Card Blown Out; Lose First Series Of The Year

It took 45 games, but Stanford was finally blown out in a contest this season. The Cardinal had lost their first seven games this season by a grand total of just 12 runs, but could do little right today in their 9-2 defeat at the hands of the Washington Huskies. Stanford drops their first series of the season and now finds themselves just 1/2 game ahead of the Huskies in the Pac-10 race. Here is a complete recap.

Things did not get off to a good start today for Stanford when on the first pitch Greg Reynolds threw, Brent Lillibridge blasted it over the fence in left for a home run.  Reynolds would escape further damage in that first inning, but ran into more trouble in the second.  With one out, Aaron Hathaway drew a walk.  John Otness then stepped up and smoked a home run of his own - a two-run blast - to make it a 3-0 Washington lead.

Then in the third, the Huskies knocked out the freshman right hander.  With one out, Kyle Larsen singled which was followed by a walk to Nick Batkoski.  That ended Reynolds' afternoon as Matt Manship was summoned from the bullpen.  Manship struggled initially as he surrendered a single to Matt Lane to load the bases which was followed by a sacrifice fly RBI off the bat of Hathaway.  Manship would retire Otness though on a fielder's choice ground out to end the inning.

Stanford did not muster a hit off UW ace Tim Lincecum over the first three innings.  The only baserunners were a walk to Brian Hall in the second and a walk to Jim Rapoport in the third.  The fourth inning was especially painful for the Cardinal as they strung together three hits, but still could not crack the scoreboard.

Trailing 4-0, Chris Minaker singled to lead off which was followed by a single from Jed LowrieDanny Putnam then ripped a single into right.  Assistant coach Dean Stotz waved Minaker around third, but the Cardinal shortstop would be thrown out at the plate on a throw in from right fielder Taylor Johnson.  After the momentum-changing play at the plate, Donny Lucy struck out and Hall flied out ending the inning.

Manship surrendered a single run in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 5-0 game.  A one-out walk and then a single put two runners on.  After Manship hit Zach Clem with a pitch, Larsen scored a run with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Cardinal again made some noise in the fifth, but were only able to muster one run.  That run came when Chris Carter launched a leadoff home run to deep right field.  That cut the lead to 5-1, but it looked like Stanford would cut further into the Husky advantage when Rapoport followed with a single while Fuld singled with one out to put runners at the corners.  But Lincecum bore down as he struck out Minaker and Lowrie ending the rally.

The back-breaker for Stanford was the bottom of the fifth with an error igniting the rally.  With Manship still on the hill, Matt Lane led off with a single.  Hathaway then grounded a ball to third, but Lewis could not handle it for an error as Lane raced around to third and Hathaway moved into second.  A bloop single over the drawn-in infield by Otness scored a run which ended Manship's afternoon.  Blake Holler came into the ballgame, but struggled mightily with his control.  He walked Johnson to load the bases and then forced home a run with a walk to Lillibridge.  After a sac fly to deep right off the bat of Issacson which made the score 8-1, Holler was pulled in favor of Matt Leva.  Leva retired the first batter he faced, Clem, on a ground ball, however another run scored on the play extending the lead out to 9-1.

Leva did a nice job in the sixth and seventh innings putting up zeros in the both frames.  In both innings, the Huskies had baserunners, but the freshman right hander did an excellent job working out of trouble.

Stanford scored their second run of the game in the top of the eighth when Putnam smoked a solo homer to left field - his 13th long ball of the season.

Kodiak Quick came on in the eighth and threw a scoreless frame working around a leadoff walk.

Game Notes:
* The seven-run loss was Stanford's worst of the season.  They had lost their first seven games by a total of 12 runs and their last four losses were by only one run each time.

* Reynolds was tagged for four runs (all earned) on four hits in just 2 1/3 innings.

* The only multi-hit game came from Putnam (2-for-4, HR, RBI).  His seventh multi-hit game in Stanford's last eight contests.  Putnam's season average has risen all the way up to .390.

* Leva was easily the most effective relief pitcher tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings.  Leva allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out two.

* Lincecum went eight innings today yielding two runs on seven hits.  He walked four and struck out a whopping 13.  Lincecum entered the weekend second in the NCAA's only to Long Beach State's Jered Weaver in strike outs.  He threw 147 pitches today - this after throwing 29 pitches in two innings of relief work on Friday night.

* Stanford loses their first series of the season snapping a string of 15 consecutive series victories dating back to last season.  Back in 2002, the Cardinal entered Seattle in late April with a perfect series record before dropping 2-of-3 games.

* Stanford (11-4) is now 1/2 game ahead of Washington (12-6) in the Pac-10 standings.  The Huskies have six Pac-10 games remaining while the Cardinal have nine.  Next weekend, Stanford is at Arizona while UW is at USC.

Stanford     0 0 0  0 1 0  0 1 0   -   2   8   1
Washington   1 2 1  1 4 0  0 0 x   -   9  12   0 

WP: Tim Lincecum (7-1)
LP: Greg Reynolds (3-1)

HR: Stanford - Danny Putnam (13), Chris Carter (6) ; Washington - Brent Lillibridge (9), John Otness (8)

Records: #1 Stanford (37-8, 11-4), #21 Washington (28-15-1, 12-6)

* The Cardinal will next be in action on Tuesday night for a non-conference game against the Santa Clara Broncos.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm at Sunken Diamond.  Next weekend, Stanford travels south for a three-game series at Arizona, Saturday-Monday (7pm, 7pm, 1pm).

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