Baseball Suffers First Loss

Despite another quality start from Greg Reynolds, the Stanford Cardinal suffered the loss on Friday night to the Kansas Jayhawks - their first defeat of the season after three wins last weekend. Kansas erupted for eight runs over the final four innings en route to an impressive 8-2 win over Stanford. The Cardinal offense was held in check all evening mustering just four hits.

A late Kansas offensive outburst propelled the Jayhawks to an impressive 8-2 victory over the 19th ranked Stanford Cardinal on Friday evening at Sunken Diamond.  Trailing 2-0, the Jayhawks plated two runs in the top of the sixth to tie the contest before moving ahead with a single tally in the eighth.  Then for good measure, Kansas exploded for five runs against a pair of Cardinal relief pitchers in the top of the ninth en route to the win.  The Stanford offense was held to just four hits in the series-opener as they suffered their first loss of the season.

Once again, Greg Reynolds had an impressive Friday night start for Stanford.  The junior right-hander, despite now not picking up a victory in each of his first two appearances, has clearly established himself as the ace of the Cardinal pitching staff.  His first five innings tonight were flat-out dominant as he held one of the better offenses in the Big 12 Conference to no runs on just two hits.

The only baserunners over the first five frames on the Kansas side were a pair of singles (one on the infield, the other a blooper to left) in the second inning and a hit batter in the top of the fourth.  Reynolds was in complete control notching eight strike outs with his electric curve ball proving to be nearly unhittable.

The Jayhawks finally mustered something against Reynolds in the top of the sixth as they began their third trip through the batting order.  Leadoff hitter Matt Baty started things with a double down the left field line before Ritchie Price singled to right putting runners on the corners.  Reynolds came back with an impressive effort against the dangerous Jared Schweitzer inducing the KU first baseman to pop-out to shallow right field.  But then clean-up man Gus Milner delivered the big hit when he doubled down the left field line easily scoring both runners to tie the game at 2-2. 

Milner was thrown out at third trying to advance on the throw before Reynolds came back with a strike out of John Allman to end the inning and the starting pitcher's evening.  Reynolds threw 91 pitches on the night.

With the game tied, sophomore David Stringer made his Stanford pitching debut in the top of the seventh with a scoreless inning of work.  Stringer worked around a one-out double from Erik Morrison to keep the game tied.  The right-hander didn't pitch in a single game last year, but the vastly improved Palo Alto native dazzled throughout Fall Ball and January intrasquads.  Coach Marquess showed tremendous confidence in the unproven walk-on by inserting him into this game tonight with the score tied.

After his impressive seventh inning though, Stringer ran into some trouble against the top of the Kansas lineup in the eighth.  With one out, back-to-back singles from Price and Schweitzer chased Stringer from the game.  Frosh lefty Jeremy Bleich came on and got Milner to hit a chopper over to third baseman Cord Phelps.  Phelps decided to take the ball to the nearby third base bag recording the easy force out on Price.  But then his throw across the diamond was wide and pulled Milleville off the bag allowing Milner to reach base.  Had his throw been on target, Stanford probably would have had an inning-ending double play.  Phelps also could have thrown the ball to second base in an around-the-horn double play attempt.  Instead, the inning continued.

Allman followed with a ground ball that found a hole up the middle past the diving Chris Minaker to score Schweitzer for the go-ahead run.  It was the first hit Bleich had allowed over three relief appearances this season (3 2/3 innings).

The Cardinal had their best opportunity to draw even or possibly take the lead back in the bottom of the eighth against Jayhawk closer Don Czyz.  A walk to pinch-hitter Joey August started the rally.  Then with two down, Jim Rapoport smoked a hard ground ball down the left field line for a double.  Unfortunately for Stanford, the ball took a strange bounce off of the bullpen fence and rolled back toward fair territory.  Had the ball rolled all the way into the corner, August would have scored the tying run.  Instead, the freshman had to hold at third with Rapoport over at second with his two-bagger.  Minaker then was unable to come up with the big hit as he grounded out sharply to shortstop ending the threat.

In the ninth, Kansas blew the game open with five runs scored.  With the Cardinal still trailing at the beginning of the inning, Bleich was pulled - likely to keep his arm fresh for a future appearance or two later this weekend.  Jeff Stimpson was brought into pitch and the Jayhawks didn't skip a beat rapping out three singles to load the bases with one out.  A weak ground out to second base from Ritchie Price scored one run and moved the other two runners into scoring position.  Then Schweitzer singled hard into left field plating two more KU runs for a 6-2 lead.

