Baseball Returns With A Victory

Stanford's two-week break was extended one extra day after Saturday's scheduled game with Pacific was rained out. But the team finally returned to the field on Sunday afternoon in Stockton as the Cardinal notched a 9-6 victory over the Tigers. Jed Lowrie supplied the big hit of the day with a three-run home run while Jeff Gilmore fired seven quality innings in a long relief stint.

After an overall slow start, the Stanford Cardinal bats came up with a solid effort at the plate while Jeff Gilmore dominated on the mound in a 9-6 victory at Pacific.  It was a rainy, cool afternoon in Stockton as the teams sat through a 30-minute delay to begin the ballgame because of wet weather.  It was still better than yesterday, however, as the Cardinal and Tigers' scheduled contest at Sunken Diamond was postponed because of rain in the Palo Alto area.  Mark Romanczuk was scheduled to start that game, but because of the rainout, Mark Marquess elected to give his lefty a little work in this afternoon's tilt.

Romanczuk was a tad rusty today as that combined with a couple of bloop hits resulted in three runs allowed in his two innings of work.  Romanczuk didn't walk anyone and did come up with three strike outs, but after 36 pitches, his afternoon was complete.  The Tigers received a leadoff double from Anthony Jackson in the bottom of the first and he would score three batters later on a ground out.  Then in the second, #8 hitter Ramon Glasgow tripled to right center field to plate a run while Glasgow would score when the next batter, Dale Hall, knocked him home with a single.  Romanczuk would strike out the next two batters though to end his outing on a good note.

Trailing 3-1, Stanford tied the score with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning.  Chris Minaker led off by reaching on an error and then moved to second when Jed Lowrie drew a walk.  John Mayberry, Jr. was up next and he singled up the middle to score Minaker which cut the lead in half.  Then John Hester lofted a sacrifice fly ball to right scoring Lowrie to tie the game at 3-3.

The original scheduled starter today, Jeff Gilmore, was summoned from the bullpen to begin the bottom of the third inning.  For Gilmore, it was his first relief appearance since the very first weekend of last season.  And the outing would not start as Gilmore would have liked.

Back-to-back hit by pitches started the inning which set the table for UOP slugger Justin Baum.  Baum entered the game with a whopping eight home runs through their first 23 games.  And on the first pitch of this at-bat, Baum smoked a ball over the fence in right field for a three-run homer and a 6-3 Pacific lead. 

The Tigers threatened past the Baum homer as a double and another hit by pitch, the third of the inning, put a couple of runners on.  But back-to-back strike outs of Hall and Jackson would keep the score at 6-3.

The Cardinal offense kept things going in the top of the fourth as they reclaimed the lead with a four-run outburst.  With two outs and nobody on, Jim Rapoport got the rally started with a single.  After a walk to leadoff man Adam Sorgi, Minaker singled to right scoring Rapoport to make the score 6-4.  Then it was Lowrie coming through with the biggest hit of the ballgame as the All-American second baseman launched a home run to deep right center field and just like that, Stanford was ahead by a 7-6 score.

Gilmore settled into a groove after the Lowrie home run with the exception of three more hit by pitches.  For whatever reason, Gilmore struggled with his control, primarily with his breaking ball.  The junior plunked single batters in the fourth, fifth, and sixth frames giving him an amazing six HBP's during his outing.  For reference, Gilmore had hit only two batters in his previous 35 1/3 innings this season entering this afternoon.

But fortunately for Gilmore and the Cardinal, his stuff was plenty good enough to overcome the hit by pitches.  In fact, Gilmore went four full innings, the fourth through the seventh, without allowing a single hit to the Tigers.  In fact, Gilmore didn't go to his first three-ball count until the leadoff batter of the bottom of the seventh. 

Stanford added to their lead in the top of the seventh as back-to-back RBI singles from Chris Lewis and Rapoport produced a pair of runs.  With the score 9-6, the Cardinal had a chance for more but with the bases loaded, Minaker and Lowrie both went down on strikes to end the inning.

The Tigers threatened briefly in the bottom of the eighth versus Gilmore when Jesse Kovacs doubled down the right field line - the first hit allowed by Gilmore since with no outs in the third.  But the veteran hurler was unfazed as he struck out the next two batters to retire the side.  Then in the ninth, Gilmore surrendered a leadoff walk and a one-out single, but set down the next two hitters in order to end the game and seal the victory.

Game Notes:
* Gilmore tossed the last seven innings of the ballgame allowing three runs and four hits.  The junior walked one while he struck out six.

* At the plate, the center fielder Rapoport had a big day going 3-for-5 with three singles, an RBI, and a stolen base.

* Other multi-hit games came from Mayberry, Jr. (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Hester (2-for-4, RBI).

* Pacific lost their seventh consecutive game.

* The rainout game from yesterday will be made-up.  A date for the contest, which could be during the upcoming week, should be announced shortly.

Stanford     1 0 2  4 0 0  2 0 0   -   9  11   0
Pacific      1 2 3  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   6   9   3

WP: Jeff Gilmore (3-1)
LP: Matthew Pena (0-1)

HR: Stanford- Jed Lowrie (8); Pacific- Justin Baum (9)

Records: #12 Stanford (12-7), Pacific (10-14)

* The Cardinal return to action on Tuesday with a single non-conference game at San Jose State.  First pitch at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00pm.

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