Horns Punchout Card In Series Opener

Texas pitchers racked up 16 strikeouts of Stanford hitters on Friday afternooon en route to a 5-3 series-opening win over the Cardinal. On the hitting side, the Longhorns also connected for four solo home runs - three off of Nolan Gallagher. In the loss, Stanford did see the return of one of their top hitters from injury. Here is a complete game recap.

When the Cardinal made contact at the plate on Friday afternoon, they generally had some success.  Unfortunately, the Stanford hitters couldn't put the bat on the ball nearly enough times striking out a whopping 16 times in a 5-3 series-opening loss.  Texas starting pitcher James Russell set the tone by fanning nine Cardinal hitters during the first five innings of the contest.  Reliever Joseph Krebs followed by striking out seven in 3 2/3 dominant innings before closer Randy Boone retired Toby Gerhart, who was representing the potential tying run, on a ground out in the ninth inning to seal the Longhorn victory.  With the loss, Stanford falls to 2-4 on the young season.

In addition to the impressive strikeout totals of Russell and Krebs, another theme this afternoon was the home run - especially on the Texas side.  The Longhorns connected for four solo home runs including two off the bat of Kyle Russell (no relation to the starting pitcher).  Russell, one of the top power hitters in the country, took Nolan Gallagher deep with one out in the bottom of the second and then again leading off the bottom of the fourth inning.  The second home run tied the score at 2-2.  Russell has now hit five home runs in Texas' first nine games.

Texas took their first lead of the afternoon in that fourth inning adding another run - their only tally not via a home run.  After the Russell home run, Chance Wheeless singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on another sacrifice bunt, and then scored on Nick Peoples' infield single to deep shortstop.  After that hit, the Cardinal wouldn't see the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Gallagher went the first six innings on the mound for Stanford yielding four runs (all earned) on five hits.  The junior right-hander also allowed a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth - a blast off the bat of Travis Tucker.  Gallagher walked three, hit three batters, and struck out four. 

Stanford initially took a 2-0 lead this afternoon with single runs in the first and second innings against the lefty Russell.  In the first, Sean Ratliff drew a one-out walk, stole second, and then scored on Brent Milleville's clutch two-out single.  In the second, Ryan Seawell led off with a home run giving the Cardinal a two-run cushion.

Stanford had chances in the middle innings against Russell picking up two singles in both the fourth and fifth innings, but each time was unable to push across any runs.  Krebs entered the contest at the start of the sixth and completely handcuffed the Cardinal bats until the ninth.  In his first three innings, Krebs allowed just one hit - an infield single off the bat of Toby Gerhart with two outs in the seventh.  He struck out four batters in a row to end the eighth and begin the ninth before Jeff Whitlow kept Stanford alive with a two-out double down the right field line.  Frosh shortstop Adam Gaylord followed with a single through the middle scoring Whitlow to cut the Texas lead down to 5-3 and bring the tying run to the plate.  With the right-hander Gerhart up next, Texas coach Augie Garrido took the southpaw Krebs out of the game and brought in the right-hander Boone.  Boone, an experienced senior, calmly retired Gerhart on a fielder's choice groundout to second base ending the game.


Stanford    1 1 0  0 0 0  0 0 1   -   3   9   1
Texas       0 1 0  2 0 1  0 1 X   -   5   6   0

Stanford          POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO   AVG
Toby Gerhart       LF   5   0   1   0    0   1  .263
Sean Ratliff       CF   3   1   1   0    1   2  .296
Michael Taylor     RF   4   0   0   0    0   3  .208
Brent Milleville   1B   4   0   2   1    0   1  .300
Brian Juhl          C   4   0   1   0    0   2  .364
Ryan Seawell       3B   4   1   1   1    0   2  .200
Austin Yount       2B   4   0   0   0    0   3  .292
Jason Castro       DH   2   0   0   0    0   1  .000
 Jeff Whitlow    PH/DH  2   1   1   0    0   1  .667
Adam Gaylord       SS   4   0   2   1    0   0  .333
 J.J. Jelmini      PR   0   0   0   0    0   0  .000

E: Milleville
2B: Whitlow
HR: Seawell (1st, 2nd inning, 0 on, 0 out)
SB: Ratliff

                      IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
Nolan Gallagher (L)  6.0   5   4   4   3   4  7.62
Brandt Walker        0.1   0   0   0   1   1  0.00
Blake Hancock        0.1   0   0   0   1   1  6.75
Erik Davis           1.1   1   1   1   0   0 13.50

