Card Crush Mustangs In Series Opener

Stanford is making some pretty good teams look awfully ordinary these days. Tonight, Jed Lowrie's three-run homer in the first inning set the tone as the Cardinal routed the Cal Poly Mustangs by a 16-4 score in the series opener. Stanford used a six-run third inning to blow the game open while Mark Romanczuk delivered another solid outing on the mound. Here is a complete recap.

Stanford didn't waste any time tonight as they pounced on the Cal Poly Mustangs with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Sam Fuld and Jonny Ash got things started with back-to-back singles and then Jed Lowrie blasted a three-run homer over the fence in right field.  The home run for Lowrie easily cleared the wall in right and was his fifth longball in Stanford's last four games (eighth overall).

Mark Romanczuk worked around two singles in the top of the first inning, but couldn't escape damage in the second.  With a runner on first base and one out, catcher Cory Taillon singled to put two guys on.  After a walk to Kyle Blumenthal loaded the bases, leadoff man Sam Herbert hit a one-hop ground ball to shortstop.  Adam Sorgi ranged a few steps over to his right, gloved the ball, but fired past Lowrie covering second and into right field for an error.  Stanford probably wasn't going to double up the speedy Herbert, but an out should have been made on the play.  As it stood, two runs scored and Blumenthal raced into third base.

The Mustangs tied the game when the very next batter, Adam Leavitt, was thrown out at first on a sacrifice bunt.  Three runs scored in the inning, but just one of those were earned.

After going down quietly in the bottom of the second, Stanford took the lead for good with two runs in the last half of the third inning.  Ash began the inning with a double down the left field line.  After Lowrie walked, Danny Putnam singled to load the bases.  John Mayberry, Jr. was up next and the sophomore first baseman blasted a ball to deep right center field.  Off the bat, it looked like it may have had enough to carry out for a grand slam, but Cal Poly right fielder Chalon Tietje made the catch with his back up against the wall.  It was plenty deep enough to score Ash, however, for a sacrifice fly.

The second run of the inning scored when Lowrie was balked home from third.

Romanczuk breezed through the third and fourth innings tonight.  He worked a 1-2-3 third inning throwing just nine pitches in the process.  In the fourth, Taillon singled with one out, but was quickly erased on a double play off the bat of Blumenthal.

Stanford broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it an 11-3 ballgame.  With one out, Adam Sorgi walked and then Fuld singled to put two runners on.  Ash was then hit by a pitch to set the table for Lowrie.  But the slugging second baseman wouldn't get much of a chance to do any damage as he walked to force home a run.  Then Putnam walked to bring home another run to increase the lead out to 7-3.

Mayberry, Jr. was up next and he smoked a hard ground ball to shortstop that was booted for an error.  Ash scored on that play.  Donny Lucy then delivered the dagger with a ringing two-run double to deep left center field.  And then for good measure, Brian Hall singled home Lucy to extend the lead out to 11-3.

The Mustangs had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead in the top of the fifth when they put runners on first and third and one out (both players singled).  However, Romanczuk came back to strike out the #4 hitter Tietje and then got shortstop Josh Mayo to fly out to right to end the threat.

Cal Poly wouldn't get back on the scoreboard until the top of the seventh.  Herbert led off with a walk and then moved to second on a wild pitch.  Two straight ground outs allowed Herbert to score to make it 11-4 Cardinal.  Romanczuk was removed from the game after seven full innings of work.

Stanford would blow the game wide open with five runs in the bottom of the seventh.  A single by Hall, a walk to the pinch-hitter Jim Rapoport, and a single by Sorgi loaded the bases with none out.  Fuld then came up and lofted a fly ball to medium-deep left field.  Hall was going to score on the sacrifice fly, but when leftfielder Brandon Roberts dropped the routine fly ball, everyone was safe.

But the bleeding wouldn't stop there for the Mustangs.  Ash then bounced a ball to shortstop that was butchered by Mayo for an error and another run scored.  After Chris Minaker grounded out to score another run, Putnam delivered the final blow with a line drive double down the left field line scoring two more.

Drew Ehrlich relieved Romanczuk to start the eighth and the 6'5" senior right hander would close the game out.  In his two innings of work, Ehrlich allowed just one hit, walked one, and struck out one.

Game Notes:
* Lowrie only finished 1-for-1 today as he walked twice after the home run and then was lifted from the game in the sixth inning.  He tied a career-high with four RBI to give him a whopping 35 for the season.

* Other offensive stars tonight included Putnam (3-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI), Hall (3-for-5, RBI), Fuld (2-for-4, RBI), and Ash (2-for-5, 2B, RBI).

* Putnam extended his hitting streak to nine games.

* Ash scored four runs tonight while Fuld tallied three scores.

* Romanczuk notched the win tonight with seven solid innings of work.  He surrendered four runs (just two of which were earned) on seven hits.  He walked three and struck out three.  Romanczuk is a perfect 13-0 in his career at Sunken Diamond.

* Stanford has now scored 34 runs in their last two games and have scored at least six runs in 17 consecutive games.

* The Cardinal have also now won eight straight games over Cal Poly and 18 of their last 19 at home dating back to last season.

Cal Poly    0 3 0  0 0 0  1 0 0   -   4   8   3
Stanford    3 0 2  6 0 0  5 0 x   -  16  14   1   

WP: Mark Romanczuk (5-1)
LP: Jimmy Shull (6-3)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (8)

Records: #1 Stanford (18-3), Cal Poly (22-10-1)

* These two teams will continue this three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm at Sunken Diamond.  Lefty Blake Holler (2-1, 3.65) is scheduled to start on the hill for the Cardinal while the Mustangs are expected to counter with right hander Jonathan Fleming (4-0, 2.43).

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