Cardinal Offense Explodes in L.A.

Last Tuesday night's 2-0 loss versus Santa Clara was about as poor an offensive showing as you'll ever see. Today's 22-10 win at USC for the Cardinal is about as impressive an offensive showing as you'll ever see. John Mayberry, Jr. and Ryan Garko both had huge days at the plate this afternoon as Stanford took game one of their series with the Trojans. Read on for a recap.

After being shutout for the first time all season last Tuesday night in a 2-0 loss to Santa Clara, the Cardinal exploded for 22 runs in a 22-10 rout of the USC Trojans Saturday afternoon to claim the first game of an important three-game series.  Stanford broke a 6-6 tie with five runs in the seventh inning and then added seven tallies in the eighth frame, and four more scores in the ninth inning to eclipse the 20-run mark for the first time since April of 2001 (22-5 win vs. Oregon State).  The 22 runs allowed by USC was the most ever allowed by a Trojan team at Dedeaux Field.

The Cardinal jumped out ahead early with three runs off SC starter Anthony Reyes in the second inning.  With one out, Danny Putnam singled and then moved to second on a Jed Lowrie ground out.  Donny Lucy drove home Putnam with a bloop double to center and then John Mayberry, Jr. crushed a deep home run to left center field to make the score 3-0.  It was Mayberry's first home run since a solo shot back on March 2nd, also against USC.

After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Stanford starter John Hudgins yielded a solo homer to Travis McAndrews with two outs in the bottom of the second.  The Cardinal would answer though as they pushed across two more runs in the third to take a 5-1 lead.  Sam Fuld got things started with a walk and then moved to third when Carlos Quentin singled two batters later.  Ryan Garko brought home Fuld with a single to left while Quentin would later score on a Lowrie sacrifice fly to right.

Hudgins though clearly didn't have his best stuff today as USC mustered two in the third and one more in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-4.  In the third, Darin Vieira singled and Billy Hart walked to put two runners on with none out.  After a Michael Moon sacrifice bunt, senior shortstop Anthony Lunetta drove home both runners with a clean single to right field. The Trojans scored their fourth run of the game when Vieira singled home McAndrews with one out in the bottom of the fourth.  The inning could have been much worse though had Hudgins not picked off Vieira at first base on the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move that very rarely ever works.

Ryan Garko blasted his 11th homer of the year, a solo shot to right center field in the fifth, to put Stanford ahead 6-4.  But Hudgins continued to struggle as USC pushed across two more scores in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.  Moon led off with a single and then scored when Lunetta doubled him home.  Lunetta would later score on a Joey Metropoulos single.  Hudgins was pulled after five innings of work and only 69 pitches thrown, easily his lowest output of the year in both categories.

After Stanford and USC both went down quietly in the sixth, the Cardinal erupted for five runs in the top of the seventh to take an 11-6 lead.  Jonny Ash began the inning with a bloop double down the right field line and remained at second when the next hitter, Carlos Quentin, flied out to center.  Garko then doubled to deep left center to easily score Ash to put the Cardinal in front.  That was just the beginning though as Putnam followed Garko's double with a double of his own to make it 8-6.  Lowrie then singled home Putnam for a 9-6 lead.  After a Donny Lucy single, Mayberry, Jr. singled to score Lowrie and then Tobin Swope flied out to right to plate Lucy with the fifth and final run of the inning.

David O'Hagan fired a scoreless sixth inning, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh.  Billy Hart led off with a double and was then balked to third.  Michael Moon then came up and singled home Hart to cut the lead to 11-7.  The Cardinal though then turned a spectacular 4-6-3 double play to quickly put two outs on the board.  A hit batter and a walk to follow the double play though ended O'Hagan's afternoon as Ryan McCally was summoned from the bullpen.  On a 2-and-0 pitch, McCally got Jon Brewster to fly out to deep right field to preserve the 11-7 lead.

Stanford put the game out of reach with a seven-spot in the eighth inning.  Ash and Quentin walked to start the inning and then Garko blasted a ball off the wall in right field.  It appeared as though SC right fielder Billy Hart was going to make a play on the ball, and in fact, he actually got a glove on it.  Because of this, Ash had to hold up at second, and was eventually thrown out at home trying to score.  Garko only got a single on the play.  Putnam followed the Garko hit with a walk to load the bases and then Lowrie grounded into a fielder's choice which scored Quentin to make the score 12-7.  Lucy walked to re-load the bases and then Mayberry, Jr. singled home Garko and Lowrie for a 14-7 lead.  After a Swope walk, Sam Fuld reached on a fielding error by the shortstop to plate Lucy with Stanford's 15th run of the game.  Jonny Ash then stepped up and flied a ball to shallow center that went off the glove of the charging center fielder Travis McAndrews for another error.  The ball rolled behind McAndrews which allowed all three runners to score for an 18-7 advantage.

McCally gave up a solo homer to McAndrews in the bottom of the eighth, but got out of the inning without further damage.  The Cardinal then added four more runs in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to 22-8.  Pinch-hitter Chris Carter had an RBI single in the inning as did Mayberry, Jr. and Fuld. 

Jonny Dyer came on to work the ninth and gave up two runs on three hits which made the final score 22-10 in favor of the Cardinal.

Game Notes:
* John Mayberry, Jr. and Ryan Garko led the offensive charge today for Stanford.  Junior finished 5-for-6 with a home run (his 4th of the year) and six RBI.  He's now 8-for-13 since a 3-for-34 slump.  Garko also had a great day as he went 4-for-6 with a homer, a double, and three RBI.  Garko now has 11 home runs and 55 RBI on the year.

* Other multi-hit games today came from Danny Putnam (3-for-3, 2B, RBI, reached base all six times) and Donny Lucy (2-for-4, 2B, RBI).

* Jed Lowrie had three RBI while Tobin Swope drove home two.  Swope was the only starter today without a hit.

* The 22 runs scored is a season-high for Stanford.  The previous high was 18 runs in an 18-4 win over USC on March 2nd.

* John Hudgins went the first five innings yielding six runs (five earned) on nine hits.  He walked one and struck out two.

* Stanford (11-5) is now 1/2 game ahead of both idle Arizona State (10-5) and Arizona (11-6) who has taken the first two games of their series with California.

Stanford   0 3 2  0 1 0  5 7 4  -  22  19   1
USC        0 1 2  1 2 0  1 1 2  -  10  17   3

WP: David O'Hagan (5-1)
LP: Josh Rummonds (4-3)

HR: Stanford - Ryan Garko (11), John Mayberry, Jr. (4); USC - Travis McAndrews 2 (4, 5)

Records: #9 Stanford (29-14, 11-5), USC (25-20, 9-7)

* These two teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 12:00pm to wrap-up the series.  Mark Romanczuk (8-0, 3.88) will start game one for the Cardinal while Stanford has yet to announce a starter for game two.  USC is scheduled to start righty Brian Bannister (5-4, 4.38) in game one and lefty Bobby Paschal (3-4, 3.79) in game two.

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