Friday's (10-24) Baseball Practice Notes

On a hot afternoon out at Sunken Diamond, the Cardinal baseball team continued Fall Practice with another intrasquad game. Today's contest featured a solid outing from a pitcher that may not be on your radar screen for the 2004 season. In addition, there were a couple of balls that left the yard and continued strong performances from key offensive players.

Fall Practice rolled on this afternoon at Sunken Diamond as temperatures on The Farm neared 90 degrees.  Today marked the final day of the third set of intrasquad games.  Two sets remain as Fall Practice is scheduled to conclude next Sunday, the 2nd of November. 

Four pitchers saw time on the hill this afternoon led by sophomore Noah Hawthorne.  If you recall, Hawthorne walked-on last fall and didn't see any game action during the season.  If his performance this fall is any indication, that could change here this season.  I think it's unrealistic to expect Hawthorne to become a key member of the regular pitching rotation this year, but he has shown improvement from last season and I think he'll see a few innings in 2004.

Today, Hawthorne fired 4 1/3 innings surrendering two unearned runs on three hits.  As usual, Hawthorne displayed excellent control as he didn't walk a batter while recording two strike outs. 

The other three hurlers this afternoon had some major control issues (15 combined walks and numerous wild pitches).  Sophomore Pete Duda allowed five runs on four hits in three innings.  Duda walked five and struck out one.  Duda looks to be throwing pretty hard, but he needs more work on developing his off-speed stuff and control was a problem for him today.

Freshman Jeff Stimpson also allowed five runs on four hits.  He walked five and struck out two in 3 1/3 innings of work.  Stimpson was throwing fairly hard, but as the numbers indicate, he was having control issues.  I think a word to describe Stimpson is "raw."  Like Duda, Stimpson also appears to need to work on his off-speed pitches, but I think the future is bright.

Finally, junior Steve Papazian also pitched today.  In three innings, Papazian only allowed one hit, but he gave up four runs thanks in large part to five walks and a few wild pitches.  Tough outing for Papazian as he tries to crack the regular rotation this season.

At the plate, again it was 2/3 of the position players facing live pitching.  Two balls left the yard today.  Brian Hall crushed a Duda offering well over the scoreboard in left center field.  Hall smacked six home runs last year and I think he could improve on that number this year - possibly close to double figures.  If his home run numbers do increase, that combined with his speed would make him a very dangerous hitter in this lineup.  One key for Hall will certainly be to limit his cold streaks.  Many times last year Hall would go into a funk that would last as much as nine or ten games.  If he's able to stay more consistent, watch out.  2004 could be a huge year for Brian Hall.

The other home run came from catcher John Hester - a three-run blast off Duda.  Other notable performances at the plate today came from Chris Lewis.  The sophomore infielder/outfielder finished 2-for-3 with a triple to deep center.  Lewis put together a nice week at the plate.  Surprise, surprise, another multi-hit game for Danny Putnam and John Mayberry, Jr.  Putnam went 2-for-5 with a triple to left center, two RBI, and two stolen bases.  Putnam didn't even attempt a stolen base last season, but it appears that running will be a part of his game this year, especially if the pitcher isn't paying much attention to him.  Junior went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  His double was line shot that barely got off the ground but found its way up against the wall in left center.  Mayberry appears to have lowered his hands a bit at the plate which I think is allowing him to get his bat into the hitting zone a little quicker.

Another strong performance from frosh Adam Sorgi.  2-for-5 at the plate with more good defense at shortstop.   Sorgi has a sweet stroke from the left side and he looks really fluid out on the infield.  It's tough to tell how much Sorgi will play this year up the middle (Lowrie at least has one spot wrapped up), but there's no doubt that he will see significant playing time as a middle infielder while here at Stanford.

Defensive play of the day came from left fielder Ryan Seawell.  On a fly ball off the bat of Sam Fuld down the line and deep, Seawell made a diving catch going back and to his right.  Outstanding play especially considering Seawell is new to playing outfield (he was a shortstop in high school last spring).

The Bootleg Top Stories