Pitching, Defense Carries Stanford To Victory

On a night when the balls just weren't falling in for the Stanford hitters, the pitching and defense picked up the slack to lead the Cardinal to a 4-2 win over the San Jose State Spartans. Five Stanford pitchers combined on a five-hitter while walking just one and the Cardinal defense did not commit an error the entire game. Read on for details ...

The Stanford Cardinal used strong pitching and defense to lead them to a 4-2 victory over the San Jose State Spartans on a chilly Tuesday evening at Sunken Diamond.  Mark Romanczuk got the start and fired two scoreless innings before being pulled while David O'Hagan recorded the last four outs of the game to pick up the save.  The story of the game from the pitching perspective though was the relief work of sophomore Jonny Dyer who fired three perfect innings.  On the offensive side, Brian Hall hit two doubles that drove home three runs while defensively, Stanford did not commit an error the entire game.

Freshman Mark Romanczuk was on the hill to start tonight's game for Stanford.  Romanczuk last threw eight days ago in the Cardinal's extra inning win at Washington State when he gave up four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings of work.  Tonight, Romanczuk fired a quick 1-2-3 first inning as he struck out the side.  The Spartans had a golden opportunity to score in the second off Romanczuk, but were unable to do so.  Jordan Bergstrom led off the inning with a bloop single into center and then Romanczuk hit Aaron Bates with the next pitch to put runners on first and second.  Catcher Mark Bautista sacrificed the runners over with a bunt for Markum King.  On a 2-2 pitch, King hit a ground ball right to Stanford third baseman Brian Hall.  Hall fielded cleanly and threw home to nail Bergstrom who was trying to score.  The runner at second, Bates, got a late jump off the bag on his way to third so catcher Ryan Garko promptly fired the ball back to Hall at third who applied the tag on Bates for the double play to end the inning.

Stanford got a two-out line drive double down the left field line off the bat of Carlos Quentin in the bottom of the first, but were unable to get him home.  Quentin, by the way, now has a 22-game hitting streak.  The Cardinal though struck for three runs against SJSU starter Matthew Winck in the bottom of the second.  Winck walked Danny Putnam to start the inning and then Donny Lucy stepped up and singled to left to put two runners on.  John Mayberry, Jr., was up next and the slugging first baseman showed bunt on the first pitch before pulling back and taking a strike.  Coach Marquess then took the bunt off and Mayberry eventually lined a single into left field easily scoring Putnam and moving Lucy to third.  When the throw into third base bounced away from SJSU third baseman Kevin Frandsen, Mayberry, Jr. took second base.  Winck came back to strike out Tobin Swope and then Jonny Ash hit a routine ground ball to third.  Lucy broke for the plate, but was tagged out.  Lucy though got in a rundown and stayed in it long enough to allow Mayberry, Jr. to advance to third and Ash to move over to second.  Sam Fuld followed that at-bat with a walk to load the bases and then Brian Hall delivered the biggest hit of the game with a double to right center field which scored Mayberry, Jr. and Ash for a 3-0 Stanford lead.

Billy Paganetti came on to pitch in the third and worked around a one-out single to put up a zero.  Paganetti gave up a monster solo homer off the bat of Aaron Bates in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 3-1, but got out of the inning without further damage.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal hitters weren't having any luck against Spartan reliever Brandon Dewing as Dewing retired the side in order in the third and fourth frames.  Jonny Dyer relieved Paganetti to start the fifth and looked great on the hill.  The sophomore Dyer, who had appeared this season in just three games for a grand total of 4 2/3 innings prior to tonight's game, went nine up and nine down through the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.  Dyer got six ground ball outs, one fly out, one line out, and a strike out.

Stanford got a leadoff single from Sam Fuld in the bottom of the fifth, but left him stranded at first base.  Carlos Torres came in for Dewing to start the sixth and worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning.  The Cardinal finally scored another run in the seventh to increase their lead to 4-1.  Swope began the inning with a single and was bunted to second by Ash.  After Fuld struck out, Brian Hall again came through as he doubled to deep right center to score Swope.

Drew Ehrlich became Stanford's fourth pitcher of the game in the eighth inning and he easily retired the first two batters he faced.  #9 hitter David Pierson then stepped up and lined a double down the right field line to put a runner in scoring position.  Pierson would score when the next hitter, Anthony Contreras, singled.  That ended Ehrlich's outing as David O'Hagan was summoned from the bullpen.    O'Hagan worked the count full to Nathan Corrick before getting him to fly out to center.

After Stanford went down quietly in the bottom of the eighth, O'Hagan went back to work in the ninth.  He walked Bergstrom with one out, but set down the next two hitters to seal the victory.

Game Notes:
* Brian Hall led the offense tonight with a 2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI performance.  Stanford finished with only seven hits on the game which tied their season-low.

* Carlos Quentin went 1-for-4 with a double and now has a 22-game hitting streak.  The double was Quentin's 17th of the season - the school record is 29 set by Troy Paulsen in 1990.

* John Mayberry, Jr. started at first base for the first time in three games and went 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI.

* Ryan Garko's hitting streak was snapped at 10 games after going hitless in four at-bats tonight.

* Mark Romanczuk was credited with the win (even when a starting pitcher doesn't go five innings, if his pitch count was pre-determined before the game, he can pick up the win) after two scoreless innings.  Romanczuk gave up one hit, struck out three, and is now 7-0 this season.

* David O'Hagan picked up his third save of the year which ties him with Matt Manship and Kodiak Quick for the team lead.

* This was Stanford's sixth consecutive victory which matches their longest winning streak of the season.

San Jose State   0 0 0  1 0 0  0 1 0   -   2   5   1
Stanford         0 3 0  0 0 0  1 0 x   -   4   7   0

WP: Mark Romanczuk (7-0)
LP: Matthew Winck (1-2)
S: David O'Hagan (3)

HR: San Jose State - Aaron Bates (2)

Records: San Jose State (18-20), #4 Stanford (24-10)

* The Cardinal will next be in action this Thursday-Saturday when they host the Oregon State Beavers.  Thursday's and Friday's games will start at 6:00pm while Saturday's contest will get underway at 1:00pm.  John Hudgins (6-2, 3.00) is scheduled to start on Thursday, Ryan McCally (3-1, 4.58) on Friday, while Saturday's starter has yet to be determined.

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