Cardinal Destroy Sac State, 15-1

Stanford had little trouble disposing of Sacramento State on a pleasant Friday night at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal pounded out a season-high 21 hits, smoked three more home runs, and got an excellent pitching performance from Mark Romanczuk in the 15-1 rout. In addition, Brian Hall extended his hitting streak to 21 games as Stanford won their seventh consecutive game overall.

Stanford put together another incredibly complete performance Friday night in their 15-1 over the Sacramento State Hornets at Sunken Diamond.  The Cardinal pounded out a season-high 21 hits, smoked three more home runs, got an excellent pitching performance from Mark Romanczuk, and played flawless defense.  With the win, Stanford has now won seven consecutive games as they run their overall record to 31-5.

The game got off to a good start when Romanczuk struck out the side in the top of the first inning.  In the bottom half, the Cardinal used the long ball to take a 2-0 lead.  With two outs and nobody on, second baseman Jed Lowrie, who was batting right handed, ripped a home run well over the fence in left to make it 1-0.  It was Lowrie's team-leading 12th homer of the season.  Then immediately following the Lowrie blast, first baseman John Mayberry, Jr. cracked a homer to left - his tenth home run of the year - and all of a sudden, Stanford had a 2-0 advantage.

The Hornets manufactured a run off Romanczuk in the top of the second.  Brett Flowers led off by walking which was followed by a bloop single off the bat of Andy Hnilo.  After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over into scoring position, Bret LeVier brought home a run with a fly out to center.

Stanford would grab the momentum right back, however, with three scores in the bottom of the second.  With one out, Fuld singled and then moved to third on a wild pickoff throw.  Brian Hall then singled home the speedy center fielder.  A double from Lowrie put runners at second and third and then Mayberry, Jr. singled plating two to make it 5-1.

In the bottom of the third, the Cardinal pushed across two more runs extending their lead out to 7-1.  Consecutive singles from Donny Lucy and Chris Carter got the rally started.  After a walk to Chris Minaker, Jim Rapoport singled into left field to score Lucy and Carter.

Then in the fourth, Stanford scored two more times when Lucy belted a two-run home run to left field.  A no-doubt-about-it shot from Lucy for his eighth homer of the season.

Meanwhile, Romanczuk was in cruise control.  The sophomore lefty set down the Sac State hitters 1-2-3 in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.  In one of his most dominating performances of the season, Romanczuk, at one point, retired 14 consecutive Hornet batters.  A hitter finally reached with two outs in the top of the sixth inning when Romanczuk plunked Ronnie Machado, Jr. with a pitch.  John Acha then blooped a single into left, but Romanczuk came back to get Flowers to fly out to end the mini-threat.

Stanford held onto a 9-1 lead in this game before scoring three more times in the bottom of the sixth.  After a leadoff walk to Mayberry, Jr., Putnam laced a triple into the right field corner making it a 10-1 game.  Lucy then reached on an infield single (with Putnam remaining at third on the play) before Carter crushed a double to deep center field to score another run.  For Carter, the big hit came off a left handed pitcher as he continues to show improvement in that department over the last two months (so much so that Coach Marquess started Carter tonight at DH even with a lefty on the hill).

The final run of the sixth inning scored when Minaker lined a ball to deep center for a sacrifice fly.

And then for good measure, Stanford crossed the plate three more times in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead out to 15-1.  Mayberry, Jr. had an RBI single in the inning scoring Hall who had earlier doubled.  Then pinch-hitter John Hester scored two with a ringing double to left center field.

Romanczuk had little trouble setting down the Hornets in the seventh and eighth.  He was pulled after a very efficient eight innings of work that saw him throw 104 pitches.  Freshman Blake Holler came on in the ninth and worked around a one-out walk to put up a zero and close out the win for Stanford.

Game Notes:
* Before I get to all the hitting stars, Mark Romanczuk's performance tonight should not be overlooked.  The southpaw tossed eight innings yielding only one run on four hits.  He walked one and struck out seven to improve his season record to 8-1 and ERA to 3.82.

* Lucy had the biggest night of any Stanford hitters with a 4-for-4 game that included a home run and three RBI.

* Carter (3-for-3, 2B, RBI), Mayberry, Jr. (3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI), and Hall (3-for-6, 2 2B, RBI) each had three-hit games.

* Meanwhile, Putnam (2-for-3, 3B, RBI), Fuld (2-for-5), and Lowrie (2-for-6, 2B, HR, RBI) each recorded two hits in this ballgame.

* Hall extended his hitting streak to 21 games tonight.  Fuld (12 games), Lucy (12 games), and Putnam (nine games) also extended hitting streaks.

* Not only was the 21 hits a season-high, but the Cardinal also rapped out six doubles tonight which is their highest total of the year.

* Stanford's team batting average now stands at an amazing .336.  The highest in school history is the .337 clip that the 1981 team finished with.  The Cardinal are also now averaging 9.2 runs per contest which would be the highest output in school history if the season ended today (1985 team averaged 9.1).

* Perhaps the only negative aspect of tonight's game was that senior third baseman Jonny Ash (.374, 4 HR, 27 RBI) did not play.  Ash left last Tuesday's contest against Saint Mary's early when he was clipped on the finger with a pitched ball on a bunt play.  Ash did not participate in pregame batting or infield practice, so it seems obvious the Oakland native will at least be out for this weekend.  In his place, Brian Hall moved from right field to third base while Ryan Seawell started in right.  Hall moved up to the #2 spot in the batting order as well.

Sacramento State  0 1 0  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   1   4   1
Stanford          2 3 2  2 0 3  3 0 x   -  15  21   0

WP: Mark Romanczuk (8-1)
LP: Marshall Hendon (1-4)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (12), John Mayberry, Jr. (10), Donny Lucy (8)

Records: #2 Stanford (31-5), Sacramento State (22-27)

* The Cardinal and Hornets will wrap-up this two-game series tomorrow afternoon in Sacramento at 2:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (6-1, 4.57) is scheduled to start on the hill for Stanford while Sacramento State is expected to counter with right hander Ethan Katz (6-4, 4.16).

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