College Baseball Roundup

The Stanford Cardinal rebounded from consecutive series losses to sweep the Fresno State Bulldogs over the weekend. This week's Roundup takes a closer look at that series, has all the latest from around the Pac-10, as well as a new "Super Sixteen" national poll.

Pac-10 Standings (overall records) :

Arizona State     17-1
California         8-3
USC                5-2
Arizona            6-3
Stanford           6-5
Oregon State       3-3
UCLA               5-5
Washington         3-3
Washington State   0-6

Much better weekend for the Pac-10 as USC and Arizona notch big sweeps.  The Trojans swept #23 South Alabama at Dedeaux Field as two of the games were blowouts.  Meanwhile, Arizona swept a good UC Irvine team in Tucson to improve to 6-3 on the season.  California played in a tournament in Texas and went 2-1 which included a win over #20 Nebraska (although they lost to SW Texas State the previous day).  The Bears also now have star third baseman Conor Jackson back in the lineup (sprained ankle).  Stanford got back on track after two series losses with a three-game sweep at home versus Fresno State.  Arizona State continued to roll going 3-0 at a tournament in Surprise, Arizona.  One of those wins was a 9-4 victory over Oregon State.  Despite that loss, the Beavers had a good weekend at that tournament with earlier wins over Gonzaga and Oklahoma State.  UCLA took 2-of-3 at home versus N.C. State while Washington went down to Los Angeles and dropped 2-of-3 to Loyola Marymount.  Washington State was swept for the second consecutive weekend as the #16 Long Beach State 49ers easily disposed of the Cougars.

Two huge Pac-10/Big 12 battles this weekend.  Stanford travels to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns while USC heads to Waco to play a top ten team in the Baylor Bears.  Would be big for the Pac-10 Conference if one of those teams can win a series, especially considering both are on the road.  California also has a big test this weekend when they travel down the coast to face Long Beach State in a three-game series.  Arizona State also has a tough weekend ahead with two games at home versus nationally ranked Notre Dame.
 

Fresno State Series Notes :

Good bounce back series for the Cardinal as they sweep the reeling Bulldogs at Sunken Diamond.  Great pitching and defense as Stanford gives up just five runs on 14 hits in the three games while committing only one error.  Second straight dominating outing for John Hudgins as the junior righthander carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning.  He finished his evening with eight quality innings yielding only one run on three hits.  He's displayed great control of all his pitches this season which has translated to only three walks in 29 innings pitched.  Should be another great test for Hudgins this weekend against a good hitting team in Texas.  Tim Cunningham struggled once again on the mound on Saturday as the senior lefty didn't get out of the third inning.  Granted, Coach Marquess had a real quick hook (Cunningham only gave up two runs in his 2 1/3 innings of work) but nonetheless, it was clear Tim didn't have his good stuff once again.  Ryan McCally on Sunday flat out dominated.  After giving up four singles in the first 2 1/3 innings, McCally retired 17 consecutive hitters before a home run to leadoff the ninth inning.  He completed the game giving up just two runs on six hits while walking none.  Like Hudgins, McCally just isn't walking anybody (two bases on balls in 22 innings) as it would seem Ryan has got a strong hold on that #3 spot in the rotation.  Out of the bullpen, only three pitchers saw time on the hill this weekend.  Freshman Mark Romanczuk continued to dominate with a scoreless ninth inning on Friday to record the save and then two scoreless frames on Saturday for another save.  The lefty has now thrown 8 1/3 shutout innings this season while opponents have only two hits off him.  If McCally stays in the rotation (which it appears he will - at least for now), it would seem Romanczuk is going to be the guy Coach Marquess turns to in late inning closer situations.  The two other pitchers who saw time this past weekend also may now be working in many late inning situations in the future.  David O'Hagan dominated once again with 4 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday.  He allowed only one hit while picking up six strikeouts.  It's good to see a guy like O'Hagan, who pitched in only nine games in his first two years on The Farm, have some early success this season.  Expect to see a lot more of O'Hagan in the near future.  Kodiak Quick also looked good in his brief outing on Saturday.  Coming into the game with the bases loaded, two outs and Stanford leading by one in the seventh inning, Quick recorded a big strike out to end the inning and keep the Cardinal in the lead.  Quick was dominating two Sunday's ago versus Florida State in the seventh and eighth innings while protecting a three-run Stanford lead before giving up the three-run homer in the ninth to tie the game.  Quick was very impressive in intra-squad games and hopefully this outing against Fresno State will get that confidence back up after that sudden turn of events two weeks ago versus Florida State.  Expect Quick to see more time in big spots for Stanford out of the bullpen.

