Cardinal Pitching Dominant In Victory

Three Stanford hurlers combined on a three-hitter to lead the Cardinal to a 5-2 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack Tuesday afternoon. Making his first career start, local product David Stringer fired 5 1/3 dominant innings - at one point retiring 14 consecutive Wolf Pack hitters. With the victory, Stanford closed their season-opening ten-game homestand with a 7-3 record.

On a pitching staff loaded with premium recruits and professional prospects, it was the sophomore walk-on from across the street that had his day in the sun on Tuesday.  David Stringer fired 5 1/3 dominant innings in his first career start - and only third overall appearance - to lead Stanford to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Nevada Wolf Pack.  Stringer, who graduated from Palo Alto High School, didn't pitch in a single game as a freshman in 2005.  The right-hander excelled during Fall Ball workouts recording the lowest ERA on the team while maintaining that strong momentum during an impressive January practice season.  After a pair of brief relief appearances over the first three weekends of the season (two innings, one run), Stringer got the ball to start today's contest against the Wolf Pack.

Facing former high school teammate Durell Williams, Stringer allowed a leadoff infield single in the top of the first inning.  Williams bounced a ball to deep shortstop and beat the throw from Chris Minaker.  The next man up, David Ciarlo, struck out looking and Stringer was off to the races.  He quickly set down #3 hitter Matt Bowman on an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play and then did not allow another baserunner until the top of the sixth.

Stringer worked perfect 1-2-3 innings in the second, third, fourth, and fifth frames.  Over the first three innings, Stringer faced the minimum nine batters throwing just 28 pitches - only six of which were balls.  He didn't slow up the second time through the order as Stringer struck out two batters as part of a perfect top of the fourth.  He then fanned two more Wolf Pack in the fifth in yet another perfect frame.  Coach Marquess often likes to use many pitchers in these Tuesday contests, but Stringer wasn't giving his head coach that chance with his dominant performance this afternoon.

Stringer doesn't throw particularly hard, but has a couple of very impressive off-speed pitches.  His curve ball was particularly effective on Tuesday as he kept the Nevada hitters off-balance throughout the afternoon.  The continued development of that curve ball to go along with his usual pinpoint control, and very strong mental make-up has Stringer poised to see a significant amount of action for the Cardinal this season.

Trailing 4-0, Nevada finally got to Stringer in the top of the sixth inning.  Leo Radkowski led off by reaching on a Cord Phelps fielding error at third base.  That snapped a stretch of 14 consecutive batters that Stringer had retired.

After a fly out, Ryan Foley broke up the shutout with a triple into the right center field gap that reached the fence.  Williams then singled sharply up the middle to score Foley and all of a sudden, it was a 4-2 contest.

With the tying run at the plate, Stringer's afternoon was complete as freshman Austin Yount was summoned into pitch.  Yount did an excellent job getting out of the jam retiring Ciarlo on a pop-up and Bowman on a routine ground out.

Yount then worked the seventh and eighth innings without allowing a hit.  He plunked Terrence Walsh with a pitch in the seventh inning, but the runner was quickly erased on a Baker Krukow double play ground out.  The eighth saw Yount walk Foley with two outs, but come back to retire Williams on a fielder's choice ground out to retire the side.  The two-way player Yount has now made two relief appearances for the Cardinal this season totaling 4 2/3 innings.  He's allowed just one hit with one walk and three strike outs.

Leading 5-2, frosh closer Jeremy Bleich came on for the ninth inning.  Facing the 2-3-4 hitters in the lineup, Bleich made quick work of the Wolf Pack with a strike out and a pair of fly outs.  For Bleich, it was his fourth save of the season.

Offensively, the Cardinal scored most of their runs early in the game.  In the bottom of the first, Jim Rapoport drew a one-out walk to start the rally.  After Minaker singled, Michael Taylor singled into left field plating Rapoport with the game's first run.  Minaker eventually scored on a Brent Milleville sacrifice fly to right.

Stanford took advantage of some poor Nevada defense in the bottom of the second inning to score two more runs.  A walk to DH Brian Juhl got things started.  Then with one out, Rapoport singled to center putting runners on first and second.  After a pitching change brought Steve Taylor into the contest, Minaker grounded a ball softly to second base.  The second baseman Ciarlo charged hard, but his rushed throw to first bounced past the first baseman Walsh and into the Stanford dugout.  The play was ruled an infield single and an error as Juhl scored while Rapoport and Minaker moved up to third and second base respectively.