Freshman Max Fearnow relieved Stimpson after the Schweitzer hit and promptly gave up a two-run homer to Milner extending Kansas' advantage to 8-2.

The Stanford hitters were handcuffed all night by Jayhawk starting pitcher Sean Land.  The experienced southpaw allowed just two runs on three hits over his seven innings of work.  Land, like Reynolds, was around the plate as he issued just one walk.  Stanford's only runs came in the bottom of the third when Minaker took a 1-0 pitch and blasted it over the wall in left field for a two-run home run.  The Cardinal's next hit didn't come until the eighth when Rapoport doubled.

Kansas      0 0 0  0 0 2  0 1 5   -   8  14   2
Stanford    0 0 2  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   2   4   0

Kansas             POS   AB   R   H  RBI   BB  SO
Matt Baty         CF/LF   5   2   2   0     0   0
Ritchie Price       SS    5   1   2   1     0   1
Jared Schweitzer    1B    5   2   2   2     0   0
Gus Milner          RF    5   1   2   3     0   2
John Allman         LF    4   0   2   1     0   1
 Kyle Murphy        CF    0   0   0   0     0   0
Ryne Price          2B    4   0   1   0     0   1
Erik Morrison       3B    4   1   2   0     0   1
Brock Simpson       DH    4   0   0   0     0   4
Buck Afenir          C    4   1   1   0     0   1

2B: Baty, Milner, Morrison
HR: Milner (2nd)

                     IP  H   R  ER  BB  SO
Sean Land (W)       7.0  3   2   2   1   4
Don Czyz (S)        2.0  1   0   0   2   4



Stanford           POS   AB   R   H  RBI   BB  SO
Jim Rapoport        CF    4   0   1   0     0   0
Chris Minaker       SS    4   1   1   2     0   0
Michael Taylor      RF    4   0   0   0     0   2
John Hester          C    4   0   0   0     0   1
Chris Lewis         2B    3   0   0   0     0   1
 Jason Castro       PH    0   0   0   0     1   0
Brent Milleville    1B    4   0   1   0     0   1
Ryan Seawell        LF    1   0   0   0     1   1
 Joey August      PH/LF   0   0   0   0     1   0
Cord Phelps         3B    2   0   0   0     0   0
 Austin Yount     PH/3B   1   0   0   0     0   1
Matt Leva           DH    0   0   0   0     0   0
 Brian Juhl       PH/DH   2   1   1   0     0   0
 Sean Ratliff       PH    1   0   0   0     0   1

2B: Rapoport
HR: Minaker (1st)

                     IP  H   R  ER  BB  SO
Greg Reynolds       6.0  5   2   2   0   9
David Stringer (L)  1.1  3   1   1   0   1
Jeremy Bleich       0.2  1   0   0   0   0
Jeff Stimpson       0.2  4   4   4   0   1
Max Fearnow         0.1  1   1   1   0   0


Notes:
* Kansas hitting - Innings 1-5: 0 runs, 2 hits
Kansas hitting - Innings 6-9: 8 runs, 12 hits

* Reynolds has now struck out 12 batters compared to no walks over his first 12 2/3 innings pitched this season.  His three earned runs allowed give the right-hander a 2.13 ERA.

* Milleville earned his first collegiate start tonight getting the nod at first base.  Batting sixth in the order, the freshman went 1-for-4 with a hard hit single off of Land's leg in the second inning.

* By the end of the game, Stanford had all freshmen (Castro, Milleville, August, Yount, Ratliff) in the Nos. 5 through 9 spots in the lineup.

* The Stanford pitching staff did not walk a single batter tonight nor did the defense commit an error in the field.  When those two things happen, it's not often that you see a six-run loss.

* Stanford hitters struck out seven times over the final 3 1/3 innings of the game.  Land did not allow a hit over his final four innings of work while setting down eight in a row to end his evening.

* The top five hitters in the Kansas lineup all recorded multi-hit games.  The Jayhawks hit .389 as a team in their five-game series (4-1) at Hawaii-Hilo last weekend.

* The second game of this series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is slated for 1:00 P.M.  Matt Manship will take the hill for the Cardinal while Kansas is expected to counter with senior right-hander Ricky Fairchild.

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