Balanced Attack Leads To Win

After an impressive showing last Tuesday in a win, the Cardinal bats remained hot Friday evening in Tucson. Behind six multi-hit games, an emerging leadoff batter, and some impressive power from a freshman, Stanford defeated Arizona, 10-6, in the opener of a three-game series. The Cardinal have now produced double-digit run totals in consecutive games for the first time this season.

After breaking out for 12 runs and 15 hits last Tuesday in an easy victory over Sacramento State, the Cardinal offense maintained their strong momentum with an impressive performance versus Arizona.  In the opener of a three-game series, Stanford pounded out 16 hits en route to a 10-6 win Friday night in Tucson.  With the victory, the Cardinal snapped a five-game conference losing streak.

Stanford received contributions from up-and-down the lineup Friday evening.  Only the #9 spot in the order (occupied by Cord Phelps) was held without a hit.  In fact, six different Cardinal starters recorded multi-hit games as Stanford plated three runs in a pivotal sixth inning to take the lead for good.  A combination of Greg Reynolds and David Stringer then held the Wildcats scoreless over the final four frames to secure the victory.

Stanford started strong knocking around UA starter Preston Guilmet for four runs on five hits in the top of the second inning.  Back-to-back singles from Michael Taylor and John Hester started the rally before Chris Lewis dropped down a bunt.  The Cardinal though would catch a break when Guilmet fielded the bunt and airmailed the throw to first for a costly error.  Taylor raced around third base with the game's first run while Lewis also reached safely.

The miscue burned Guilmet as Jason Castro followed with a single up the middle to score Hester for a 2-0 Cardinal lead.  A Brent Milleville single loaded the bases before Phelps grounded into a fielder's choice plating another run.  Leadoff batter Ryan Seawell capped the second-inning scoring with an RBI single into left field.

After Arizona pushed across a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second versus Reynolds, the Cardinal responded with a single tally in the top of the third for a 5-2 advantage.  Taylor led off with a double to deep right center and scored three batters later on a Castro single.

The Wildcats, much like Stanford, have struggled offensively for the better part of this season.  The lack of any power has been a major issue (Pac-10-low 14 home runs), but that certainly wasn't evident in the bottom of the fourth.  After Bill Rhinehart singled with one out, freshman Brad Glenn lifted a high, towering home run down the left field line to, all of a sudden, cut the Cardinal lead down to 5-4.

Arizona then used small ball to plate two runs in the bottom of the fifth to move in front for the first time.  A single and a walk opened the inning before Colt Sedbrook bunted both runners into scoring position.  #3 hitter David Plante brought home the tying run with a ground out to set up a key, runner at third, two-out at-bat for clean-up man Jason Donald.  But UA head coach Andy Lopez had no intentions of leaving the inning up to Donald, as he sent Boyer home on a straight steal.  Reynolds, who was working out of the windup, delivered the pitch, but it was not in time and the Wildcats, on the swipe of home, moved in front at 6-5.

Reynolds finished that fifth inning and Arizona would not score again for the remainder of the night.  Meanwhile, the Cardinal quickly regained the momentum with three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. 

The sixth inning saw Milleville blast a double to left to start the frame.  After Phelps struck out, Seawell brought home the tying run with a chopper over the head of the third baseman Sedbrook.  The ball rolled into left field for a double and a 6-6 tie. 

The Cardinal though weren't done as Jim Rapoport immediately followed with a single to left scoring Seawell to put Stanford back in front.  The hit parade continued as Chris Minaker singled before a clutch two-out, bases loaded single from Chris Lewis scored the third run of the frame.

Then in the seventh, it was again Milleville and Seawell right in the middle of everything.  The freshman DH once more led off with an extra base hit - this time smacking a deep home run to center field.  The round-tripper was the second of the season for the Kansas native.

Later in the inning, Seawell singled, stole second, and eventually scored when Minaker blasted a two-out double to deep center.

Reynolds earned the victory on the mound after tossing six innings.  All total, the junior right-hander surrendered seven hits and four earned runs (six total).  He walked just two and struck out seven.  It's often been a struggle for Reynolds this year to pick up victories because of very little offensive support, so it was good to see his teammates pick him up when he may not have had his best stuff.  It was Reynolds' team-best third victory of the season.

