College Baseball Roundup

The Stanford Cardinal finished 3-0 last week as they completed a sweep of Washington State and then took a pair of non-conference games from Santa Clara and Sacramento State. This week's Roundup takes a look at the week that was for the Stanford baseball team, has all the latest from around the Pac-10 plus an updated "Super Sixteen."

Pac-10 Standings :

                  Conf.  GB  Overall

Stanford           7-2    -    23-10
Arizona State      6-3   1.0   38-7
Arizona            5-4   2.0   25-12
USC                5-4   2.0   18-17
California         6-6   2.5   20-18
Washington         4-5   3.0   22-12

Oregon State       3-6   4.0   16-17

UCLA               3-6   4.0   17-22

Washington State   3-6   4.0   11-24

Two sweeps in the Pac-10 last weekend as the Arizona State Sun Devils posted a road sweep at Berkeley while USC moved above .500 in Pac-10 play with a sweep of UCLA.  The Sun Devils, after dropping 2-of-3 at home to Stanford in their Pac-10 opener, have since gone 5-1 in conference play at USC and at California.  Expect ASU to stay in one of the top two spots in the conference from here on out.  Meanwhile, USC won their first series since mid-February with a home sweep of the Bruins.  The Trojans are getting healthy as ace starter Anthony Reyes returned this week.  In Tucson, Arizona took 2-of-3 from the Washington Huskies.  The Wildcats are now above .500 in Pac-10 play and if the season ended today, would make the NCAA Tournament.  In Corvallis, the Washington State Cougars won 2-of-3 from the host Beavers.  OSU, UCLA, and WSU are now in a three-way tie for last place in the conference.

Four Pac-10 series' this weekend, neither of which are really marquee series' as none of the top 4 teams in the conference are playing each other.  Stanford hosts Oregon State while second place Arizona State will take on UCLA in Tempe.  UCLA has lost five straight Pac-10 games since starting 3-1 in conference play.  USC will try to put together back-to-back good weekends as they travel north to play California.  The time is now for Cal to make a run if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.  They started hot in the conference (6-3) against the three worst teams in the Pac-10 but were then swept by Arizona State to fall back to .500.  This weekend's series is their second-to-last home series of the year (they finish up with Stanford at home).  The final series of the weekend pits Washington State against Arizona up in Pullman.

Last Week in Review :

The Cardinal went 3-0 last week and continue to sit atop the Pac-10.  After last Sunday's game at Washington State was snowed out, the Cardinal and Cougars got together on Monday morning with Stanford prevailing 8-5 in 11 innings.  Starter Mark Romanczuk looked great through five innings giving up just three hits and no runs, but the Stanford offense couldn't muster much offense against WSU starter Aaron MacKenzie.  The Cardinal went ahead 2-0 on a Ryan Garko solo homer in the sixth, but the Cougs then pushed across two in the sixth off Romanczuk and two in seventh against Romanczuk and reliever Kodiak Quick to move ahead 4-2.  The lead held until the ninth when Danny Putnam hit a solo homer, pinch hitter Donny Lucy doubled, and then Jonny Ash came through with a clutch two-out, run scoring single to send the game into extra innings.  After each team scored single runs in the tenth inning, the Cardinal went ahead for good with three runs in the 11th.  Sam Fuld drove home the first run of the inning with a two-out single and then David O'Hagan shut the door in the bottom half of the inning.

Stanford flew back to the bay area after the game on Monday and then were back out on the field Tuesday evening at Santa Clara.  Tim Cunningham got the start, his second since returning from a broken finger, and the senior southpaw struggled mightily as he did not retire a batter and was pulled after facing five hitters in the bottom of the first.  The Cardinal offense though bailed out Cunningham as the Stanford hitters combined for 17 runs on 14 hits en route to a 17-8 victory.  Carlos Quentin had the best game of his career with a 4-for-5, two home run, six RBI contest.  Quentin came up in the ninth needing a single for the cycle, but instead clubbed his second homer of the game.  On the mound, the Cardinal got some outstanding relief work from junior Drew Ehrlich.  Ehrlich went the final 6 1/3 innings yielding two runs while recording seven K's.

