Tuesday's (10-21) Baseball Practice Notes

It was back to work for the Stanford baseball squad this afternoon as the third set of intrasquad games are now underway. Today's action saw the pitchers, for the most part, have their way with the hitters, including one freshman hurler who particularly impressed. But, there were still four balls that left the yard, including two from one player. Read on for a complete report.

The third set of intrasquad games began this afternoon out at Sunken Diamond and unlike the end of last week, today was more pitcher-friendly.  Each hurler is now allowed to go four full innings in this set of intrasquad games, and in fact, we had one pitcher fire five frames today.  Still, despite the solid outings put forth by the four pitchers this afternoon, there were a fall season-high four home runs blasted today.

The same rules as last week still apply in terms of the hitting groups.  The 20 position players were broken up into three groups, two of which faced live pitching today.

Red Team (players listed by batting order)
1. Sam Fuld, CF
2. Chris Minaker, 3B
3. John Mayberry, Jr., 1B
4. Chris Carter, LF
5. Chris Lewis, 2B
6. Josh Corn, C

Blue Team
1. Brian Hall, CF
2. Adam Sorgi, SS
3. Danny Putnam, RF
4. John Hester, C
5. Ryan Seawell, LF
6. Joe Ayers, 3B

White Team (did not face live pitching today - players listed in alphabetical order) : Jonny Ash (2B, 3B),
Zachary Gianos, Ryan Kissick, Jed Lowrie (2B, SS), Donny Lucy (C), Cameron Matthews (LF), Jim Rapoport (CF, RF), Ben Summerhays (1B).

As mentioned above, the longball was prevalent today.  Mayberry, Jr. blasted two homers, the second of which was particularly impressive in that was a line drive shot over the wall in left that appeared to still be rising as it went over the fence.  Junior is bigger, stronger, and ready to break out.  Putnam connected on a home run to right field while Hall smoked his first homer of the fall - an opposite field shot to right.  All three of these players had multi-hit games today.  In addition, Chris Lewis came through with a strong practice as he went 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI.  His double was a deep drive to center that bounced high off the wall in the deepest part of the ballpark. 

The two starters on the mound today were sophomore lefty Mark Romanczuk and freshman lefty Blake Holler.  Romanczuk was victimized by the home run today, but I thought still looked good.  He allowed three runs on three hits in his four innings of work - all three of those hits were solo homers.  Romanczuk once again showed good control today with only one walk compared to four strike outs.  I continue to be impressed with his change-up which looks improved from last year.

The top performer on the mound today was probably the southpaw Holler.  In four innings, Holler didn't give up a run while allowing just one base hit.  He walked three and struck out two.  Lots of movement on the stuff Holler throws up there including a big curve ball (got Fuld swinging on a dandy of a curve).  I've seen him throw three times this fall and it seems control could be the thing that holds Holler back.  Again, I'll compare him to Tim Cunningham in that the stuff is there for Holler.  He just needs to stay around the knees because he doesn't have the fastball to throw by you (unless he sets up the heater with off-speed stuff), but his movement makes him tough to hit.  There certainly wasn't a lot of solid contact off of him today.

The two other pitchers to throw today were sophomore righty Matt Manship and frosh righty Greg Reynolds.  Manship started with a bang today firing three no-hit innings to begin his outing.  He finished the afternoon with two runs allowed on four hits in four-plus innings of work.  Manship walked three and struck out three.  Another encouraging outing for Manship as all signs point to him taking a leading role on this pitching staff.

Finally, it was another solid performance for the 6'7" Reynolds.  He fired five full innings today yielding two runs on seven hits.  Reynolds wasn't really overpowering today (just one strike out), but no walks showed he had excellent control.  He did give up a few hard hit balls (most notably that Mayberry blast to left), but all the tools are there for Reynolds.  His breaking ball, especially, looked good today as he froze numerous hitters with it. 

In the bottom of the last inning today with the hitting team trailing by one run, Putnam came up to the plate to face Reynolds (there were two outs and a runner on first base).  On a 1-0 pitch, Reynolds dropped in that breaking ball that caught Putnam looking for strike one.  On 1-1, Reynolds came back with the same pitch only to see Putnam line it foul down the right field line.  With the count 1-2, Reynolds tried a fastball high and away, but Putnam laid off to even the count.  Finally, Reynolds came back in and got Putnam to hit a lazy fly ball to center (that was caught by Fuld with a show-off basket catch much to amusement of the players) to win the battle and the game.

* Two more excellent defensive plays from Jim Rapoport out in center field today.  The speedy freshman made a diving catch coming in and to his left to rob Minaker of a base hit.  Then later in the game on a Ryan Seawell line drive single to center, Rapoport came up throwing and easily nabbed Adam Sorgi at the plate who was trying to score from second.

* Carter saw his first action in the field this fall (left field).  He also appears to be getting close to 100% when running down the first base line, although not quite all there yet.  Still, the junior outfielder is well on his way to getting back at full strength - hopefully before the fall season is up.

* Putnam continues to only work in right field during intrasquad games.

* Hall played some in center field today, the first he's played there this fall.  If something were to happen to Fuld and the coaching staff didn't want to use Rapoport in center to replace him, Hall would seem to be the likely choice.

A few notes from the last intrasquad game on Friday ... It was a good hitters day although two pitchers did impress.  Jeff Gilmore had his second strong outing of the fall as he allowed just one unearned run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings.  Jonny Dyer also threw well with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball (four hits and no walks with four K's).  Dyer has been the most impressive junior pitcher this fall.  At the plate, Chris Carter had a couple of hits including a deep home run to dead center field.  Putnam, Minaker, Fuld, and Seawell all had two-hit games.  The same hitting groups that hit today hit on Friday.

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