Texas             POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO
Nick Peoples       CF   4   0   1   1    0   0
Jordan Danks       LF   4   0   0   0    1   2
Preston Clark       C   3   0   0   0    0   1
Bradley Suttle     3B   3   0   0   0    1   0
Kyle Russell       RF   4   2   2   2    0   2
Chance Wheeless    1B   3   1   1   0    1   0
Travis Tucker      2B   2   1   1   1    1   0
Brett Lewis        DH   2   0   0   0    1   1
Chais Fuller       SS   3   1   1   1    0   0

HR: Russell 2 (4th, 2nd inning, 0 on, 1 out; 5th, 4th inning, 0 on, 0 out), Tucker (1st, 6th inning, 0 on, 0 out), Fuller (1st, 8th inning, 0 on, 1 out)
HBP: Peoples, Clark, Lewis
CS: Wheeless

                       IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
James Russell (W)     5.0   6   2   2   1   9
Joseph Krebs          3.2   3   1   1   0   7
Randy Boone (S)       0.1   0   0   0   0   0

WP: James Russell (1-1)
LP: Nolan Gallagher (0-2)
S: Randy Boone (2)

Records: Stanford (2-4), #14 Texas (5-4)

* Friday was a significant game for both Ryan Seawell and Jason Castro.  Seawell, the lone senior on the team, made the first appearance of his collegiate career at third base.  A shortstop in high school, Seawell has played outfield at Stanford - including impressive work in center field during the second half of last season as Stanford made their run to the NCAA Tournament.  Seawell has been working out at third base in practices the last two weeks and actually started at the hot corner in last Tuesday's exhibition game against Rikkyo University of Japan.  Friday marked Seawell's first appearance at third in an actual game and the Bay Area native handled all four of his chances without a miscue.  Seawell may still see significant action in the outfield this season, but with the coaching staff wanting to get a look at both Sean Ratliff and Toby Gerhart in the outfield plus Seawell coming off a number of leg injuries, third base may be his destination for the time being.

Meanwhile, Castro made his 2007 debut after missing the first five games because of a hand injury (broken hamate bone).  Castro, who is expected to be one of the top hitters on the club this year, went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout on Friday.  Castro came on strong during the second half of last year and finished the campaign with a .283 batting average.  He then came through with an impressive summer in Alaska before a torrid Fall Ball at the plate.  Once completely back in game shape, look for Castro to play almost exclusively at first base and hit in the middle of the order.  Friday, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter (Jeff Whitlow) in the seventh inning with the tough lefty (Krebs) on the mound.

* Seawell, who hit just two home runs last year, blasted his first of 2007 in the second inning today.

* After a solid outing last weekend against Fresno State, Gallagher wasn't as effective versus the Longhorns.  The junior hit three batters, in addition to three walks, in his six innings.  Fortunately, the home runs he allowed were all solo shots which kept Stanford in the game, but it's still been a less-than-stellar beginning of the 2007 season for Gallagher.  In three starts, the Montana native is 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA (11 ER/13.0 IP).

* Adam Gaylord continues to play well both offensively and defensively.  The freshman, who has started all six games at shortstop, picked up two more hits in four at-bats on Friday.  Gaylord is hitting .333 (7-for-21) on the season.

* It was an afternoon to forget for both Michael Taylor and Austin Yount.  Taylor struck out three times (all swinging) against Russell before flying out in the top of the eighth.  Yount also fanned three times in four at-bats.  In the ninth, Yount took three straight pitches for strikes against Krebs for the K.

* Austin native Brandt Walker, who chose Stanford over Texas (among others), was the first pitcher used out of the bullpen this afternoon.  Walker entered the game at the start of the bottom of the seventh inning with the Cardinal trailing 4-2.  He started strong with a strikeout of Preston Clark before walking Bradley Suttle.  Walker then uncorked back-to-back wild pitches allowing Suttle to advance all the way to third base.  Walker has tremendous stuff, but often has difficulties locating his pitches.  He was quickly pulled after the two wild pitches despite a 2-2 count on the hitter, Kyle Russell.  Lefty Blake Hancock was brought in and he promptly struck out Russell with his first pitch.

* Erik Davis tries to get back on track after a rocky preseason.  Davis retired four of the five batters he faced late in the game today, but the exception was an eighth-inning home run to Chais Fuller.  It was Fuller's first hit in 12 at-bats this season.

Stanford and Texas will resume this series on Saturday afternoon in Round Rock with first pitch scheduled for 11:00 A.M. (PST).  Jeff Inman (1-0, 5.59 ERA) will get the start for the Cardinal while the Longhorns are expected to counter with junior right-hander Adrian Alaniz (2-1, 4.91 ERA).

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