Card Take Second Straight From Kansas

On the strength of a big seventh inning at the plate and the work of two freshman pitchers, the Cardinal knocked off Kansas, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon to clinch the series victory. Three doubles in the bottom of the seventh led to three runs in the deciding frame offensively for Stanford. Meanwhile, the pitching staff continued to excel at Sunken Diamond this early season.

At this time last week, the Cardinal were dealt their second straight loss at Texas to drop their overall record to a subpar 2-5.  Seven days and four games later, Stanford is rolling.  The Cardinal outscored the Longhorns in a wild affair last Sunday before a well-pitched victory over San Francisco this past Tuesday.  The Kansas Jayhawks came into town this weekend fresh off an NCAA Tournament bid a year ago and a hot start (albeit against weak competition) but have had their difficulties with the suddenly hot Stanford club.  The Cardinal held off a late Kansas rally on Friday for a 6-5 win before making it two in a row over the Jayhawks, and four straight overall, with a solid 4-1 victory Saturday afternoon.  With the win, Stanford moved over .500 for the first time this season (6-5).

It was two freshman pitchers leading the way Saturday while a three-run bottom of the seventh was the key inning offensively for the Cardinal.  Jeff Inman didn't figure in the decision this afternoon, but the hard-throwing rookie allowed just one run on five hits in 5 2/3 effective innings.  Meanwhile, Andrew Clauson, in just his second outing of the year, fired 2 1/3 no-hit innings late in the contest for his first collegiate victory.

With the score tied 1-1, a pivotal inning today was the top of the sixth.  Inman walked Preston Land to start the frame before a one-out single from Joe Servais.  Inman retired #9 hitter Kyle Murphy on a pop out for the second out of the inning, but with two lefties and the top of the order due up, Mark Marquess decided to make a change on the mound.

Sophomore Blake Hancock was summoned from the bullpen to face Brock Simpson and the southpaw promptly walked the KU leadoff man to load the bases.  Hancock, despite not pitching in a single game last year, has all of a sudden become a key pitcher in the Cardinal bullpen this early season.  The Texas native, who was making his fifth appearance in relief already this year, often is called upon to face just one or two left-handed batters in a tight game.

Perhaps the biggest at-bat of the afternoon took place next as Hancock stayed in to face Robbie Price - the son of Kansas head coach Ritch Price.  The younger Price, who bats left-handed, got a Hancock pitch he could handle and grounded a ball sharply to the right side.  Second baseman Cord Phelps raced over in an attempt to field the ball, but it didn't appear as if he could get there in time as Kansas was poised to take a one or two-run lead.  But in a dramatic turn of events, Simpson, who was running toward second base, was unable to get out of the way of the grounder.  When the ball struck his leg, the play was ruled dead and Simpson was called out.  The baserunning blunder got Hancock out of the jam and kept the score tied at 1-1.

In the seventh, with the game still tied, Marquess again went to the bullpen bringing in the freshman Clauson to pitch.  Clauson made a brief one-inning stint in the Sunday game at Cal State Fullerton three weeks ago and was clearly being tested by the coaching staff with his inclusion in today's game.

And the freshman would deliver.  Clauson calmly worked through the heart of the KU order in the seventh getting a fly out and a pop out of the first two hitters before plunking Erik Morrison with a pitch.  But Clauson managed to rebound inducing Land to fly out routinely to right field ending the inning.

After scoring just one run in the first sixth innings, the Cardinal bats finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh.  Still facing Kansas starting pitcher Nick Czyz, Brian Juhl started the rally with a ringing double into the right field corner.  After Jeff Whitlow moved Juhl over to third with a sacrifice bunt, Cord Phelps brought home the go-ahead run when he smoked a ground ball down the left field line for a double.

A pitching change brought Wally Marciel into the game, but the move didn't pay off as DH Brendan Domaracki followed the Phelps double with a double of his own when he blasted a ball to deep left center field.  The two-bagger scored Phelps with Stanford's second run of the inning.  Then two batters later, Ryan Seawell singled sharply up the middle plating Domaracki for a 4-1 lead.

Clauson remained in the game after the Cardinal took the lead as the freshman fired a perfect 1-2-3 top of the eighth on a fly out and a pair of ground outs.  In the ninth, Clauson set down Simpson on a ground out to start things off before a walk to Robby Price put a runner on.  Despite working two innings just last night, Marquess went back to his closer in David Stringer at this point in the contest to try to nail down another victory.

