Baseball Opens Preseason Practice

The Cardinal returned to Sunken Diamond on Friday for their first full-team practice of 2007. On a cold and windy afternoon, the club participated in an intrasquad game with a quartet of pitchers leading the way. Included in this report is a complete game recap, statistics, and various other notes from the practice field.

The first intrasquad game of the preseason was a pitchers duel, as expected.  In a 5 1/2-inning contest, the final score registered 3-0 with Ryan Seawell, Randy Molina, and Cord Phelps providing key hits for the winning club.  Meanwhile, pitchers Jeff Inman and Erik Davis came through with impressive stints on the mound.

Inman and Nolan Gallagher started on the hill for their respective teams this afternoon.  Gallagher started strong pitching around an error and a Michael Taylor single in the first inning to put up a zero.  After a scoreless second inning of work, the White squad finally got to Gallagher in the third.  Seawell led off the frame with a high fly ball that one-hopped the fence in deep right center field for a triple and then scored on Grant Escue's sacrifice fly to center.

The White's final two runs came in the bottom of the fifth against lefty Jeremy Bleich.  Taylor started the rally with a one-out single and advanced to third when Molina smoked a double into the right field corner.  After a strikeout of Brian Juhl, Phelps delivered a clutch two-out hit when he grounded a ball up the middle for a two-run single and a 3-0 lead.

Inman went the first 2 2/3 innings for the White club before reaching his pitch count limit.  The freshman allowed just a pair of hits and fanned four.  Davis followed by not allowing a run over the final 3 1/3 innings.  The Cardinal team never had a runner reach scoring position against the Inman-Davis duo.


Cardinal    0 0 0  0 0 0   -   0   4   2
White       0 0 1  0 2 X   -   3   9   1

Cardinal          POS    AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Adam Sorgi        SS/DH   2   0   0   0      1   0
Joey August        OF     3   0   0   0      0   1
Jason Castro       1B     3   0   0   0      0   0
Brent Milleville    C     3   0   2   0      0   0
Brendan Domaracki  OF     3   0   0   0      0   2
Sean Ratliff       OF     2   0   1   0      0   1
J.J. Jelmini       2B     2   0   1   0      0   1
Stephen Brown      3B     2   0   0   0      0   0
Matt Cano          DH     2   0   0   0      0   1

E: Sorgi, Moon

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Nolan Gallagher     2.2   3   1   1   0   3
Jeremy Bleich       2.1   6   2   2   0   4

White             POS    AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Ryan Seawell       DH     3   1   1   0      0   2
Grant Escue        1B     2   0   0   1      0   0
Michael Taylor     RF     3   1   2   0      0   0
Randy Molina       3B     3   1   1   0      0   0
Brian Juhl          C     3   0   1   0      0   2
Cord Phelps        2B     3   0   1   2      0   1
Adam Gaylord       SS     3   0   2   0      0   0
Toby Gerhart       LF     3   0   1   0      0   0
Jeff Whitlow       CF     2   0   0   0      0   2

E: Gaylord
2B: Molina
3B: Seawell
SF: Escue

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Jeff Inman          2.2   2   0   0   1   4
Erik Davis          3.1   2   0   0   0   2

* A low-scoring game was no surprise on this cold and windy Friday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  Combine the weather with the fact the top pitching group was on the hill and the result was a combined three runs scored.

* It's entirely possible that these four pitchers will carry the load for the Cardinal pitching staff during weekend series' this year.  In all likelihood, three from this group will form the starting rotation while the fourth will become the key hurler out of the bullpen.  The performance of Inman today is especially noteworthy.  The freshman from Bakersfield was Stanford's top pitcher during Fall Ball and he picked up right where he left off this afternoon.  Inman features the top velocity of any pitcher on the staff and complements it with a big curve ball and a solid change-up.  Inman started his outing with a walk to Adam Sorgi on a 3-2 pitch, but responded by inducing Joey August to hit into a double play.  The only hits allowed by Inman were an infield single to Brent Milleville and a single to J.J. Jelmini.  Four of the eight outs recorded by Inman were strikeouts.

* Davis also had a very impressive performance on the mound in relief of Inman.  The junior right-hander wasn't nearly as overpowering, but threw plenty of strikes and was never in serious danger of giving up a run.  Coach Marquess indicated to The Bootleg last month that Davis will likely begin the season in the starting rotation.

* After not playing in the field during Fall Ball because of his shoulder injury, Sorgi returned to shortstop during intrasquads today.  The redshirt junior played just the first inning during the game and mishandled his only chance when a high, chopping ground ball deflected off of his glove and rolled into shallow left field for an error.  Sorgi is apparently being brought along slowly during these intrasquad games from a fielding perspective.  Freshman Brian Moon took over at shortstop starting in the second inning.

* However, Sorgi did take part in pregame infield practice in-full.  In fact, Sorgi made some very nice diving plays from his shortstop position and while he wasn't firing the ball over to first, he had no problems getting it across the diamond.  At the plate, Sorgi walked and grounded out twice.

* On the injury front, Phelps returned to the practice field after missing Fall Ball with a back injury.  The sophomore started at second base and provided his team with a lift when he singled home a pair of runs in the fifth inning.  Meanwhile, Seawell continues to recover from his leg injuries the prevented him from playing the field during most of Fall Ball.  At the plate, Seawell connected for a triple and ran probably at about 80% around the bases for his three-bagger.  But the senior did not play the field and appears to being brought along slowly, much like Sorgi.  It's probably not a bad idea considering the extremely cold weather out at Sunken Diamond this weekend.

* As for the freshman position players, Toby Gerhart and Adam Gaylord were the lone rookies among the 18 allowed to hit during the game.  The much anticipated debut of Gerhart on the baseball field did not disappoint.  The two-sport star picked up one hit in his three at-bats while starting in left field for his club.  In his first at-bat, Gerhart bounced a ball near the third base bag.  Stephen Brown fielded the ball cleanly and made the throw across the diamond, but it wasn't quick enough to get Gerhart.  The fantastic speed showcased by Gerhart on that play certainly opened some eyes and garnered rousing cheers from his teammates in the dugout.  Meanwhile, in his third at-bat Gerhart smacked a fly ball to deep center field that was caught on the run by August at the edge of the warning track.  Gaylord picked-up two hits in three at-bats at the plate.

* Other multi-hit games Friday came from Taylor and Milleville.  Taylor's two singles were both hard-hit ground balls through the infield.  After playing center field throughout much of Fall Ball, the junior returned to right field to begin preseason workouts.

* On the Cardinal squad, August, Sean Ratliff, and Brendan Domaracki rotated between the three outfield positions.  On the White team, Gerhart remained in left, Jeff Whitlow in center, and Taylor in right.  As mentioned earlier, Seawell did not play in the field.

* Bleich had some impressive moments on the mound as the southpaw struck out four in just 2 1/3 innings.  In his second inning of work, Bleich pitched out of a bases loaded, one-out jam with back-to-back strikeouts of Whitlow and Seawell.  Then in the following inning, it appeared Bleich was going to get out of another bases loaded, one-out situation when he fanned Juhl.  But Phelps responded with his ground ball single through the middle to score two.

* The control of all four pitchers was especially impressive considering the long time off before today's action.  Between the quartet, there was only one walk during the entire contest.

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