After a 3-5 start, many were wondering
what was the deal with Stanford's offense? Through eight games, there had
only been one inning in which the Cardinal scored more than two runs. However,
starting against Fresno St. and building to a climax over the last five
games, the offensive that was missing against Fullerton and Florida St.
came to life against the USC Trojans and the Cal Bears. With today's 11-2
victory, the Cardinal have now scored 59 runs in the last five games!
Mark Romanczuk took the hill for his second consecutive Sunday afternoon start. After a win last weekend against the Trojans, Romanczuk was great early. He got out of the first inning with runners stranded on the corners by striking out Cal's Brian Horwitz. Romanczuk struck out four in the first two innings, holding California scoreless.
Like they did in the first two games of the series, the Cardinal struck first. In the second inning, Danny Putnam singled to center off sophomore right-hander Kyle Crist. After a strikeout by John Mayberry Jr., Jonny Ash singled to shortstop, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Tobin Swope ripped a single up the middle, giving the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.
Romanczuk struck out two more in the third, including Conor Jackson, bringing his total to six. Leading 1-0, the Cardinal broke it open. With two outs and the bases empty, Carlos Quentin singled to third, and was moved to third on a single by Garko to center. With runners at the corners, Putnam slapped a single to right bringing home Quentin and Stanford led 2-0. With runners on first and second, Crist worked the count full to Mayberry. The runners took off on the payoff pitch and Junior looped a single to right center, extending his hit streak to 14 games. Garko scored easily and Putnam, who has been DHing because of bad legs, motored around third and scored all the way from first. After a bloop double by Ash to center, the Cardinal ended the inning up 5-0.
Cal scored their only runs of the game immediately thereafter. Romanczuk gave up a one out walk to Horwitz and a double to James Holder to put runners on at second and third. Justin Nelson dropped a single to right field just in front of Quentin, and Jeff Dragicevich did the same to make it 5-2. With runners on first and second and only one out, the freshman lefty settled down to get David Nicholson to ground into a 6-4-3 DP to end the inning, still up 5-2.
That would be all for Cal, but the Cardinal weren't done yet. Singles by Chris Lewis and Sam Fuld put runners on first and second with nobody out in the fourth. Hall failed to move the runners up when he popped out to first. Quentin stood in the batter's box with one out. Through 72 AB, Quentin was homerless, but he made AB #73 a streak-buster. He ripped a line drive homer to deep left center and all of the sudden Stanford led 8-2. Quentin said in the postgame radio interview that it was definitely a relief to get the first one out of the way. After all, he homered in his very first AB his freshman and sophomore years.
Stanford added a run in the fifth on a RBI double by Sam Fuld. Fuld is 12 for his last 20 and has a five game hitting streak. At one point today, Fuld's average stood at .300, but he flied to left in his last AB to drop down to .297. Still, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time for Fuld, who seems to be feeling it after a slow start.
Up 9-2, Stanford added insult to injury for Cal with an RBI double by Hall in the eighth and another RBI for Quentin, making it 11-2.
Romanczuk left after six, giving up two runs on six hits, walking three and striking out a career high seven batters. David O'Hagan gave up only one hit the rest of the way, walking two and striking out three for the three inning save. He struck out the final two batters to secure Stanford's second consecutive series sweep over the Bears. The Cardinal have now won five games in a row to end their non-conference schedule and the last seven against Cal extending back to 2002.
California 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 - 2 7 1
Stanford 0 1 4 3 1 0 2 0 x - 11 20 1
WP: Mark Romanczuk (5-0)
LP: Kyle Crist (0-1)
Save: David O'Hagan (2)
Records: Stanford (14-7), California (11-8)
- The Cardinal have now scored 59 runs in their last five games.
- Hitting streaks continued today as every member of the Cardinal starting lineup had at least one hit. Mayberry's streak is now 14 games, Quentin's 9, Garko's 6, and Hall and Fuld have 5 game hitting streaks.
- Chris Minaker had a pinch hit single in the 8th, which was his first career hit.
- Donny Lucy also had a pinch hit single. Lucy had not played since the Texas series, when he pulled a hamstring running out a double.
- Jonny Ash came into the series with 4 hits, and after another 2-4 performance today, he had 5 hits in the Cal series alone.
- Mark Romanczuk now leads Stanford in wins with 5. He was great early, seemed to tire near the end, but gave the Cardinal six strong innings.
- Another effective David O'Hagan performance, and the Minnesota native seems to have a hold on a weekend relief spot.
The Cardinal now have a 12 day break for Finals. They will resume next Saturday at 6 PM PST against the Arizona St. Sun Devils, who win today to improve to 28-1. It will be the first Pac-10 series for both teams. Chad Goldberg and Joe Ritzo will have the call on KZSU 90.1 FM (unless Men's or Women's Basketball has a NCAA Tournament Game) and on kzsulive.stanford.edu.