Baseball Takes First of Sunday Doubleheader

On perhaps the biggest day of the regular season to this point for the Stanford Cardinal, the skies finally cooperated in Los Angeles after two days of rain. The Stanford bats would cooperate as well, providing plenty of offense for Mark Romanczuk, who completed his second game of the season and picked up his ninth win of the year. Read on for details.

Stanford 8, USC 3

The day after any team scores 22 runs, the worry is that the offensive firepower was all spent, leaving none left for the next day.  Today in Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Cardinal alleviated that worry in a hurry, scoring four runs in the first two innings.  Plus, when the other team gets just three hits, it helps a little.  The Cardinal picked up a series victory against the Trojans today in Game 2 with a 8-3 victory.

Stanford wasted little time jumping on the board against Trojan starter Brian Bannister.  A leadoff single by Sam Fuld, a groundout by Jonny Ash, a wild pitch, and Danny Putnam's RBI single made it 1-0.  Putnam would single in his first two ABs, starting the series by reaching in eight consecutive plate appearances.  With a 1-0 lead, Mark Romanczuk took the mound.  His first collegiate start was back on the 2nd of March against the Trojans, so SC was familiar with the lefty.  Michael Moon singled to lead off the inning, and Romanczuk walked Anthony Lunetta to put runners at first and second.  A groundout by Jeff Clement put runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out.  However, Romanczuk struck out Joey Metropoulos for the second out.  However, Romanczuk committed a balk with Moon on third, tying the game at one apiece.

Stanford responded immediately.  John Mayberry, Jr. singled for his sixth hit of the series, and Swope followed with a single, his first hit of the series.  Fuld ripped a triple in the gap for his second hit in as many innings, and after a Carlos Quentin infield single, the Cardinal finished the second with a 4-1 lead.

But as they did in every inning previously, the Trojans responded with at least one run after the Cardinal had scored.  Two walks from Romanczuk with one out and a passed ball put runners in scoring position, and the #9 hitter Darin Vieira came through, ripping a ball through the box for a 2-RBI single, pulling the Trojans to within one.  However, it would be the last run USC would score today, and the last hit they would get until the seventh inning.

Romanczuk and Bannister battled through scoreless third and fourth frames, and going into the fifth, the game remained 4-3 in favor of Stanford.  In the fifth, Ryan Garko led off with a single, his fifth hit of the series, and moved to second on a wild pitch.  After a single by Jed Lowrie, Mayberry knocked in his seventh run in two days, scoring Garko and giving Stanford a 5-3 lead.  Bannister would depart after the fifth, having given up five runs on eleven hits.

Stanford would score one in the sixth off reliever Fraser Dizard.  A Fuld single and Jonny Ash bunt put the leadoff hitter at second.  Quentin singled Fuld to third, and Garko's deep Sac Fly brought him home, giving Stanford a 6-3 lead.  Two more runs came home in the eight on a Fuld single (his fourth hit of the day), a groudout, an error by LF Spencer Gordon on a flyout, and a Garko RBI 2B.  8-3 Stanford after eight.

Meanwhile, Romanczuk was cruising.  He got double plays in the fourth and fifth, facing the minimum, and retired the side in order in the sixth.  In the seventh, Jon Brewster singled to lead off the inning, the only hit USC would get over the last 7.1 innings.  Romanczuk did not allow another run to score, striking out two in the eighth and one in the ninth to pick up his ninth win of the year.

           1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R   H   E
Stanford   1  3  0   0  1  1   0  2  0    8   16  0
USC        1  2  0   0  0  0   0  0  0    3   3   1

WP:     Mark Romanczuk (9-0)
LP:     Brian Bannister (5-5)

USC (25-21, 9-8 Pac-10), Stanford (30-14, 12-5 Pac-10)

-Romanczuk's complete game was his second of the season and second in Pac-10 play.  He allowed just three hits all game, just one over the last 7.1 innings.  While he did walk six, he will again be in the hunt for Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week.  Final line:  9.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 6 BB, 5 K.
-Ryan Garko had two more hits, bringing his series total to six after two games.
-John Mayberry drove in his seventh run of the series.  He is 7-11 in the series and 14 for 23 against the Trojans in 2003.
-Fuld's four-hit game was his fourth of the year and thirteenth in his career.
-Jeff Clement went 0-4 and after Game 2 of the series was 0-8.
-The win was Stanford's ninth consecutive road win.

Chad Goldberg is the voice of Stanford Baseball on KZSU, 90.1 FM.

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