Another Sunken Diamond Thriller

Down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning while recording only two hits in the process and things looked bleak for the Cardinal. But Jason Cooper's two-out, three-run home run tied the game at 4-4 and Danny Putnam's RBI double gave Stanford the lead they would not relinquish. Not only was it a good win for the Card, but the emergence of another pitcher certainly bodes well for the future. Read on for the full recap.

Coming off a very disappointing loss to Arizona last Sunday the 2nd ranked Stanford Cardinal rebounded with a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind win over visiting San Jose State at Sunken Diamond on Tuesday evening.  The Cardinal (23-7) trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth and things looked bleak as they had recorded only two hits over the first seven frames.  But a Jason Cooper three-run home run tied the game at 4-4 and then Danny Putnam's pinch-hit RBI double later in the inning gave Stanford the lead that they would not relinquish.  Darin Naatjes came out to pitch the ninth inning and he set down the Spartans (26-12) hitters to get the save and secure the victory.

Drew Ehrlich was called upon to make the start on the mound for the Cardinal and the sophomore righthander had to work in-and-out of trouble all evening.  In the top of the first inning, the Spartans put the first two runners on via singles, but Ehrlich was able to get out of the jam.  In the second inning though he was unable to do the same as a two-out RBI single by Travis Becktel brought home Adam Shorsher for a 1-0 SJSU lead.  Stanford answered back in the bottom of the second though as Carlos Quentin belted a solo home run to left-center field to tie the game up at 1-1.  But Ehrlich continued to struggle in the third inning as the Spartans scored two more runs on four hits to reclaim the lead at 3-1.  Ehrlich wouldn't go back out for the fourth inning as he gave up three runs and a whopping eight hits in his three innings of work.

In the fourth inning, Mark Marquess brought in freshman Mark Jecmen to pitch for the first time in over a month.  The 6'9" hurler showed some signs of rust giving up a run in his first inning of work, but settled down after that.  The freshman righthander went on to throw three scoreless innings after the fourth frame retiring nine-of-ten batters he faced.  He didn't walk anyone while striking out three over those three scoreless innings.  It was certainly an encouraging outing for Jecmen as he looks to get back into the pitching mix this season.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal couldn't muster any offense against the San Jose State pitchers.  The Spartans elected to go with a pitching by committee strategy and through seven innings it was working like a charm.  Through seven innings, Stanford recorded only one run and two hits and looked dead in the water.  But in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score still 4-1 SJSU, the Cardinal began to wake-up.  With one out, Chris O'Riordan singled, but remained at first when Sam Fuld struck out for the second out of the inning.  That brought #3 hitter Ryan Garko to the plate and the Stanford catcher worked the count full until drawing a walk bringing the tying run to the plate.  That tying run was Jason Cooper and the junior DH came through in the clutch with a three-run homer to right field tying the game at 4-4.  The Cardinal weren't done though as Quentin singled to left to put the go-ahead run on base.  Coach Marquess then elected to pinch-hit Brian Hall with Danny Putnam and the move paid off.  Putnam promptly doubled down the left field line scoring Quentin giving Stanford their first lead of the game at 5-4.

In the ninth inning, Darin Naatjes took the mound to try to nail down the victory.  He gave up a two-out single to Kevin Frandsen, but got SJSU's leading hitter Gabe Lopez to hit a routine ground ball to second base for the final out and Stanford had the win.

Game Notes :
* Freshman Jonny Dyer picked up the win on the mound.  Dyer pitched a scoreless eighth inning throwing only six pitches in the process as he has now thrown 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief this season.

* The homer for Cooper was his second in as many games as he now leads the club with seven bombs.

* The Cardinal and Spartans will meet again in three weeks on April 30th down in San Jose.

San Jose State     0 1 2  1 0 0  0 0 0   -   4   11    0
Stanford           0 1 0  0 0 0  0 4 x   -   5    6    1

The Cardinal will return to action this weekend when they host the streaking USC Trojans in a three-game series.  First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6pm while Saturday and Sunday's contests will start at 1pm.  Saturday's game will be televised live on Fox Sports Bay Area.

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