Baseball Pounds Santa Clara

Tuesday's 12-3 win over Santa Clara was a complete performance for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team. At the plate, Stanford jumped out to an early big lead thanks to home runs from Danny Putnam and Jed Lowrie along with some clutch hitting from John Hester. On the mound, five Cardinal hurlers combined on a six-hitter led by excellent performances from Greg Reynolds and Mark Jecmen. Meanwhile, Sam Fuld scored two runs tonight to tie the career record on the Farm.

Ho hum, the Cardinal put up double figures once again.  Tonight, Stanford pushed across five runs in the bottom of the first inning and then rolled to a 12-3 win over the Santa Clara Broncos.  Five Cardinal hurlers combined on a six-hitter while Jed Lowrie and Danny Putnam each blasted home runs.  Meanwhile, Sam Fuld tied the school career record for runs scored with two tallies today.

Freshman Matt Leva earned the start tonight for the Cardinal.  In the top of the first, the Texas native plunked the leadoff batter, but would settle down to retire the next three hitters in order to end the inning. 

Stanford wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they pounded SCU starter Kellan McConnell (who is one of their top weekend starting pitchers) for five runs in the bottom of the first.  Fuld got things started by walking and after Jonny Ash flied out to deep right, Lowrie walked to put two runners on.  Putnam was up next and the Cardinal leftfielder jumped all over a 1-1 McConnell offering as he belted a home run to deep left center field.  For Putnam, it was his eighth homer of the year and it gave Stanford a 3-0 lead.

The Cardinal weren't done though as John Mayberry, Jr. followed the Putnam blast by getting hit with a pitch.  After a strike out of Brian Hall, Chris Carter ripped a single into right field to put runners at the corners.  #8 hitter Chris Minaker drew a walk to load the bases then John Hester came through with his first hit of the season as he lined a ball into center field scoring two for a 5-0 Stanford lead.

Usual starting catcher Donny Lucy got the night off tonight as the junior backstop had started the previous 30 games behind the dish.  And although this is not an official statistic, I believe Lucy has caught all but three innings this season.  So the sophomore Hester, who Coach Marquess is fond of saying would start for almost any other team in the country. got the nod tonight and he would deliver in a big way.

Leva went back out in the second and ran into some trouble.  Nic Crosta led off with a single and then DH Nathan Faulkner smoked a home run over the wall in left.  Just like that, the lead had been cut to 5-2.  Leva would settle down, however, as the 5'10" right hander quickly disposed of the next three hitters to retire the side.

Stanford kept their offensive momentum going against McConnell in the bottom of the second.  Ash began the frame by drawing a walk and then Lowrie unloaded a two-run homer just to the left of straightaway center field.  The home run was Lowrie's team-leading tenth of the season and gave Stanford back their five-run cushion.

Freshman Greg Reynolds relieved Leva to start the third inning and the towering right hander would get off to a slow start.  With one out and nobody on, Reynolds would throw 12 of the next 13 pitches out of strike zone as he issued three walks.  Perhaps the strangest thing about the sudden lack of control was nearly every pitch was missing down low and inside (all identical pitches, it seemed).  Still, Reynolds would regroup as despite falling behind the next batter, Crosta, 3-and-1, he got the SCU right fielder to fly out to left (a run scored on the play).  Reynolds then induced Faulkner to pop out to end the threat.

Reynolds came back on in the fourth and worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning recording two strike outs in the process.  Stanford added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs to make it a 10-3 game.  Jim Rapoport, who replaced Mayberry (more on that later), drew a one-out walk which was followed by a two-out walk to Carter.  Minaker then came through with a clutch RBI single to center which was followed by another RBI hit from Hester - this time it was a bloop single into center that scored a run.  Stanford's final run of the inning came home when Minaker raced home on a wild pitch.

Reynolds continued to roll in the top of the fifth.  He quickly set down the first two batters before Michael Thompson reached on an error.  But Reynolds was unfazed as the next hitter flied to center to end the inning.

Mark Jecmen came on to start the sixth and the 6'8" right hander completely dominated the SCU hitters early on.  In that sixth inning, Jecmen struck out the side going through the 5-6-7 hitters.  He would surrender a pair of singles in the seventh, but would get out of the inning without a run coming home to score.

The Cardinal scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth extending their lead out to 12-3.  Hester got the rally started with a two-out single.  After Fuld was hit by a pitch, Ash singled home Hester with Stanford's 11th run of the game.  Immediately after the Ash hit, Lowrie doubled to left plating another run.

Sophomore Kodiak Quick pitched a scoreless eighth inning tonight.  He issued a one-out walk and then gave up an infield single to the next batter.  However, he would come back to induce second baseman David Hoffmire to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Closer David O'Hagan pitched the ninth this evening.  He allowed one single and picked up a strike out during his scoreless frame.

Game Notes:
* Fuld scored two runs tonight giving him 244 in his career.  That ties him with Mark Davis (1983-86) for first all-time at Stanford.  Fuld is currently 3rd at Stanford all-time in hits with 324 after his 1-for-3 performance this evening.  John Gall (1997-2000) is first in that category with 368 while Paul Carey (1987-90) is second with 331.

* Multi-hit games tonight came from Lowrie (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) and Hester (3-for-5, 3 RBI).  Lowrie leads the club with a .388 batting average, ten homers, and 43 RBI.

* Mayberry, Jr. left the game early tonight.  He was hit by a pitch (on his side or possibly on his hand) in the bottom of the first inning.  He stayed in the game to run (and ended up scoring) and then he also went back out to play the field in the top of the second.  However, he would be lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the second inning.  Being that he continued to play after getting plunked and he was seen walking around in the dugout during the game, I have to imagine whatever is bothering him is not serious and we should see him out at his familiar first base position on Friday night versus Cal.

* Leva was credited with the win tonight.  He went two innings surrendering two runs on two hits.

* Reynolds fired three no-hit innings this evening.  He allowed one run total with three walks and two K's.

* Jecmen also threw two very effective shutout innings in this game.  He allowed two hits with no walks and three strike outs.

* Hall extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a 1-for-5 performance tonight.  Fuld (7 games) and Lowrie (7 games) also extended hitting streaks.

* Stanford has scored in double figures in 15 of their 31 games this season.  They scored ten or more in an impressive 17 of their 69 contests all of last season.

* Stanford is now 12-1 at Sunken Diamond this year.

Santa Clara   0 2 1  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   3   6   0
Stanford      5 2 0  3 0 2  0 0 x   -  12  13   1

WP: Matt Leva (3-0)
LP: Kellan McConnell (3-5)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (10), Danny Putnam (8) ; Santa Clara - Nathan Faulkner (2)

Records: #2 Stanford (26-5), Santa Clara (16-20)

* The Cardinal will next be in action this weekend when they host the Cal Bears for a three-game, Pac-10 series.  First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:00pm while Saturday's and Sunday's contests will both get underway at 1:00pm.

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