Card Defeat UTSA to Stay Alive

John Mayberry, Jr. blasted a key three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning while Matt Leva fired five shutout frames on the mound to lead the Cardinal to a 6-2 victory over UT-San Antonio on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Cardinal avoid elimination and will play next on Sunday evening (5:00 PST) against the TCU Horned Frogs. Read on for a complete recap of the victory over UTSA.

Head coach Mark Marquess elected to send his #3 starter, Matt Leva, to the mound on Sunday afternoon as the Cardinal attempted to avoid elimination.  Leva has a history of pitching well in elimination contests as he fired a complete game last June as a freshman in Stanford's 7-2 victory over St. John's at Sunken Diamond to keep the season alive.  It was more of the same from Leva today albeit in a shorter outing.

The Texas native kept the UT-San Antonio hitters off balance all afternoon with an assortment of pitches.  Leva displayed excellent control and cruised through the Roadrunner starting lineup two trips through as the Cardinal built a 5-0 lead through the first five and a half innings.  Over the initial five frames, Leva scattered four hits with one walk and had just one inning where UTSA put two runners on base (the fifth).  In that bottom of the fifth inning, with runners on first and second and two outs, Leva set down Roadrunner leadoff man Sean Danielson on a routine fly ball to center field to preserve the two-run Stanford lead.

The top of the sixth was then the pivotal inning in the ballgame as Stanford took firm control of the contest.  With Michael Taylor on second base and two outs, Texas-San Antonio elected to intentionally walk All-American Jed Lowrie to get to John Mayberry, Jr.  Mayberry has been struggling for the better part of the last few weeks and was just 1-for-6 with an infield single thus far in the regional.  The move for the Roadrunners, however, would not pay off.

Mayberry got an 0-1 breaking ball up in the zone from UTSA pitcher Steven Vasquez and promptly crushed it over the fence in left field extending Stanford's lead to 5-0.  It's been a frustrating year for Mayberry in the home run department, but the slugging first baseman certainly made this one count as he came through with his biggest hit of the season.  For Mayberry, it was seventh homer of the year and the 27th of his career.

The Cardinal added another run in the top of the seventh inning when with one out Jim Rapoport blasted a double into the right center field gap.  Rapoport would take third on the play when the center field Danielson mishandled the ball.  He would score on a clutch two-out single from Adam Sorgi.

After allowing consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth inning, Leva was removed from the ballgame in favor of classmate Blake Holler.  Holler did a fantastic job getting out of the jam inducing a pop-up and a double play ground ball to keep the shutout intact.  But the bottom of the seventh would be a different story for the lefty.

A single from Eric Moreno started the inning which was immediately followed by a home run to right field from Michael McKennon to cut the Stanford lead down to 6-2.  After a ground out (on a fantastic defensive play from Chris Minaker), a single, and a walk, Holler was taken out as junior righty Matt Manship was summoned from the bullpen.  With the tying run in the on-deck circle, Manship dazzled with a back-to-back strike outs of the two leading hitters in the UTSA lineup, J.R. Voyles and Ryan Crew, to end the inning.

And it was more of the same from Manship over the final two innings.  The San Antonio native set down the last six hitters of the game finishing the contest with a pair of strike outs (on three pitches each) to finish the Cardinal victory in style.  Manship was credited with his fourth save of the year.

Stanford scored their first two runs of the game with single tallies in the third and fifth innings.  In the third, Rapoport walked with one out, stole second, and moved to third on an error.  He would score on a Sorgi sacrifice fly to left field.

In the fifth, Chris Lewis connected for a solo home run to left - his seventh round-tripper of the season - to give the Cardinal their 2-0 advantage.

Game Notes:
* Leva officially allowed six hits and no runs in his five innings.  He walked one and struck out three.

* Manship retired all eight batters he faced to finish the ballgame.  He struck out four as his season ERA lowered to 0.88.

* Mayberry, Jr. had a big day offensively finishing 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBI.  The two-bagger was a hard hit ground ball down the left field line in the eighth inning.  Junior had three RBI.

* Sorgi also had a strong game as he went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

* Marquess shifted the lineup today moving Taylor up to the #3 spot.  It was the first time someone other than Mayberry or Lowrie hit third for the Cardinal this year.  The freshman right fielder finished 0-for-5.  Mayberry dropped down to the five hole.

* The last time Stanford went 0-2 in a regional was back in 1994.  The Cardinal dropped a pair of contests to Texas and Oklahoma in Austin.

Pitching Watch:  (IP/# of pitches)
Saturday afternoon
Jeff Gilmore: 6.0/92
Erik Davis: 2.0/23

Sunday afternoon
Matt Leva: 5.0/93
Blake Holler: 1.1/29
Matt Manship: 2.2/39


Mark Romanczuk: 0
Nolan Gallagher: 0
Greg Reynolds: 0
Jeff Stimpson: 0
Pete Duda: 0

Stanford        0 0 1  0 1 3  1 0 0   -   6  10   0
UT-San Antonio  0 0 0  0 0 0  2 0 0   -   2   9   2

WP: Matt Leva (5-2)
LP: Steven Vasquez (4-2)
S: Matt Manship (4)

HR: Stanford - John Mayberry, Jr. (7), Chris Lewis (7); UT-San Antonio - Michael McKennon (3)

Records: Stanford (33-24), UT-San Antonio (27-34)

* Stanford will next play later tonight in an another elimination game with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 P.M. (PST).  The Cardinal will face the loser of the Baylor/TCU contest which is currently taking place in Waco.  Mark Romanczuk (5-6, 4.33 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for Stanford.

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