6 RBI. Hathaway is the leading hitter amongst regulars for the Huskies coming into the series with a .342 batting average. Sophomore Kyle Larsen and Junior transfer Chad Boudon have been the big power hitters for Washington, each hitting 7 HR so far this season.  

On the hill, the Huskies lose All-Pac-10 starter Shawn Kohn from their 2002 staff, but Sean White returns to anchor the staff in 2003. The senior righty has been ok this year, with a 3-3 record and a 5.18 ERA, but is coming off 7 shutout innings against UC-Irvine and has won 3 in a row. Washington will start two junior righties in games 2 and 3, Jeff Petersen and Trevor Gibson. Both threw primarily out of the bullpen last season. 

Ken Knutson is the Washington Head Coach in his 11th year, posting an overall mark of 365-242-1.  

Key Losses:

  • RHP Shawn Kohn
  • OF Tyler Davidson
  • OF Jay Garthwaite
 

 

Probable Starting Lineup: 

  • C Aaron Hathaway (So., R/R, 6'0", 185)

    2003: .342, 1 HR, 7 RBI.

Hathaway was a first team Freshman All-American last year (Collegiate Baseball) and has started off the 2003 season leading the Huskies offensively. A very good defensive catcher, Hathaway threw out 11 of the last 21 runners attempting to steal against him last season and has thrown out 9 of 17 this year. A great series against Stanford in 2002: 6-11 with a HR. If he doesn't catch, will DH for Washington. 

  • 1B Kyle Larsen (So., L/L, 6'5", 245)

    2003: .278, 7 HR, 18 RBI.

The big 1B for the Huskies has already topped his 2002 mark in homers, blasting 7 to start the season. His average is down, as he was second on the team in 2002 with a .342 average. A big power threat in the middle of the lineup, Larsen homered and drove in the game winning run in last season's game 3 against Stanford. Will likely hit 3rd. 

  • 2B Greg Issacson (Jr., L/R, 6'1", 175)

    2003: .282, 2 HR, 12 RBI.

Issacson was initially a walk-on for the Huskies and was going to redshirt last season, but eventually started 44 of 46 for them and now is their everyday 2B. Another player who performed well in 2002 against the Cardinal: 4-9. Hits 2nd behind Reynolds. 

  • SS Tila Reynolds (Sr., R/R, 5'11", 185)

    2003: .333, 0 HR, 13 RBI.

Reynolds lead Washington with a .347 batting average last year and was drafted in the 13th round by Milwaukee but elected to come back for one more season. Has started for four years for the Huskies at shortstop. Leadoff hitter. 

  • 3B John Otness (Jr., R/R, 5'11", 190)

    2003: .318, 1 HR, 10 RBI

Otness won the battle for 3B and has performed well after platooning at 3B with Michael Done in 2002. Hit his first HR of the year Wednesday against Portland St. Hits in the bottom half of the lineup. 

  • LF Chad Bouton (Jr., R/R, 6'1", 210).

    2003: .293, 7 HR, 18 RBI.

Bouton has been a consistent power source after transferring to Washington from the University of Hawaii. Is a junior after obtaining a medical redshirt year for an injury suffered at Hawaii. Hits cleanup behind Larsen. 

  • CF Brent Lillibridge (Fr., R/R, 5'9", 170)

    2003: .310, 1 HR, 11 RBI.

Lillibridge can play both CF and SS and has seen some time at both recently. Has started the last three games in CF and has seen playing time in part because of Mike Wagner's sprained ankle. 

  • RF Taylor Johnson (So., L/L, 6'2", 215)

    2003: .264, 5 HR, 16 RBI.

Good power for Johnson with 5 HR this year, although he strikes out a fair amount. Hit 3 HR in 3 consecutive AB at one point this season. Figures to start against Hudgins and McCally this weekend. 

 

Probable Starting Rotation: 

Friday:

  • RHP Sean White (Sr., 6'4", 200)

    2003: 3-3, 5.18 ERA, 7 GS, 8 BB, 34 K, 40 IP

White has won three consecutive games after dropping his last three, throwing seven shutout innings against UC-Irvine last Friday. Friday's game should be close to walk free as like Hudgins, White doesn't walk a whole lot of batters. The senior was 5-0 in 2002 and had a 4.07 ERA in the Pac-10. Went 4-1 in the Cape last summer. 

Saturday:

  • RHP Jeff Petersen (Jr., 6'4", 225)

    2003: 1-2, 4.01 ERA, 7 GS, 1 CG, 17 BB, 32 K, 33.2 IP

Petersen took the only loss for the Huskies in the last 15 games last weekend against UC-Irvine but has been a good starter for the Huskies this year. The week before, he threw a one hit shutout against Cal St. Northridge.  

Sunday:

  • RHP Trevor Gibson (Jr., 6'3", 215)

    2003: 3-0, 1.47 ERA, 5 G, 3 GS, 11 BB, 20 K, 18.1 IP

Gibson has been very impressive in the starter's role, striking out over a batter an inning while opponents are hitting just .161 against him. Was used out of relief all of last season. Has been perfect as a starter this year, allowing just one hit in his last outing over 5.2 IP against UC-Irvine. 

Bullpen:

  • RHP Will Fenton (5 Saves, 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 7 G)
  • LHP Trent Baysinger (1-0, 2.55 ERA in 9 G)
  • LHP Brian Carter (4 Saves, 3.00 ERA in 9 G)
  • RHP Scott Robertson (6 G, 2.89 ERA)
 

The Last Time: 

4/19/02 Washington 3, Stanford 1

Shawn Kohn gave up only one run on six hits in the Washington victory.  Hathaway and Issacson had back-to-back RBI singles in the 7th against Ryan McCally. 

4/20/02 Stanford 9, Washington 4

Washington took an early lead but the Cardinal scored seven in the final three for the comeback victory. Dan Rich pitched 4.2 innings in relief, striking out six. 

4/21/02 Washington 4, Stanford 3 (10 innings)

The Cardinal led 3-1 into the 8th inning but Washington scored two in the 8th and one in the 10th to give the Cardinal their first series loss of the year. Shawn Kohn came back to pitch the final two innings in relief for UW.Kyle Larsen had the GW RBI.


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