Stringer set down the dangerous John Allman on a ground out before a hard-earned walk to Ryne Price put two runners on and brought the potential tying run to the plate.  But Stringer continued to battle and he managed to get Morrison to fly out to medium-deep center field ending the game.

Inman was effective during his stint on the mound today despite dealing with a small strike zone from the home plate umpire.  Nine hitters reached base against Inman (five hits and four walks), but the freshman, showing off his remarkable poise, managed to allow just one of those runners to score.  Inman also fanned five giving him a team-leading total of 19 on the season.

Stanford's first run of the afternoon came in the bottom of the fourth when Michael Taylor drove home Seawell with a single to center field.


BOXSCORE

Kansas      0 0 1  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   1   6   1
Stanford    0 0 0  1 0 0  3 0 X   -   4  10   1

Kansas            POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO
Brock Simpson      RF   4   0   0   0    1   1
Robby Price        3B   4   1   2   0    1   1
John Allman        LF   5   0   2   0    0   0
Ryne Price         2B   3   0   0   0    2   1
Erik Morrison      SS   3   0   0   1    0   0
Preston Land       1B   3   0   1   0    1   1
Justin Ellrich     DH   4   0   0   0    0   1
Joe Servais         C   1   0   1   0    2   0
 Dylan Parzyk       C   1   0   0   0    0   0
Kyle Murphy        CF   3   0   0   0    0   0

E: Servais
2B: Allman 2
HBP: Morrison
SB: Allman, Morrison

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Nick Czyz (L)       6.1   8   3   3   0   5
Wally Marciel       0.2   2   1   1   0   1
Hiarali Garcia      1.0   0   0   0   0   2



Stanford           POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO   AVG
Ryan Seawell        3B   4   1   3   1    0   1  .370
Sean Ratliff        CF   3   0   0   0    0   2  .283
Michael Taylor      RF   4   0   1   1    0   0  .222
Brent Milleville   1B/C  4   0   1   0    0   2  .292
Brian Juhl           C   3   0   2   0    0   0  .353
 J.J. Jelmini       PR   0   1   0   0    0   0  .000
 Jason Castro       1B   1   0   0   0    0   1  .125
Jeff Whitlow        LF   2   0   0   0    0   1  .333
Cord Phelps         2B   3   1   2   1    0   0  .306
Nolan Gallagher     DH   0   0   0   0    0   0   ---
 Brendan Domaracki PH/DH 3   1   1   1    0   0  .308
Adam Gaylord        SS   3   0   0   0    0   1  .324

E: Phelps
2B: Juhl, Phelps, Domaracki
SB: Seawell

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
Jeff Inman          5.2   5   1   1   4   5  4.87
Blake Hancock       0.1   1   0   0   1   0 10.12
Andrew Clauson (W)  2.1   0   0   0   1   0  0.00
David Stringer (S)  0.2   0   0   0   1   0  2.38


WP: Andrew Clauson (1-0)
LP: Nick Czyz (1-1)
S: David Stringer (4)

Records: Stanford (6-5), Kansas (7-3)


NOTES
* Clauson notched his first career victory with today's impressive performance on the mound.  Clauson, who hails from Yakima, Washington, threw a lot of strikes this afternoon with very little solid contact against.  He is the third freshman pitcher (along with Inman and Brandt Walker) to see significant action on the hill this season.

* Inman lowered his ERA to 4.87 with today's outing - the lowest among the three starting pitchers on the club.

* With the win, Stanford remained perfect at Sunken Diamond this season (5-0).  In five home games, the Cardinal pitching staff has compiled a stellar 2.20 ERA (11 ER/45.0 IP).  On the road, Stanford is just 1-5 with a dismal 8.45 ERA (46 ER/49.0 IP).

* Adam Gaylord saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end after finishing 0-for-3. 

* Ryan Seawell extended his hitting streak to six games with a 3-for-4, RBI effort at the plate.  Seawell, who has five hits already in the series, raised his batting average to a team-best .370 (10-for-27).

* David Stringer has now picked up a save in Stanford's last three games.  During the stretch, the junior right-hander has not allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings.


ON DECK
The Cardinal will look for their first three-game sweep of the year when the teams complete this series on Sunday morning.  First pitch at Sunken Diamond is scheduled for 11:00 A.M.  Jeremy Bleich (0-1, 6.89 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for Stanford while Kansas is expected to counter with Andy Marks (2-0, 0.73 ERA).  Marks has allowed just one run in his first 12 1/3 innings pitched this season.

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