Baseball Bounces Back With 10-6 Win

The Stanford Cardinal needed a good bounce back effort after Friday's rout at the hands of USC and that's exactly what happened. The Cardinal scored six runs in the first inning and then withstood a late Trojan rally to post a 10-6 victory on Saturday afternoon out at Sunken Diamond. Read on for a complete recap.

The Stanford Cardinal evened their series with the USC Trojans this afternoon with a 10-6 victory in front of 2,292 fans at Sunken Diamond.  Stanford scored six runs in the bottom of the first off USC starter Fraser Dizard and then held on for their tenth victory of the season.  

The first six batters of the game reached base for the Cardinal, five of which came home to score.  Brian Hall led things off by walking on five pitches and then moved to second when Sam Fuld singled through the right side. With Carlos Quentin at the plate, Dizard uncorked a wild pitch and when SC catcher Jeff Clement's throw to third got past third baseman Michael Moon, in an attempt to throw out the lead runner, Hall raced home with Stanford's first run of the game.  Quentin eventually walked to put two runners on base again and then Ryan Garko blooped a double down the right field scoring Fuld for a 2-0 lead.  After John Mayberry, Jr. walked to load the bases, Danny Putnam was hit by a pitch forcing Quentin home.  Chris Lewis was the next hitter and the Cardinal second baseman grounded a ball to third to which Moon fielded and fired home to nail Garko for the first out of the inning. The bases were still loaded though and Tobin Swope came through with a big hit singling home Mayberry, Jr. to extend the lead to 4-0.  After Jed Lowrie struck out, Brian Hall capped the inning off with a single to left field scoring both Putnam and Lewis for a commanding 6-0 advantage.

After throwing a scoreless top of the first, Ryan McCally gave up a single run in the top of the second when super-frosh Jeff Clement hit a towering home run to right field, his seventh blast of the year, to cut the lead to 6-1. McCally settled down though as he got out of the second, and then put up zeros in the third and fourth innings.  

Meanwhile, the Cardinal hitters were being shutdown by USC reliever Al Benavente, who relieved Dizard after Swope's RBI single in the bottom of the first.  Benavente worked scoreless second and third innings before laboring in the fourth.  He gave up consecutive singles to Hall and Fuld to lead off the inning and they would later score on a Ryan Garko single to push the lead up to 8-1.

McCally had struggled mightily in the middle innings in three of his four starts this year, but that wouldn't be the case today.  The senior righthander threw a perfect 1-2-3 fifth inning and the worked around a leadoff single in the sixth for another scoreless frame.  Finally in the seventh, with Stanford still leading 8-1, the Trojan hitters got to McCally.  David Gordon led off with a single, he moved to second on a walk, to third on a fly out, and then scored on a groundout to the trim the Stanford lead down to six runs.  In the top of the eighth with one out, slugging first baseman Joey Metropoulos homered to deep left center field to make the score 8-3.  After two were down, Jeff Clement hit a roller to Tobin Swope at shortstop who mishandled the ground ball, his second error of the game. Gordon was next up and he made Stanford pay for the error as he clubbed a home run to left and all of a sudden it was a three-run game at 8-5.  That ended McCally's afternoon as David O'Hagan was brought into pitch.  O'Hagan gave up a double to first batter he faced but got pinch-hitter Baron Frost to ground out to short to end the inning.

The Stanford offense, which was quiet in innings five through seven, pushed across two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.  Again it was Brian Hall and Sam Fuld getting things started as Hall doubled and Fuld singled to put two runners on to lead off the inning. Hall would come across to score on a Quentin ground out while Fuld scored on a Mayberry, Jr. single.

The Trojans mustered a single run off O'Hagan in the ninth as Travis McAndrews led off with a double and would score when with two outs, Metropoulos doubled.  The inning and game would end though when O'Hagan got Michael Moon to ground out to first.

Game Notes :
* Offensive stars for Stanford today included Sam Fuld (4-for-5, 3 runs), Brian Hall (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI), and Ryan Garko (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI).  The four hits for Fuld raised his batting average to a season-high .257.

* John Mayberry, Jr. extended his hitting streak to ten games with a single in the bottom of the eighth.

* Ryan McCally picked up his second win of the year with 7 2/3 quality innings today.  He gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking two and striking out seven.  David O'Hagan recorded the save.

* The six runs scored by Stanford in the bottom of the first was a season-high for runs in an inning for the Cardinal.  Their previous high was four runs, which they had done twice.

* Interesting stat : Stanford leadoff hitters (has either been Swope, Fuld or Hall) in the first inning of games this year are a combined 0-for-13 with four walks.  The fourth walk came today when Hall drew a free pass to leadoff the bottom of the first.

* Some good news on the injury front - sophomore Chris Carter is now taking batting practice with the team before games and should be back in action in the not-so-distant future.

USC           0 1 0  0 0 0  1 3 1   -   6  11   2
Stanford      6 0 0  2 0 0  0 2 x   -  10  12   2

WP: Ryan McCally (2-1)
LP: Fraser Dizard (1-1)
S: David O'Hagan (1)

Records: #16 USC (7-7), #9 Stanford (10-7)

* The Cardinal and Trojans wrap-up this three-game, non-conference series tomorrow afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:00pm.  Freshman Mark Romanczuk (3-0, 2.84) will likely get the ball, which would be his first career start at Stanford.  USC is expected to start freshman Bobby Paschal (0-2, 2.60).

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