On the hitting side, the Cardinal got the job done but have yet to have a breakout game.  They scored four runs on Friday, five on Saturday, and seven on Sunday which was plenty with the pitching dominating like they did.  A pair of freshman in Jed Lowrie and Chris Lewis started all three games at third and second base respectively and they didn't disappoint.  Lowrie went 5-for-11 with three RBI while Lewis finished 3-for-7 with four RBI.  They were playing in place of Donny Lucy and Jonny Ash who both are slumping mightily with the bats.  The Cardinal blasted three home runs over the weekend.  John Mayberry, Jr. hit one on Friday, Ryan Garko on Saturday, and Brian Hall on Sunday.  Mayberry, Jr. had a very good series with a 5-for-9 showing including that home run.  Tobin Swope leads the team in hitting at a .386 clip while Danny Putnam is second on the club at .368.  Stanford as a team is hitting just .282 while averaging a paltry 4.4 runs per game.
 
 

"Super Sixteen" Poll :

                        Record    Pvs.

1. Texas                10-1       1
    * Longhorns continue to cruise at home going 5-0 last week (single wins over UT-Arlington and SW Texas State and three wins over Sam Houston State).

2. Florida State         8-1       2
    * Seminoles open long homestand with a three-game sweep of Evansville.

3. Georgia Tech          2-0       3
    * Jackets open season with a two-game sweep of Georgia Southern.

4. Rice                  3-1       4
    * Owls go 2-1 in a round-robin tournament that includes wins over Texas A&M and Baylor and a loss to Alabama.

5. Cal State Fullerton   8-1       6
    * Titans win first two games at UNLV by scores of 23-3 and 14-1 before falling in the finale, still enough to move up a spot.

6. Wake Forest           2-1       5
    * Demon Deacons open with 26-0 thrashing of Appalachian State but follow with a 4-1 loss to Elon.

7. Arizona State        17-1       7
    * Sun Devils continue to roll with perfect 3-0 mark at a round-robin tournament with wins over Gonzaga, Oklahoma State, and Oregon State.

8. South Carolina        4-1       8
    * Gamecocks also play in a round-robin tournament and notch two wins over James Madison and Old Dominion (third game rained out).

9. USC                   5-2       9
    * Trojans with impressive three-game sweep at home versus South Alabama.

10. Stanford             6-5      13
    * Cardinal rebound with three-game sweep of Fresno State.

11. Notre Dame           0-0      11

12. Clemson              0-0      12

13. Houston              2-4      10
    * Cougars with a 1-2 mark at a tournament with lone win coming over Alabama.

14. Alabama              2-1      14
    * Tide with 2-1 record at same tournament that includes a win over Rice but a loss to Houston.

15. Richmond             0-0      15

16. Long Beach State     6-3      NR
    * 49ers enter poll after three-game sweep of Washington State.  They've also won a series over USC (lost one to ASU).
 

Opponents Update :

Fullerton and Florida State are playing very well which is good news for Stanford.  The Titans finally lost on Sunday after opening their season with eight straight wins.  Florida State is also now 8-1 with their only loss coming to Stanford two weeks ago.  They should rack up plenty of wins in the coming weeks with home series' versus Appalachian State, Charleston Southern, and Siena.
 

Up Next for Stanford :

The Cardinal have another big road series this weekend as they travel to Austin to take on the defending National Champion Texas Longhorns (ranked fourth in the country).  Texas is 10-1 this year.  They opened their season with a three-game sweep at San Diego and have since gone 7-1 at home versus the likes of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UT-Pan American, SW Texas State, and Sam Houston State.  They have a game on Tuesday at home versus UT-San Antonio.  So, this series versus Stanford is their first real big test of the season.  The big names returning for the Longhorns from the '02 title team are 2B Tim Moss, 3B Omar Quintanilla, OF Dustin Majewski, SP Justin Simmons, and RP Huston Street.  A full series preview is coming in a few days.


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