Romanczuk Dazzles In Stanford Victory

Ace pitcher Mark Romanczuk was in top form Friday night out at Sunken Diamond. The sophomore left hander struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven innings of work to lead the Cardinal to a 7-1 win over visiting Kansas. Romanczuk allowed just the one run, scattered six hits, while he walked two. At the plate, Stanford got a balanced offensive effort led by catcher Donny Lucy's three hits and a home run.

No doubt about it, Mark Romanczuk was the star of the game tonight at Sunken Diamond.  In front of a crowd of 1,759 people, the sophomore lefty fired seven excellent innings yielding just one run while striking out a career-high 13 batters.  At the plate, Stanford rapped out 12 hits en route to a series-opening 7-1 victory.  The win moved the Cardinal's overall record to 6-1 while it extended their home winning streak to 13 games.

The Jayhawks actually jumped on the board first with a single run in the first inning off Romanczuk.  Leadoff batter Matt Baty worked a walk on a nine-pitch at-bat.  #2 batter Ritchie Price moved Baty over to second with a ground ball to short and then Jared Schweitzer looped a single into shallow center to score the run.  Romanczuk though quickly got out of the inning after that hit though getting Ryan Baty to strike out and Matt Tribble to ground out.  And even though Romanczuk did surrender a run in that first inning, it was pretty evident that he had his good stuff tonight. 

Stanford quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.  With one out, Jonny Ash smacked a single to center and then moved to second when Jed Lowrie lined a single into left.  After Danny Putnam flied out, John Mayberry, Jr. ripped a ground ball to the right of KU shortstop Ritchie Price.  Price didn't get over to the ball quick enough and it glanced off his glove and into left field.  The play was scored an error as Ash came around to score.

The Jayhawks threatened in the second inning as they put runners on second and third with one out, but Romanczuk struck out #9 hitter J.C. Sibley and induced Matt Baty to ground out to end the threat.

Stanford then went ahead for good with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second.  Brian Hall reached first base safely to start the inning on a fielding error by the third baseman Travis Metcalf.  After John Hester, who was making his first start of the season, struck out, Adam Sorgi grounded a ball to second.  Second baseman Matt Baty though fired a wild throw to second in attempt to cut off Hall and everyone was safe.  Sam Fuld followed by reaching on a fielder's choice (with Sorgi out at second on the play) and then Ash delivered the big hit with a ringing two-run triple to deep right field. 

Romanczuk struck out the side in third going through the 2-3-4 hitters in the Kansas lineup before the Cardinal tacked on another run in the bottom half of the inning to go up 4-1.  With two outs, Lucy singled and then came home when Hall blasted a double off the top of the wall in left center field.  Hall was thrown out at third in an attempt to stretch it into a triple.

By this time, Romanczuk was in cruise control.  He struck another batter in a scoreless fourth while he racked up two more K's in the fifth.  However, with the score still 4-1, Kansas mounted a rally in the top of the sixth.  Ryan Baty and Tribble began the frame with consecutive singles.  After Metcalf struck out, Sean Richardson singled to load the bases.  But Romanczuk settled down and calmly struck out Andy Scholl swinging on a 2-and-2 pitch and then K'd Sibley also on a 2-and-2 pitch to retire the side.

Stanford added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Lucy homered to left.  It was a line drive home run that just cleared the wall down the left field line for Lucy's first bomb of the year.

Romanczuk breezed through the seventh 1-2-3 recording a strike out to end the inning.  The southpaw was lifted from the game after this inning, but not before striking out a career-high 13.

The Cardinal scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 7-1.  With one out, Ash and Lowrie both singled to put two runners on.  Putnam then lined a single down the left field line scoring Ash.  Lowrie would later score when Hall was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Senior Drew Ehrlich worked a scoreless eighth inning surrendering one hit and one walk.  He struck out one batter.  Junior Jonny Dyer, who was making his first appearance of the season, then came on and fired a perfect ninth striking out one in the process.

Game Notes:
* You can't say enough about the outing from Romanczuk tonight.  It was truly a dominating performance.  And while I don't have this documented, I would guess roughly 11 of his 13 strike outs came off his breaking ball.  Filthy stuff all evening.

* Lucy (3-for-4, HR, RBI), Ash (3-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI), and Lowrie (3-for-4) paced the Cardinal offense today.

* Putnam also went 2-for-4 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to eight games dating back to last season.  Putnam and Lowrie have identical .464 averages to lead the club.

* Hester got the nod at DH in place of Chris Carter (KU started a lefty on the mound).  Hester finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strike outs before getting pinch hit for by freshman Jim Rapoport in the eighth inning (he flied out to right).

* Stanford committed one error today which snapped a five-game errorless streak.  That error was made by Romanczuk on a pickoff play at second base.  It was a low throw that bounced off the runner and rolled into right field.  Romanczuk recovered though to get out of the inning without allowing that run to score.

* Romanczuk now has a career 11-0 record at Sunken Diamond.

Kansas     1 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   1   7   3
Stanford   1 2 1  0 0 1  2 0 x   -   7  12   1

WP: Mark Romanczuk (2-1)
LP: Ryan Knippschild (1-2)

HR: Stanford - Donny Lucy (1)

Records: #4 Stanford (6-1), Kansas (7-5-1)

* These two teams will continue this three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (1-0, 1.64) is expected to start on the hill for Stanford while Kansas is scheduled to send out Chris Smart (2-2, 7.63).

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