Card Cruise To 8-3 Win Over Cougars

On a pleasant Friday evening at Sunken Diamond, the 2nd ranked Stanford Cardinal posted an 8-3 victory over the Washington State Cougars in the opener of a three-game series. Mark Romanczuk tossed seven solid innings to record his team-leading ninth win of the year. Meanwhile, Brian Hall and Donny Lucy clubbed home runs as Stanford jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and cruised to victory.

Mark Romanczuk started strong in this game as the sophomore left hander retired the first five batters he faced.  With two outs in the top of the second, Romanczuk hit Jeremy Farrar with a pitch, however the southpaw promptly picked off Farrar to take care of the inning.

The Cardinal jumped on the board with two runs in the bottom of the second off WSU starter Aaron MacKenzie.  Danny Putnam drew a leadoff walk and then two batters later, Brian Hall crushed a home run over the fence in left.  For Hall, it was his eighth home run of the season, already a career-high.

Stanford blew the game open with four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-0 lead.  With one out, Sam Fuld walked.  After Jim Rapoport struck out, Jed Lowrie singled to put two runners on.  Then Putnam doubled scoring both runners extending the lead out to 4-0.  Following the Putnam double, catcher Donny Lucy launched a home run to deep left field and all of a sudden, it was a 6-0 Cardinal advantage.

Romanczuk cruised through the first five innings of tonight's ballgame.  WSU did threaten to crack the scoreboard in the fourth with two singles and another hit batsman, but Romanczuk would get Collin Henderson to ground out to third with the bases loaded to end the inning.  Romanczuk then worked a 1-2-3 fifth to keep the shutout intact.

The Cardinal pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.  With one out, four consecutive singles from Lowrie, Putnam, Lucy, and Hall produced a pair of runs.  Stanford was in complete control of this ballgame with an 8-0 lead.

Washington State finally got to Romanczuk in the sixth with a single tally.  Jason Freeman singled to lead off and then back-to-back one-out singles from Grant Richardson and Zach McAngus scored him.  Romanczuk would dodge a bullet later in the inning getting Brandon Reddinger to strike out swinging with the bases loaded and two down.

Romanczuk put up another zero in the seventh, before tiring in the eighth.  After a leadoff walk to Richardson, pitching coach Tom Kunis came out for a visit.  Kodiak Quick was warming in the bullpen, but Kunis elected to keep Romanczuk in the ballgame.  The move, however, would not pay off as the next batter was McAngus and the WSU third baseman smoked a home run well over the wall in left to make it an 8-3 game.  That ended Romanczuk's evening as Quick was summoned from the bullpen.

Quick struggled early in his outing as he walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a single.  But a big double play ground ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Zach Franklin kept the score at 8-3.  Quick then worked an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the victory for Stanford.

Game Notes:
* Hall led the offense tonight with a 4-for-4 performance.  The senior connected on a home run and three RBI.  He's now batting .378 on the season - second on the club.

* Other multi-hit games came from Lowrie (2-for-3), Putnam (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI), and Lucy (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI).

* Lucy extended his hitting streak to 15 games while Putnam's streak now stands at 12.

* Romanczuk improved to 9-1 on the season with seven solid innings of work.  He surrendered three runs on seven hits with three walks and three strike outs.

* Quick tossed the final two innings without allowing a run.  The sophomore right hander lowered his season ERA to 2.08 (13 IP/3 ER).

* John Mayberry, Jr. did not start tonight - the first time he's not started a contest this season.  The report received before the game was that Mayberry had an infection in his eye.  The slugging first baseman did take batting and infield practice before the game, so it doesn't appear serious.

* Stanford has won 11 in a row at home and 18 straight over the Cougars.

Washington State   0 0 0  0 0 1  0 2 0   -   3   8   0
Stanford           0 2 4  0 2 0  0 0 x   -   8  12   0

WP: Mark Romanczuk (9-1)
LP: Aaron MacKenzie (5-5)

HR: Stanford- Donny Lucy (9), Brian Hall (8) ; Washington State - Zach McAngus (6)

Records: #2 Stanford (33-6, 8-2), Washington State (23-17, 5-8)

* These two teams will continue this three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (6-2, 4.30) is scheduled to start on the hill for Stanford while the Cougars are expected to counter with right hander Aaron Trolia (4-3, 4.80).

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