Card Salvage Final Game Of Series

After two losses to Kansas earlier in the weekend, the Cardinal came back with an 8-3 victory over the Jayhawks on Sunday afternoon to salvage the final game of the series. The struggling Stanford offense received contributions from up-and-down the lineup while a pair of pitchers excelled on the mound. Here is a complete recap from Sunken Diamond.

With the possibility of getting swept at home for the first time in nine years, the Cardinal bats came to life on Sunday afternoon recording eight runs on ten hits in an 8-3 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks.  Combined with their usual strong pitching, Stanford salvaged the final game of the series with the Jayhawks in improving their overall record to 4-2.

Trailing 2-1, the key inning for the Cardinal offense came in the bottom of the fourth facing KU ace (and former Stanford hurler) Kodiak Quick.  A walk to Michael Taylor started the frame before he moved over to second base on a balk call.  After Brent Milleville struck out, frosh Jason Castro bounced a single through the right side easily scoring Taylor for a 2-2 tie.

Then for the first time all season, Coach Marquess really turned aggressive in sending his baserunners loose.  The result was two more runs in that bottom of the fourth to take a lead that the Cardinal would not relinquish.

With John Hester at the plate, Castro successfully stole second base.  The struggling catcher then smacked a single through the middle scoring Castro for Stanford's third run of the contest.  Hester took second base when KU center fielder Matt Baty slipped and fell when racing over to field the basehit.

The aggressive baserunning continued as Hester, on the first pitch to the next hitter Austin Yount, took off for third base and made it in safely with the steal.  Yount then brought home Hester with a ground ball out to the right side of the infield.

Stanford plated their final run of the afternoon against Quick in the bottom of the fifth when Joey August led off with a single, moved to second on a Jim Rapoport bunt hit, to third on a ground out, and then scored on Michael Taylor's sacrifice foul out.

The Cardinal received excellent starting pitching from Matt Leva on Sunday as the junior right-hander notched his first victory of the season.  Leva fired four scoreless innings last weekend against Fullerton, but suffered from rare poor control walking three batters during his stint on the mound.  Today, Leva walked the first batter of the contest, but then none more for the remainder of his afternoon which lasted until the sixth.

Kansas scored single runs against the Cardinal starting pitcher in the first and third innings.  Both times, clean-up man Gus Milner brought home the scores with opposite field basehits.  In the third, Ritchie Price reached base safely on a one-out, Chris Lewis error.  Then with two down, Milner lined a triple into the right field corner plating Price for a 2-1 Jayhawk lead.

Leva wouldn't give up another run until the top of the sixth with again Milner doing the damage.  The slugging right fielder blasted a solo home run to straightaway left cutting the Stanford lead to 5-3.  Leva retired the next man he faced on a routine fly out before he was removed from the game.  At one point, Leva set down eight consecutive Kansas hitters from the third through the sixth innings.

Jeremy Bleich relieved Leva in that sixth inning and the freshman lefty would have no problems finishing the contest for his second save of the young season.  Nursing a two-run lead, Bleich struck out the only batter he faced in the sixth before firing a scoreless top of the seventh with two more K's mixed in.

Stanford added some insurance in the bottom of the seventh when the slumping Lewis took a 2-0 pitch from Kansas southpaw Nick Czyz and deposited the offering over the wall in left for a solo homer.  Then in the eighth, a two-out rally produced two more runs for the Cardinal.  Castro was plunked with a pitch before Hester singled through the hole on the left side putting runners on first and second.  Freshman third baseman Austin Yount then delivered the clutch hit with a double into right field scoring both Castro and Hester to extend Stanford's lead to 8-3.

Meanwhile, Bleich allowed a leadoff single in the top of the eighth, but then set down six Kansas hitters in a row to wrap-up the Cardinal victory.  Bleich fired 3 1/3 scoreless innings with no walks and a whopping five strike outs in yet another impressive performance this early-season.

In his return to Sunken Diamond, Quick had a solid five-inning start.  The senior right-hander, who pitched for Stanford in 2003 and 2004, surrendered an unearned run in the first inning and another in the fourth.  He struck out three batters - two of which were against Chris Minaker (who had yet to strike out all season).

Kansas     1 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 0   -   3   6   1
Stanford   1 0 0  3 1 0  1 2 X   -   8  10   1

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

3B: Milner
HR: Milner (3rd)

                   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Kodiak Quick (L)  5.0   7   5   3   2   3
Nick Czyz         2.0   1   1   1   1   1
Paul Smyth        1.0   2   2   2   0   0



Stanford          POS   AB   R   H  RBI   BB  SO
Joey August        LF    4   2   3   0     0   0
 Ryan Seawell      LF    0   0   0   0     0   0
Jim Rapoport       CF    3   0   2   0     1   0
Chris Minaker      SS    4   0   0   0     0   2
Michael Taylor     RF    0   1   0   2     1   0
Brent Milleville   DH    4   0   0   0     0   2
Jason Castro       1B    3   2   1   1     0   0
John Hester         C    4   2   2   1     0   0
Austin Yount       3B    4   0   1   3     0   0
Chris Lewis        2B    3   1   1   1     1   0

2B: August, Yount
HR: Lewis (2nd)
SB: Castro, Hester
CS: Lewis

                    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Matt Leva (W)      5.2   4   3   2   1   2
Jeremy Bleich (S)  3.1   2   0   0   0   5


Win: Matt Leva (1-0)
Loss: Kodiak Quick (1-1)
Save: Jeremy Bleich (2)

Records: Stanford (4-2), Kansas (6-2)


Notes:
* Bleich has now pitched in four of Stanford's first six games this season.  The freshman has worked 7 1/3 innings without allowing a run.  He's surrendered just three hits with no walks and six strike outs.  Bleich has a win and two saves to his credit as well.

* Leva has posted a stellar 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP) over his first two Sunday starts this year.

* After recording just eight hits combined over the first two games (including just one hit past the third inning), the Cardinal offensive had a solid output this afternoon.  The eight runs scored is a season-high while the ten hits matched their highest total of the year.  Despite the effort today, Stanford is still just hitting .222 as a team (4.7 runs per game).

* August earned his second start of the season in left field today.  He also took over for Rapoport in the leadoff spot in the lineup (with the center fielder dropping down to the #2 hole).  The Oregon product came through with an excellent performance at the plate finishing 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.  The left-handed hitting August twice led off an inning and both times he singled eventually came home to score.  August is 4-for-6 this season with three walks and a .778 on-base percentage.

* Stanford started four freshmen in the lineup today (August in left, Milleville at DH, Castro at first, Yount at third). 

* Hester was just 2-for-19 this season coming into his fourth-inning at-bat when he singled home Castro with the go-ahead tally.  The senior catcher rapped out two hits over his final three at-bats today.

* Lewis was just 1-for-17 this year before his seventh inning homer.  Both of his hits this season have been home runs (he leads the team in round-trippers).

* Despite the low team batting average, the Cardinal still have a winning record this year thanks to a spectacular 3.44 team ERA.  12 different pitchers have seen action on the mound through the first two series'.

* The Cardinal used a real hitter (Milleville) at DH for the first time this season.

* The last time Stanford was swept at home was April, 1997 when they dropped three in a row to Arizona State.

* Stanford returns to action on Friday when they open a three-game series against the defending national champion and 7th ranked Texas Longhorns.  First pitch at Sunken Diamond is scheduled for 5:00 P.M.

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