Baseball Win Streak At Five

Stanford clinched a series victory over the Washington Huskies on Saturday afternoon with a convincing 14-6 win. The Cardinal scored nine runs in the top of the second inning to erase an early deficit en route to the victory. A pair of seniors contributed big home runs while Nolan Gallagher also came through with a stellar long relief stint on the mound. Stanford has now won five games in a row and seven out of their last eight.

A day after defeating the top pitcher in the country, the Stanford Cardinal had to have been riding sky-high heading into this afternoon's contest at Husky Ballpark.  But then Washington struck for four runs off of Matt Leva in the bottom of the first inning to take early control of the game.  After one frame, it looked as if a frustrated Husky ballclub, less than 24 hours after getting shutout by Greg Reynolds, were going to take out their frustration on the rest of the Cardinal pitching staff en route to a big win.  That never came close to happening.

Nolan Gallagher calmed the storm in long relief with seven quality innings of work while the Cardinal offense broke out for nine runs in the top of the second propelling the visiting team to a convincing 14-6 victory.  The 15-hit offensive attack was led by Washington's own Chris Minaker who connected for another home run while also picking up four RBI.  With the win, Stanford clinched their third straight series victory.  They also extended their season-high winning streak to five games.

Facing UW starter Kyle Parker, Stanford scored all nine of their second-inning runs with two outs.  Chris Lewis got the rally started with a one-out double and after Jason Castro grounded out, Brian Juhl blooped a single into center field to score the first run of the frame.

Jim Rapoport then drew a full-count walk before leadoff hitter Ryan Seawell also managed a free pass on an excellent eight-pitch AB.  That loaded the bases for DH Grant Escue.  Escue, a freshman back-up first baseman, made his first start of the season in the series-opener when he finished 1-for-5 with a single.  The Illinois native continued to make a contribution to the team when he stepped to the plate and singled home Juhl on a ball hit to second base.  Then after second baseman Bradley Boyer threw the ball away in an attempt to make a play at first, Rapoport raced home with the second run of the play and third of the inning.

Stanford was hardly done though.  Up next was Minaker and the senior shortstop promptly belted a 2-0 pitch from Parker over the fence in right center field to give the Cardinal a 6-4 advantage.  Just like that, Stanford had turned an early four-run deficit into a lead.

With Parker on the ropes, Michael Taylor followed the Minaker blast with a single before Randy Molina drew a walk.  That ended Parker's afternoon as Brandon McKerney was summoned into pitch.  And the reliever would suffer the same fate as the man he replaced.  On the first pitch of his afternoon, McKerney served up a home run to Lewis as the Cardinal second baseman launched a ball over the fence in left field to cap the nine-run inning.

Stanford added three more runs in the top of the third against McKerney when one-out singles from Rapoport and Seawell followed by a walk to Escue loaded the bases.  Minaker then grounded a ball to third base that was mishandled by Matt Stevens for an error allowing Rapoport to score.  Taylor brought home another run (Seawell) when he singled to right field while Escue also came across to score on the plate when right fielder Cory Rickard bobbled the ball.  Through 2 1/2 innings, the Cardinal found themselves in front by a commanding 12-3 margin.

Gallagher was magnificent in what turned out to be the longest outing of his career.  Coach Marquess made the move to the hard-throwing right-hander to begin the bottom of the second and sophomore went on to fire seven quality frames.  The only run surrendered by Gallagher was on a Stevens solo homer in the bottom of the fifth.

All total, Gallagher scattered nine hits with just one walk and five strikeouts.  This was the second effective lengthy outing in the last two weeks for Gallagher.  On May 1st, he made the start at Cal and went six innings with just one run allowed.

Stanford's final tallies of the contest came in the seventh and eighth innings.  In the top of the seventh, Seawell led off with a single, moved to second when new DH Brent Milleville was hit by a pitch, and then scored on Taylor's sacrifice fly to deep left field.  Then in the eighth, Seawell drove home Castro, who had earlier singled, with a double to center.

