Cardinal Drops 7-5 Decision to Fresno State

The Bulldogs scored early and often on their way to a 7-5 victory over the Stanford Cardinal this afternoon. Freshman pitcher Mark Jecmen was roughed up in the loss, but another freshman had a big day at the plate. Read on for the full recap.

The Fresno State Bulldogs opened up an early 5-0 lead and then held on for a 7-5 victory over the Stanford Cardinal this afternoon at Beiden Field.  The Bulldog hitters got to Cardinal starter Mark Jecmen (0-3), knocking the freshman righthander out of the game in the third inning.  Stanford chipped away at the lead but in the end they just ran out of outs and dropped their third game of the season.

Fresno State (4-5) opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with a single run.  Casey McGehee led off with a walk and later scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of T.J. Boyd.  FSU put across four more runs in the third inning extending the lead to 5-0 and knocking Jecmen out of the game.  Jecmen gave up three consecutive singles to start the inning, was removed in favor of Drew Ehrlich who then went on to give up a double, a sacrifice fly, and a single, and the Bulldogs had their 5-0 lead.  Jecmen usually had no problems getting two strikes on the hitter, but then had trouble finishing them off as Fresno State would either wait him out for a walk or get a good pitch to hit.

The Cardinal (6-3) got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning as Chris O'Riordan led it off with a single and eventually scored on a Jason Cooper RBI single cutting the lead to 5-1.  Ehrlich went back out for the fourth inning and gave up another run on an RBI single off the bat of Carl Lipsey and FSU had their five-run lead back.  Stanford though chipped away in the fifth inning as Chris Carter led things off with a double and scored when the next hitter, Scott Dragicevich, doubled him home.  Dragicevich would later score on an RBI single by Sam Fuld and the Fresno State lead was down to 6-3.  The Bulldogs would answer though as starting pitcher and #3 hitter Ben Fritz clubbed a home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning extending the lead to 7-3.

Stanford had an opportunity in the seventh inning as Carter led off with another double but Fritz settled down and retired the next three hitters with Carter not leaving second base.  Finally in the eighth inning, Stanford started to brake through against Fritz.  Three consecutive singles by Fuld, Ryan Garko, and Cooper to lead off the inning loaded the bases for Carlos Quentin.  Quentin, who represented the tying run, lofted a deep fly ball to center field that just missed going out for a game-tying grand slam as FSU centerfielder Joey Myers made the catch at the warning track.  It did end up going for a sacrifice fly as Fuld scored making the score 7-4 and then Garko would later score in the inning on an RBI ground out by Donny Lucy.  But that would be as close as Stanford would get as Fresno State brought in lefty reliever Mike Hernandez would got out of the eighth inning and threw a 1-2-3 ninth to slam the door shut.

It was another productive day offensively for the Cardinal hitters in terms of hits as they ended up with 13 on the afternoon.  Fuld (4-for-4, RBI) had the biggest day while Cooper (2-for-4, RBI) and Carter (2-for-3, 2 2B) also had multi-hit games.  Jecmen suffered his third loss of the season as he went only two-plus innings giving up five hits and four runs.

Game Notes :
* Freshman Chris Carter got his first career start this afternoon starting in left field in place of Brian Hall.  Carter responded by going 2-for-3 with two doubles making him 3-for-10 on the season.

* Drew Ehrlich got some extended long relief today and pitched very well.  After struggling when he first was brought into the game, the sophomore righthander threw the final six innings giving up three runs, walking none, and striking out six.

* Stanford is now 0-3 in games started by Jecmen.  They are 6-0 when either Jeremy Guthrie or Tim Cunningham get the start on the mound.

* Fresno State switched up their rotation today as Ben Fritz, their #2 starter who had been starting on Sunday, was moved up to today.  Fritz went 7 2/3 innings giving up five runs and 13 hits, but did pick up the win.

Stanford        0 0 0  1 2 0  0 2 0   -   5  13  2
Fresno State    0 1 4  1 1 0  0 0 x   -   7  13  0

The rubber game of this three-game series is tomorrow at 1pm.  Tim Cunningham (2-0, 3.27) is scheduled to start for the Cardinal while Fresno State has not announced a starting pitcher.
 


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