Stringer entered the contest at the start of the bottom of the seventh with Stanford in front by a 10-6 margin.  The sophomore proved to be nearly unhittable as the Wildcats mustered just one single over the final three innings.  Stringer, who usually features pinpoint control, did hit three batters while also walking another.  That led to constant pitching out of the stretch, but the right-hander found a way to bear down in the key moments and held Arizona off the scoreboard.  With runners on first and second, Stringer finished the game with consecutive strike outs of Plante and Donald.

Stanford     0 4 1  0 0 3  2 0 0   -   10  16   1
Arizona      0 2 0  2 2 0  0 0 0   -    6   8   2

Stanford           POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Ryan Seawell        CF    6   2   3   2      0   0
Joey August         LF    2   0   0   0      0   0
 Jim Rapoport      PH/LF  3   1   1   1      0   1
Chris Minaker       SS    5   0   2   1      0   2
Michael Taylor      RF    4   2   2   0      0   1
John Hester          C    4   1   2   0      1   2
Chris Lewis         3B    4   1   1   1      0   0
Jason Castro        1B    5   1   2   2      0   0
Brent Milleville    DH    5   2   3   1      0   0
Cord Phelps         2B    5   0   0   1      0   1

2B: Seawell, Minaker, Taylor, Milleville
HR: Milleville (2nd)
SB: Seawell
E: Seawell

                      IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Greg Reynolds (W)    6.0   7   6   4   2   7
David Stringer (S)   3.0   1   0   0   1   5



Arizona            POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Brad Boyer          2B    3   1   1   0      1   2
Colt Sedbrook       3B    3   0   1   0      1   0
David Plante        LF    5   0   0   1      0   3
Jason Donald        SS    5   1   2   0      0   2
Bill Rhinehart      RF    4   2   1   0      0   2
Brad Glenn          1B    3   1   1   2      0   2
Derek Decater       DH    3   0   1   1      0   0
Konrad Schmidt       C    3   0   0   0      1   0
T.J. Steele         CF    3   1   1   0      0   1

HR: Glenn (5th)
SB: Boyer
CS: Donald

                      IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Preston Guilmet (L)  6.0  13   8   7   1   5
Matt Baugh           1.0   3   2   2   0   1
Ryan Perry           2.0   0   0   0   0   1


WP: Greg Reynolds (3-3)
LP: Preston Guilmet (2-5)
S: David Stringer (1)

Records: Stanford (17-15, 3-7), Arizona (15-20, 3-7)


Notes:
* Milleville had started the last four games for the Cardinal, but produced just two hits in 14 at-bats.  The freshman slugger broke out tonight though with three hits (triple shy of the cycle) and an RBI.  A highly touted recruit, Milleville led the Cardinal in batting average and home runs during Fall Ball last October.

* Seawell continued his impressive run as the leadoff batter.  In the last three games since moving to that spot in the lineup, he's 7-for-14 (.500) with a .588 on-base percentage.  He's also started in center field in each of the three games - although he did misplay a ball tonight that eventually led to a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.

* Stringer, who struck out five batters during his three innings of work, earned his first career save.

* Stanford scored in double figures for the second consecutive game.  That's the first time they've accomplished that feat this season.

* The Cardinal had scored a total of just four runs in their last five Pac-10 games (all losses) before tonight's outburst.

* Minaker and Taylor both doubled tonight to remain tied in that category at ten two-baggers apiece.  Minaker also picked-up his team-best 36th RBI (in just 32 games).

* Castro has now hit safely in five straight contests (.471 AVG, 8-for-17).

* The 16 hits recorded were the most in a Pac-10 game this season for Stanford and the second highest all year (18 at San Jose State, April 8th).

* The Cardinal and Wildcats will play the second game of this three-game series Saturday night in Tucson.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. (PDT).  Freshman Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 2.08 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for Stanford while Arizona is expected to counter with lefty Brad Mills (3-3, 4.09 ERA).

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