Cardinal Give One Away In The 10th

A pair of hit batsmen and an error in the bottom of the tenth inning led to Washington's winning run as the Huskies posted a 3-2 victory over Stanford on Friday night in Seattle. The Cardinal received a masterful nine-inning pitching performance from ace hurler Mark Romanczuk, but the offense lacked clutch hitting and the bullpen couldn't come through in the end. Read on for all the details.

The Cardinal jumped on the board first in this game with a run in the top of the first inning against UW starter Kyle Parker.  With one out, Chris Minaker singled.  After a strike out of Jed Lowrie and a walk to Danny Putnam, John Mayberry, Jr. came through with an RBI single through the left side to score a run.

The Huskies quickly answered back with a run in the bottom of the first.  With two outs, Zach Clem doubled.  After a hit batsman put two runners on, #5 hitter Nick Batkoski doubled to left plating a run.  Mark Romanczuk did a nice job limiting the damage though as John Otness popped out with the bases loaded to end the rally.

Stanford would not get back in the run column until the fourth when they manufactured a run against Parker.  Putnam led off with a single which was followed by a walk to Mayberry, Jr.  Donny Lucy bunted the runners over and then Brian Hall scored Putnam with a ground out to second.

Meanwhile, Romanczuk was having his way with the Washington hitters.  He worked 1-2-3 second, third, and fifth innings.  In the fourth, all the Huskies got was a two-out single.  The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth when Larson launched a home run down the right field line to tie the game.

Stanford though could do very little against Parker tonight either.  They went down in order in the second, third, and fifth frames.  In the sixth, Lowrie walked to lead off and was promptly balked to second.  But Putnam, Mayberry, and Lucy went down in successive order.  Then in the seventh, Hall led off with a single, but Chris Carter, Adam Sorgi, and Sam Fuld each were retired (Sorgi's was a sac bunt).  In the eighth, Putnam singled with two outs, but was stranded when Mayberry, Jr. popped out.

Fortunately, Romanczuk was still on the top of his game.  He did, however, need to get out of a major jam in the seventh to keep the score deadlocked.  UW loaded the bases with one out, but Romanczuk was able to come back and strike out #2 Greg Issacson and then Clem grounded out to third ending the threat.  Clem's ground out to third was hardly ordinary though as Sorgi had to dive to his right to glove the ball and then his low throw to first was scooped out of the dirt by Mayberry,

The score remained tied heading into the ninth when Washington turned the ball over to their ace hurler, Tim Lincecum.  Lincecum is second in the NCAA's in strike outs and was scheduled to start on Sunday, but UW head coach Ken Knutson saw an opportunity to win this ballgame, so he put all his eggs in one basket and went for it.

Lincecum surrendered a leadoff single in the ninth to Lucy, but he would be stranded on the base paths after Hall flied out, Carter popped out, and Sorgi struck out.

Romanczuk continued to deal in the bottom of the ninth setting down the Huskies 1-2-3.  Then in the tenth, Fuld got things started with a single.  After Minaker bunted him over to second, Lowrie struck out swinging for the second out.  Putnam was then intentionally walked to put runners at first and second and to set the stage for a dramatic Lincecum vs. Mayberry, Jr. matchup.  But on a 1-and-1 pitch, Mayberry checked his swing on a pitch in the dirt and apparently injured himself as he took himself out of the game.  Up stepped pinch-hitter Jim Rapoport inheriting a 1-and-2 count, but the freshman wouldn't get a chance to swing as Fuld was thrown out at third trying to steal.  A pitch-out was called on the play, so Fuld was easily tagged out trying to advance.  I'm not quite sure I understand this move as Fuld was already in scoring position and with two outs, it makes very little difference whether you are at second or third.  And with a lefty at the plate, the throw down to third is that much easier for the catcher to make.  And unfortunately for Marquess and the Cardinal, they wouldn't get another chance to swing the bats tonight.

In the bottom of the 10th, freshman Jeff Stimpson relieved Romanczuk.  Stimpson promptly hit leadoff batter Brent Lillibridge with a pitch.  After a sacrifice bunt moved Lillibridge to second, Clem came up and grounded a ball to third.  Sorgi though, who had been playing an excellent game defensively at third, airmailed the throw to first.  Luckily Brian Hall, who was now playing first for the injured Mayberry, saved the game when he jumped up and caught the high throw.  However, everyone was safe as Lillibridge now stood at third with Clem at first.

Blake Holler was summoned from the bullpen at this point and Holler got off to a rough start when he plunked the first batter he faced, Kyle Larson, with a pitch.  So the Huskies had the bases loaded with one out thanks to two hit batsman and an error.  The ending was pretty predictable as Batkoski blooped a single into right just ahead of the diving Rapoport to score a run and send Stanford to defeat.

Game Notes:
* Not a lot of positives tonight, however give a ton of credit to Mark Romanczuk for coming through in his biggest start of the season.  Romanczuk went nine innings surrendering just two runs on six hits.  He walked two and struck out eight.  The sophomore lefty also retired the final eight batters he faced.

* Offensively, Putnam was the only player with a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

* Lowrie's ten-game hitting streak was snapped after he went 0-for-4 with two strike outs.

* UW ace Tim Lincecum went the last two innings on the mound.  He did not allow a run on two hits with two strike outs.  Lincecum threw 29 pitches as it will be very interesting to see how he is handled the rest of the series.

* Stanford (10-3) is now just 1/2 game ahead of Washington (11-5) in the Pac-10 race.

* Stanford has now lost their seven games this year by a total of 12 runs.  Their last four losses have each been by one run.

Stanford     1 0 0  1 0 0  0 0 0  0   -  2   7   1
Washington   1 0 0  0 0 1  0 0 0  1   -  3   7   0

WP: Tim Lincecum (6-1)
LP: Jeff Stimpson (1-2)

HR: Washington- Kyle Larsen

Records: #1 Stanford (36-7, 10-3), Washington (27-14-1, 11-5)

* The Cardinal and Huskies will continue this critical three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (7-2, 4.46) is scheduled to start for Stanford while Washington is expected to counter with Matt Kasser (2-0, 7.86).

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