Freshmen Lead Cardinal To Victory

It was a banner day for a quartet of freshman players on Tuesday night in Stanford's 8-2 win over San Jose State. Leading the charge was right fielder <b>Michael Taylor</b> who hit for the cycle in a perfect 4-for-4 evening at the plate. In addition, <b>Brendan Domaracki</b> clubbed his first career home run, while <b>Erik Davis</b> and <b>Nolan Gallagher</b> both excelled on the mound.

Erik Davis earned his third consecutive Tuesday night start this evening and the freshman right-hander would again come through with a solid performance.  When Davis is on his game, he's efficient with his pitches and this was never more evident in tonight's contest.  Davis worked around a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt in the top of the first getting San Jose State's #3 and #4 hitters to strike out to end the inning.  Davis threw just nine pitches in that first frame - all strikes.

In the second, Davis again allowed a leadoff single, but a 6-4-3 double play on the very next offering from the freshman ended any possibility of a big inning.  The Mountain View native threw just 12 pitches in that top of the second.

The third inning was the most stressful as a leadoff single from David Pierson and a double from Anthony Contreras to right field put runners at second and third with none out.  But Davis showed tremendous composure on the mound inducing the next three hitters to ground out on the infield to retire the side.  Pierson did come home to score on one of those outs.

Finally in the fourth, a leadoff single, but then a strike out and another routine 6-4-3 double play resulted in a zero up on the scoreboard.  Davis fired just 10 pitches in this inning to end his evening on the mound.

Stanford did jump out to the early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second when Michael Taylor blasted a solo home run to left field.  It was Taylor's first career home run, but you could certainly see it coming as the freshman had really been driving the ball in recent weeks with numerous doubles and deep fly outs.  He finally connected on a 1-0 pitch in the second inning tonight as the high fly ball sailed over the fence in left.

After San Jose State tied the game in the third, the Cardinal re-took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame.  A leadoff single from Adam Sorgi started the rally.  Then with two outs, John Mayberry, Jr. stepped to the plate and crushed a deep home run over the scoreboard in left-center field for a 3-1 Stanford lead.  Mayberry had been snakebit with the long ball of late with plenty of ringing doubles off of the wall and warning track fly outs.  There was no doubt about this one though as the first baseman smoked his fifth round-tripper of the year.

The home run continued to be the main source of offense throughout the middle innings for Stanford.  In the fourth, Taylor led things off with a triple on a line drive to deep left center field.  Up next was DH Brendan Domaracki and the freshman did his best Jed Lowrie impersonation with a two-run home run to right center field.  This was no cheap home run as it cleared the wall by a good margin.

Then in the fifth, Lowrie belted a solo home run with one out to straight-away center field as the ball carried over the 400 foot sign.  Stanford would score another later in the inning when Hester singled with two outs and then Taylor doubled down the left field line to score the catcher.

Greg Reynolds relieved Davis to start the fifth inning and the sophomore had a nice bounce back outing.  Reynolds struggled mightily on Sunday in Tempe as he lasted just 1/3 of an inning out of the bullpen allowing just one hit, but with three walks and a hit baseman.  All five runners eventually came home to score in Arizona State's 10-9 victory.

It was a completely different Reynolds tonight.  The Pacifica native worked 1-2-3 fifth and seventh innings with ease.  In fact, in the seventh, Reynolds needed just six pitches to set down the Spartans.  San Jose State did touch up Reynolds for a run in the sixth, but the right-hander did an excellent job to limit the damage.  Three consecutive singles to start the inning resulted in a run to cut the lead down to 7-2.  But after a visit to the mound from Coach Marquess, Reynolds induced a fielder's choice ground out and a 6-4-3 double play to retire the side and keep it a five-run Stanford lead.

The Cardinal scored their final run of the night in the bottom of the eighth when Mayberry, Jr. led off with a walk.  He advanced to second on a ground out and then stole third.  Taylor was up next as the freshman needed just a single to complete the cycle.  And lo and behold, on a 2-2 pitch, Taylor lined a ball past the outstretched glove of first baseman Brandon Fromm and into right for that single.  The basehit scored Mayberry for an 8-2 Stanford lead.

Nolan Gallagher closed the game out on the mound for Stanford with two dominant innings of relief.  Gallagher needed just 20 pitches to set down all six batters he faced - three via the strike out.  Gallagher also needed a bounce back outing after walking in the winning run at Arizona State last Saturday in the 6-5 loss.  He certainly came through today showing Cardinal fans his outstanding stuff on the mound and his unlimited potential.

Game Notes:
* The story of the night was Taylor and his cycle.  He became the first Stanford player to hit for the cycle since Edmund Muth accomplished the feat on February 22, 1998 at UCLA.  Taylor finished the night a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBI.  He raised his season batting average to .305.

* Davis picked up the win on the mound allowing just one run with five hits in four innings.  He walked one and struck out three.  Davis lowered his season ERA to 3.49.

* The Cardinal had no other multi-hit games tonight, but seven of the eight remaining hitters did record a hit.

* Jim Rapoport, Stanford's hottest hitter with a 13-game hitting streak, did not play tonight.  The sophomore center fielder did not suit up as he felt under the weather - possibly from food poisoning.  Rapoport leads the Cardinal with an outstanding .392 batting average.  Senior Cameron Matthews earned the start in his place and went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strike outs.  It was the former team manager's first career start.

* Reynolds went three innings on the mound yielding one run on three hits with no walks and a strike out.  The Cardinal pitching staff combined for just one walk tonight while the defense went errorless in the field.

* The Spartans are enjoying a strong 2005 season.  They swept Rice earlier in the campaign and are one of the contenders for the WAC title.  Today was just their 15th loss of the season compared to 20 wins.

San Jose State  0 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 0   -   2   8   0
Stanford        0 1 2  2 2 0  0 1 x   -   8  11   0

WP: Erik Davis (2-0)
LP: Brandon Hennessey (3-3)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (11), John Mayberry, Jr. (5), Michael Taylor (1), Brendan Domaracki (1)

Records: #24 Stanford (21-14), San Jose State (20-15-1)

* The Cardinal open a Pac-10 series against the Washington Huskies on Friday evening at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm while Saturday and Sunday's games are both slated for 1:00pm start times.   As of this afternoon, Coach Marquess was officially "TBA" for all three of his starting pitching assignments for the series.  Of note, usual Friday night starter Mark Romanczuk had been the starting DH in all Tuesday affairs this season until tonight.  In this evening's game, Jeff Gilmore got the nod at DH.

The Bootleg Top Stories