Max Fearnow finished the game on the mound for the Cardinal.  After surrendering a leadoff homer to Matt Lane in the ninth, Fearnow quickly set down the next three hitters in order to seal the victory.

It was an afternoon to forget for Leva as the Stanford starter faced ten batters in a four-run first inning.  Lane delivered the damaging blow when he connected for a two-out, three-run homer to deep right field to make the score 4-0.  The Huskies then loaded the bases on a walk, a single, and an error after the Lane blast.  But to Leva's credit, he did strike out Jesse Ferguson to leave three runners on.  After his 43-pitch inning and with Stanford in front after their nine-run outburst, Gallagher was brought into the game to begin the bottom of the second.

Stanford     0 9 3  0 0 0  1 1 0   -  14  15   2
Washington   4 0 0  0 1 0  0 0 1   -   6  13   3

Stanford            POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Ryan Seawell         CF    5   3   3   1      1   1
Grant Escue          DH    2   2   1   1      1   0
 Brent Milleville   PH/DH  2   0   0   0      0   1
Chris Minaker        SS    6   1   3   4      0   0
Michael Taylor       RF    5   1   2   2      0   0
Randy Molina         3B    3   1   0   0      2   0
Chris Lewis          2B    5   2   2   3      0   0
Jason Castro         1B    4   1   1   0      1   1
Brian Juhl            C    4   1   2   1      1   1
Jim Rapoport         LF    4   2   1   0      1   0

2B: Seawell, Minaker, Lewis
HR: Minaker (9th), Lewis (5th)
SB: Taylor, Castro
E: Molina, Lewis

                         IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Matt Leva               1.0   3   4   4   2   1
Nolan Gallagher (W)     7.0   9   1   1   1   5
Max Fearnow             1.0   1   1   1   0   0

Washington           POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Jesse Ferguson        CF    4   1   1   0      0   2
Matt Hague            DH    5   1   2   0      0   0
Curt Rindal           1B    3   0   1   1      1   1
Zach Clem             LF    5   0   1   0      0   0
Cory Rickard          RF    4   1   1   0      1   2
Matt Lane              C    5   2   2   4      0   0
Matt Stevens          3B    4   1   2   1      1   0
Danny Cox             SS    5   0   3   0      0   0
Bradley Boyer         2B    4   0   0   0      0   1
 Andy Lentz           PH    1   0   0   0      0   0

2B: Rickard, Cox
HR: Lane 2 (9th, 10th), Stevens (17th)
E: Rickard, Stevens, Boyer

                         IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Kyle Parker             1.2   6   8   8   3   1
Brandon McKerney        1.1   4   4   3   3   1
Tyler Cheney            6.0   5   2   2   1   2

WP: Nolan Gallagher (3-3)
LP: Kyle Parker (3-2)

Records: Stanford (26-21, 9-11), Washington (32-22, 9-11)

* Stanford's five-game winning streak is their longest since April/May, 2004 (also five games).  The Cardinal have also won seven out of their last eight.

* The 14 runs scored by the Cardinal was a season-high.  Their previous high was 13 in a victory at San Jose State on April 8th.

* Taylor extended his hitting streak to seven games with his 2-for-5 performance at the plate.

* Minaker's banner season continued with three more hits including a double and a home run.  The shortstop is now batting .355 with team-high totals of 15 doubles, nine homers, and 52 RBI.

* Over his last four outings, Gallagher has compiled a stellar 1.53 ERA (3 ER/17.2 IP).

* The Cardinal will go for the sweep of the Huskies on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 P.M.  Washington will send to the mound right-hander Elliott Cribby (6-5, 2.90 ERA, 9 SV) while Stanford has yet to officially announce a starting pitcher.  The Cardinal will be looking for their second weekend sweep of the season (Feb. 3-5 vs. Cal State Fullerton).

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