The Cardinal welcomed Sacramento State to Sunken Diamond on Friday evening and easily defeated the Hornets 9-1.  Ace starter John Hudgins tossed eight scoreless innings while picking up a career high 11 strikeouts.  Hudgins gave up just two hits as he improved his record to 6-2 on the year.  Offensively, Ryan Garko led the way with a 3-for-4, 2 RBI game while Danny Putnam hit his sixth homer of the year.  Carlos Quentin extended his hitting streak to 21 games and is now hitting .421 this season.

Saturday's scheduled game between the Cardinal and the Hornets in Sacramento was postponed due to rain.  It will be made up on Tuesday, April 22nd at 2:30pm.

"Super Sixteen" National Rankings :

                       Record     Pvs.

1. Rice                 35-3       1
    * Owls win streak snapped at 30 with a 7-5 loss to Lamar last Wednesday ... Rice then took 2-of-3 at Fresno State over the weekend.

2. Cal State Fullerton  30-8       2
    * Titans with a 2-of-3 series win at Cal State Northridge to remain at #2.

3. Florida State        33-6       3
    * Seminoles, in their final home ACC series of the year, took 2-of-3 from Clemson.

4. Stanford             23-10      4
    * Cardinal with a perfect 3-0 week (1-0 at Washington State, 1-0 at Santa Clara, 1-0 vs. Sac State).

5. Auburn               29-8       5
    * Tigers still haven't lost a series this year as they go into Starkville and take 2-of-3 from nationally ranked Mississippi State.

6. Arizona State        38-7       6
    * Sun Devils swept California in Berkeley to cap 4-0 week.

7. Texas                29-11      7
    * Longhorns remain hot (8 wins in a row) as they swept Oklahoma over the weekend.

8. Nebraska             25-9       8
    * Cornhuskers took 2-of-3 at home from previously streaking Missouri.

9. Long Beach State     23-12      9
    * 49ers trying to keep pace with Fullerton in the Big West as they took 2-of-3 at UC Irvine.

10. Miami               27-7      10
    * Hurricanes continue strong play with 2-of-3 series win at Virginia.

11. Mississippi State   25-7      11
    * Bulldogs fall back in the SEC West as they lost 2-of-3 at home to Auburn.

12. Georgia Tech        28-6      12
    * Yellow Jackets continue to beat up on lower tier teams in the ACC with easy three-game sweep at Duke.

13. LSU                 24-11     13
    * Tigers, along with Auburn and Mississippi State, appear to be the class of the SEC West (and the entire SEC for that matter) ... LSU won 2-of-3 versus Mississippi last weekend.

14. Texas A&M           29-11     14
    * Aggies with a convincing three-game sweep at Kansas State over the weekend.

15. N.C. State          30-8      15
    * Wolf Pack are the real deal as they took 2-of-3 at Wake Forest last weekend (also have series wins over Florida State and Clemson).

16. Baylor              25-14     16
    * Bears rebound from getting swept by Texas as they won 2-of-3 at Oklahoma State ... one note - no movement among the 16 teams in the "Super Sixteen" this week.

Dropped Out : None

Opponents Update :

Fresno State almost pulled off the huge upset last weekend in their series at home versus top ranked Rice.  The Owls had their 30-game winning streak snapped earlier in the week, but were still undefeated in WAC play (12-0).  Fresno State won the opener of the series 7-3 before losing the second game, 9-2.  The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning in the rubber game only to see the Owls strike for two runs to win the game, 3-2.  Nevertheless, Fresno State is playing much better baseball as they now sport a 20-17 overall record (they were 1-6 after getting swept by Stanford) and have a shot to reach the postseason.

Cal State Fullerton and Florida State, ranked 2nd and 3rd in the country respectively coming into the week, both won their series' this past weekend.  Streaking Texas is now 29-11 while even USC appears to be getting back on track with a sweep of UCLA.

Up Next for Stanford :

The Cardinal have four games on tap this week, all at Sunken Diamond.  Stanford welcomes San Jose State to Sunken on Tuesday night for a 6:00pm start.  Over the weekend, it will be Stanford and Oregon State getting together for a three-game set.  The series will run from Thursday-to-Saturday (6:00pm, 6:00pm, 1:00pm).

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