(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.
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
- 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
- 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
Stanford Probable Pitching Rotation:
- RHP John Hudgins (4-1, 3.63 ERA, 8 GS, 9 BB, 56 K, 57 IP)
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
- 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.
- 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?
- RHP David O'Hagan
- RHP Matt Manship
- RHP Kodiak Quick
- LHP Tim Cunningham
- RHP Billy Paganetti
- RHP Jonny Dyer
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
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.
- RHP Shawn Kohn
- OF Tyler Davidson
- OF Jay Garthwaite
Probable Starting Lineup:
- C Aaron Hathaway (So., R/R, 6'0", 185)
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
- 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
Probable Starting Rotation:
- 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.
- 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.
- RHP Trevor Gibson (Jr., 6'3", 215)
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.
- 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
4/20/02 Stanford 9, Washington 4
4/21/02 Washington 4, Stanford 3 (10 innings)