Cardinal Rout Texas To Claim Series Victory

In the biggest game of this young season, the 4th ranked Stanford Cardinal made quite a statement. Behind the arm of freshman Blake Holler, who was making his first career start, and home runs from John Mayberry, Jr. and Jed Lowrie, the Cardinal smoked the 6th ranked Texas Longhorns by an 8-1 score on Sunday afternoon. In addition, Sam Fuld notched his 300th career hit - just the fifth player ever to accomplish that feat in Stanford Baseball history.

Blake Holler didn't know he was starting on the mound today until after yesterday's game against the Texas Longhorns.  But if he continues to pitch like he has thus far this season, there won't be any doubt about his role on this team.  In today's contest, the freshman left hander tossed six brilliant innings limiting the 6th ranked Longhorns to one run on three hits.  At the plate, Jed Lowrie and John Mayberry, Jr. homered while Sam Fuld picked up his 300th career hit at Stanford.

Holler may have been a bit nervous in the first inning this afternoon as he was making his first collegiate start.  He walked two batters in that first inning, but was able to get out of the jam by picking off one base runner and then getting clean-up hitter Taylor Teagarden to ground out to third.  In the second inning, Holler walked the leadoff batter, but came back to record a strike out, a pop out, and a ground out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Texas starter Justin Simmons breezed through the first inning 1-2-3.  Simmons is a senior lefty who went 16-1 during his sophomore campaign.  He was the ace pitcher on Texas' National Championship team that year.  He fell off to 4-5 as a junior last season, but the early returns here in 2004 had him reverting back to his '02 form (2-0, 1.93 entering play today).

Stanford pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the second thanks to a pair of errors from Simmons.  Danny Putnam led off by a grounding a ball to first base.  The UT first baseman Teagarden fielded it and flipped to Simmons, but the southpaw dropped the ball and Putnam reached safely.  After Mayberry, Jr. moved him over to second with a ground out, Putnam advanced to third on a wild pickoff throw from Simmons.  With two outs, Brian Hall came through with a big hit when he doubled down the left field line to put Stanford in front, 1-0.

The Longhorns quickly answered back with a run in the top of the third to tie the game.  #9 hitter Dooley Prince led off with a triple to deep right center field.  Two batters later, he scored when Seth Johnston grounded out to first.  However, that run was all Holler and the Cardinal would give up today.

After going down quietly in the third, Stanford took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.  With one out, Putnam drew a walk and then Mayberry, Jr. lined a home run over the fence in left field for a 3-1 Cardinal lead.  It was Mayberry's team-leading fourth homer of the season.

Stanford broke the game open with four scores in the bottom of the fifth.  Jim Rapoport, who was making his first career start (in place of the struggling Chris Carter), led off with a line drive single to right.  After Chris Lewis sacrificed him over to second, Fuld ripped a single into center field.  Rapoport scored on the play while Fuld took second when center fielder Drew Stubbs bobbled the ball. 

Jonny Ash continued the hit parade with a double down the left field line to score Fuld for a 5-1 Stanford lead.  Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido had seen enough as he took Simmons out of the game in favor of right hander Kyle Yates.  This pitching change allowed Lowrie to move over and bat left handed.  Big mistake.  On a 1-and-0 pitch, Lowrie crushed a home run well over the fence in right center field to extend the lead to 7-1.  It was Lowrie's third bomb of the season after not going yard once all of last year.

Holler was in complete control during the middle innings of this contest.  The first runner in the fourth inning reached on an error, but a sacrifice bunt and two strike outs ended that inning.  Holler then put up zeros in the fifth and sixth frames surrendering just two singles in the process.  He was pulled after six full innings of work.

Stanford scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh to push the lead up to 8-1.  Fuld led off with a single up the middle.  That hit was Fuld's 300th career hit - just the fifth player in Stanford Baseball history to achieve that feat.  After Fuld stole second and advanced to third on a ground out, Lowrie scored him with a sacrifice fly to center.

Sophomore Kodiak Quick relieved Holler to start the seventh inning.  Quick finished the game up with three scoreless innings of work.  He allowed three hits (all singles) while he didn't walk or strike out any batters. 

Game Notes:
* Holler went six innings today yielding just the one run on three hits.  He walked four and struck out five.  The six innings was a career-high as was the five K's.  The win was also the first of Holler's career at Stanford.

* Fuld was the only player today with a multi-hit game as he finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.  At 300 hits, Fuld is 68 behind the 368 put up by John Gall (1997-2000) who is #1 all-time at Stanford.  #2 is Paul Carey (1987-90) at 331, #3 is A.J. Hinch (1993-96) at 305, and tied now at #4 is Larry Reynolds at 300 (1976-79).

* Lowrie extended his hitting streak to eight games with the fifth inning home run.  Lowrie leads the club in batting average at .415, runs (16 - tied with Fuld), doubles (3), RBI (15), and slugging percentage (.698).

* Ash was back in the lineup at third base today after not playing yesterday.

* In his first career start, Rapoport went 1-for-2 with a single and a walk.  The freshman started in right field with Hall moving to DH.

* Quick has now thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings out of the Stanford bullpen this season.

* Stanford has won all four of their series' this season and eight in a row dating back to last year.

Texas     0 0 1  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   1   6   3
Stanford  0 1 0  2 4 0  1 0 x   -   8   7   1

WP: Blake Holler (1-0)
LP: Justin Simmons (2-1)
S: Kodiak Quick (1)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (3), John Mayberry, Jr. (4)

Records: #4 Stanford (10-2), #6 Texas (11-2)

* The Cardinal will next be in action this upcoming weekend when they travel across the bay to take on the California Golden Bears in a non-conference series.  Game time on Friday is scheduled for 2pm while the contests on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1pm.  Stanford will play an exhibition game on Tuesday of this week against Rikkyo University of Japan.  Game time is scheduled for 2pm at Sunken Diamond and admission is free.

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