Cardinal Use Longball To Defeat Gaels

The #1 ranked Stanford Cardinal clubbed four home runs this afternoon in their 7-3 victory over the Saint Mary's Gaels in Moraga. Stanford also continued to get contributions from up-and-down the lineup as they ran their overall record to 16-3 on the year. On the mound, a pair of freshman led the way which included the season debut for the highly touted Greg Reynolds. Read on for a complete recap.

Both teams went down quietly in the first inning this afternoon before Stanford jumped ahead with a single run in the top of the second.  Danny Putnam led off with a ringing double off the fence down the left field line and moved to third on a single off the bat of John Mayberry, Jr.  Putnam scored when the next batter, Donny Lucy, flied out to center field.

Meanwhile, Blake Holler was having his way with the Gael hitters this afternoon.  After getting roughed up in his last start at USC 2 1/2 weeks ago, Holler dominated in his three-inning stint today.  He surrendered just two hits and no runs.  He did not walk anyone while he struck out four.  Just 37 pitches thrown for Holler as he should be good-to-go for his next scheduled start on Saturday versus Cal Poly.

Stanford added to their lead with a run in the top of the fourth to make it a 2-0 game.  Slugging second baseman Jed Lowrie led off with a towering home run to center field - his fifth homer of the year. 

Holler was taken out of the game after three full innings of work in favor of another freshman in Greg Reynolds.  Reynolds was knocked out with an injury the first month of the season and had been working himself back into pitching shape in practice over the last few weeks.  The 6'8" right hander struggled a little bit in his first inning today.  He allowed a double to Bryan Byrne on the very first pitch he threw.  After getting the next batter to pop-out, Byrne scored when Delaney Gallagher singled him home.  That made it a 2-1 Stanford lead.  Reynolds would get out of the inning, however, without further damage.

The Gaels tied the game at 2-2 with a single run in the bottom of the fifth - this was an unearned run given up by Reynolds.  With one out, leadoff hitter Mike Harris ripped a single into left center field.  Sam Fuld raced over to field the ball, but didn't get his glove all the way down to the ground as the ball rolled past him and all the way to the wall.  By the time the ball was thrown back into the infield, Harris was standing at third base.

Then with Mike Sansoe at the plate and squaring around to bunt (on an apparent safety squeeze), Reynolds uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop allowing Harris to score.  Reynolds would settle down though getting Sansoe to pop out and then he retired the next batter on a ground out to second.

Meanwhile, Saint Mary's starter Dane Dobrinich was doing a nice job keeping the Cardinal hitters at bay.  Through six innings, Dobrinich had allowed just the two runs on five hits.  Stanford was making some solid contact, but the balls weren't finding holes.  Finally in the top of the seventh, with the score still tied 2-2, Stanford broke through.

Mayberry, Jr. got things started by clubbing a home run to deep right center field to put Stanford in front, 3-2.  After Lucy singled and stole second, Brian Hall lined a home run over the fence in right field to make it a 5-2 contest.  Just like that, Stanford had retaken the lead and then some.

Reynolds worked a quick sixth inning yielding just a harmless two-out single before giving way to fellow freshman Jeff Stimpson to start the seventh.  Stimpson gave up three singles in the inning, but was aided by a double play ground out and a fabulous play at second base by Lowrie on a ground ball to end the inning.  Playing in shallow right field, Lowrie went well over to his left, gloved the ball, spun, and then fired to first for the out.

Stanford added to their lead in the top of the eighth, still against the starter Dobrinich.  Jonny Ash singled to start things off and scored two batters later when Putnam launched a home run.  It was Putnam's fourth home run of the season and it made the score 7-2 Cardinal.

Closer David O'Hagan came on to start the bottom of the eighth.  He quickly retired the first two batters before giving up three consecutive singles which produced a run.  O'Hagan though would strike out pinch-hitter J.P. Musgrove to end the threat.

In the bottom of the ninth, Saint Mary's put runners on first and second with one out, but O'Hagan induced Adam Bellows to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Game Notes:
* The four home runs hit today by the Cardinal were one off their season-high set on February 7th at Fresno State.

* With home runs today, Lowrie and Mayberry, Jr. continue to co-lead the team in that category with five apiece.  Hall and Putnam are right on their heels though with four home runs each.

* Ash (3-for-5), Putnam (2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Mayberry, Jr. (2-for-4, HR, RBI), and Sorgi (2-for-4) all had multi-hit games today.

* Putnam extended his hitting streak to seven games while he raised his batting average to .380.

* Reynolds notched his first career victory in his first career appearance.  In three innings of work, Reynolds surrendered two runs (one earned) on five hits.  He did not walk a batter while he struck out two.  His offspeed stuff was especially impressive today.

* The two teams today combined for 27 hits, but just one walk.

* Stanford has won 18 consecutive games over Saint Mary's dating back to 1994.  They've also now taken 22 out of their last 24 road contests going back to last season.

Stanford        0 1 0  1 0 0  3 2 0   -   7  13   2
Saint Mary's    0 0 0  1 1 0  0 1 0   -   3  14   1

WP: Greg Reynolds (1-0)
LP: Dane Dobrinich (0-3)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (5), John Mayberry, Jr. (5), Danny Putnam (4), Brian Hall (4)

Records: #1 Stanford (16-3), Saint Mary's (6-18)

* The Cardinal will be back in action tomorrow night for a single non-conference game at Santa Clara.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (3-1, 5.23) is scheduled to start on the mound for Stanford.

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