The second run of the inning scored when Taylor popped-out to shallow center field, but Rapoport's speed allowed him to score making the play a sacrifice fly.

The Cardinal's final run of the ballgame came in the bottom of the sixth.  Randy Molina, who replaced Juhl at DH when Nevada took out their left-handed starting pitcher, lined a leadoff double down the left field line.  After Phelps and Rapoport were easily retired, Minaker grounded a ball to third base.  And when the third baseman Foley threw the ball away, Molina came home to score extending Stanford's lead to 5-2.

Nevada     0 0 0  0 0 2  0 0 0   -   2   3   3
Stanford   2 2 0  0 0 1  0 0 X   -   5   7   1

Nevada            POS   AB   R   H  RBI   BB  SO
Durell Williams    CF    4   0   2   1     0   1
David Ciarlo       2B    4   0   0   0     0   2
Matt Bowman        DH    4   0   0   0     0   1
Shawn Scobee       RF    4   0   0   0     0   2
Terrence Walsh     1B    2   0   0   0     0   1
 Daniel Eastham    1B    0   0   0   0     0   0
Jordan Opdyke       C    2   0   0   0     0   0
 Baker Krukow       C    1   0   0   0     0   0
Leo Radkowski      SS    3   1   0   0     0   1
Drew Johnson       LF    2   0   0   0     0   0
 Trevor O'Sullivan PH-LF 1   0   0   0     0   1
Ryan Foley         3B    2   1   1   1     1   1

3B: Foley
SB: Williams

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Steven Masten (L)   1.1   3   4   3   2   0
Steve Taylor        2.2   3   0   0   1   1
Kody Keroher        2.0   1   1   0   1   3
Owen Brolsma        2.0   0   0   0   0   1

Stanford          POS   AB   R   H  RBI   BB  SO
Cord Phelps        3B    5   0   0   0     0   0
Jim Rapoport       CF    3   2   1   0     1   1
Chris Minaker      SS    4   1   2   0     0   0
Michael Taylor     RF    3   0   2   2     0   0
John Hester         C    2   0   0   0     1   0
Brent Milleville   1B    2   0   1   1     0   1
 Jason Castro     PH-1B  1   0   0   0     0   0
Ryan Seawell       LF    2   0   0   0     0   2
 Joey August      PH-LF  1   0   0   0     0   1
Chris Lewis        2B    4   0   0   0     0   0
Greg Reynolds      DH    0   0   0   0     0   0
 Brian Juhl       PH-DH  0   1   0   0     1   0
 Randy Molina     PH-DH  1   0   1   0     1   0
 Sean Ratliff      PR    0   1   0   0     0   0
Brendan Domaracki  PH    1   0   0   0     0   0

2B: Molina
SB: Hester
CS: Taylor

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
David Stringer (W)  5.1   3   2   1   0   7
Austin Yount        2.2   0   0   0   1   2
Jeremy Bleich (S)   1.0   0   0   0   0   1

WP: David Stringer (1-1)
LP: Steven Masten (0-1)
S: Jeremy Bleich (4)

Records: Stanford (7-3), Nevada (3-6)

* Stringer achieved career-high totals in innings pitched and strike outs as part of his first collegiate win.  The sophomore now owns a 2.45 ERA (2 ER/7.1 IP) through three appearances this season.

* Nevada's offense has, for the most part, struggled this year.  However, the Wolf Pack did score 12 runs against Arizona State in a victory nine days ago.  They brought a three-game winning streak into today's game.

* Bleich has now appeared in six of Stanford's first ten games.  The southpaw still boasts a perfect 0.00 ERA over ten innings (three hits, no walks, eight K's).

* Taylor reclaimed the team lead in RBI with his two runs batted in this afternoon.  The sophomore right-fielder now has 12 on the year - two ahead of Minaker.

* Minaker is 6-for-9 in his last two games raising his average from .200 to .308 - highest among regulars.

* Stanford left six runners on base over the first three innings this afternoon.  They mustered just two hits in their last five trips to the plate.

* Stanford finished their season-opening ten-game homestand with a 7-3 record.  The Cardinal will play their next ten games on the road before the start of Pac-10 play on March 25th (vs. Washington State).

* The Cardinal return to action on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Fresno State Bulldogs.  First pitch at Beiden Field is scheduled for 6:35 P.M.

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