Baseball Doubles Up in Austin

After an offensive explosion in Game 1, the Cardinal had an opportunity to sweep the doubleheader and simultaneously win a tough road series at the home of the defending champs. For the second consecutive game, the Cardinal came up with timely hits and pitched just well enough to win. This was as big of a February day as a team can have in college baseball.

Stanford 8, Texas 7
February 22, 2003

After an 11-7 victory in Game 1 over the Texas Longhorns, the Cardinal had all of 35 minutes to savor a big road victory. With just enough time to eat a sandwich and warm up again, Stanford had a very tough test in Game 2: Justin Simmons. The junior lefty won 16 games last year with only 1 loss, the best record in college baseball. Simmons entered the game with 2 wins under his belt with solid, but not spectacular performances. His outing today would be neither solid nor spectacular, but rather short and rocky.

Simmons walked Brian Hall to lead off the game, who was advanced to second on a Fuld groundout. Hall aggressively stole third and Quentin was hit by the pitch. With one out, Ryan Garko lifted a fly ball to CF, deep enough to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead on no hits in the first. Ryan McCally gave up a single on the first pitch of the bottom of the first but then got Omar Quintanilla to bounce into a 3-6 DP and Dustin Majewski to fly to center, using only 6 pitches to escape the first with a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Texas tied the game at 1. After J.D. Reininger walked (only the 3rd walk that McCally had given up all season), freshman Taylor Teagarden doubled him home with a shot to the RF corner. However, the Cardinal struck back immediately in the 3rd. Each of the three junior outfielders singled (Hall, Fuld, and Quentin). Carlos Quentin's sixth hit of the day scored Brian Hall. Fuld ended up on third and Quentin on second after an errant throw by the LF Eric Sultemeier. Garko's second Sac Fly of the game made it 3-1 and knocked Simmons out of the game, and John Mayberry's 6-3 groundout gave the Cardinal a 4-1 advantage. The pitcher with the most wins in the country in 2002 finished with this final line: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.

Stanford led 4-1 until the fifth, when Carlos Quentin doubled to left with one out. For Quentin, it was his 7th hit of the day and 4th double. He came into the game with only two extra base hits and raised his BA almost 100 points today to .365. With Quentin on second, Garko came through with his team leading 15th RBI by singling through the left side. Garko would finish the day with five runs batted in.

Meanwhile, Ryan McCally was pitching well. He set down the Longhorns in the third and fourth, giving up one hit and walking one, but never encountering serious trouble. In the fifth, McCally retired Teagarden to open the inning, but then lost the strike zone. He walked the #8 and #9 hitters, Michael Hollimon and Joe Ferin, on four pitches each and fell behind the leadoff hitter Tim Moss 2-0. Finally finding the strike zone, McCally grooved a 2-1 fastball that Moss ripped to left for a hit. Mark Marquess decided that was enough for McCally, who simply lost the zone in the 5th, just as he did two outings ago against FSU. Mark Romanczuk was called in and after giving up a single to Dustin Majewski that scored a run (McCally's responsibility), he would get J.D. Reininger to pop out to end the inning with the tying run on first. Chris Lewis made a great play in shallow right to make the catch, but the lead was halved to 5-3.

While it seemed as if the pitching would start to dominate the game, both teams piled on the runs over the next few innings. First, the Cardinal scored two in the sixth on a RBI double by Donny Lucy (his first RBI since the Santa Clara series) and an RBI single by Brian Hall. Leading 7-3 in the 6th, the Longhorns got to Mark Romanczuk for run on Joe Ferin RBI single, and could have had more but Ferin was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Tim Moss double. Before the sixth, Romanczuk had not allowed a run in 10.2 innings. Texas scored another run off the freshman in the 7th when he walked the leadoff hitter Omar Quintanilla, who would come into score on a Sac Fly by Reininger. After 7, the Card led 7-5.

Stanford added an insurance run in the 8th and exacted a tiny bit of revenge in the process. Brantley Jordan walked Tobin Swope with one out and was replaced by Huston Street, who earned two saves against Stanford in the 2002 College World Series. John Hester was the first to face street, and Hester, who entered the game for Lucy in the 6th, delivered with a hit to third, his first of his collegiate career. Street retired Hall, but with runners on the corners, Sam Fuld, Street's 2002 Team USA teammate, ripped a single up the middle to give the Card an 8-5 lead.

Mark Romanczuk stayed on the mound for Stanford in the 8th. It was clear today that Romanczuk did not have his best stuff, and he walked the leadoff hitter in the 8th. After a sac bunt, Romanczuk walked the #9 hitter on 4 pitches. Stanford walked Joe Ferin, the last place hitter for the Longhorns, 3 times in the second game and he also had an RBI single. For the Card, it brought back memories of another CF hitting ninth, Kalani Napoleon, who in 2002 burned the Cardinal with a number of key walks and base hits in the CWS.Romanczuk was pulled in favor of Texas native Matt Manship.

Manship was noticeably nervous, as with runners on first and second, he committed a balk that moved the runners up a base. It looked as it Manship wanted to throw to first, but Mayberry wasn't covering and Manship had to fake the throw rather than throw it away. Tim Moss ripped his fourth hit of the day to right, scoring a run to make it an 8-6 lead for the Cardinal. Quintanilla reached on an infield hit off Manship, which scored another run to make it 8-7. However, Manship buckled down, striking out Dustin Majewski and getting Nick Crosta to ground out with runners on 2nd and 3rd to end the inning. It was a huge turnaround for Manship, who was not charged with either of the runs.

In the 9th, up by one run, Manship retook the mound. The San Antonio native got Reininger on a ground out, and the blew fastballs by both Eric Sultemeier and Curtis Thigpen to end the game, giving the Cardinal the doubleheader sweep and the series victory, and Manship his 2nd save of the year.

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