Diamond Dawgs update

#16 Washington won a tight game yesterday over the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal, but dropped game two this afternoon at Husky Ballpark.

#16 Washington 2, #1 Stanford 7

Sophomore right hander Jeff Gilmore pitched seven strong innings as the top ranked Stanford Cardinal defeated the #16 Huskies 7-2 on Saturday afternoon at Husky Ballpark and evened their big Pac-10 series at a game apiece.

With the win the Cardinal improved to 37-7 overall and 11-3 in the Pac-10 and boosted their lead in the conference to a game and a half over the Huskies, who dropped to 11-6 and 27-15-1.

A day after left hander Mark Romanczuk pitched nine innings of six hit ball against the Huskies despite coming away with a no-decision, Gilmore nearly duplicated that effort against the Huskies. He allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts and improved to 8-2 on the season.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead against Gilmore in the bottom of the third as Taylor Johnson and Brent Lillibridge singled, and after Greg Isaacson grounded into a fielder's choice, Zach Clem plated Johnson with a sacrifice fly to left center field.

The Cardinal, after going scoreless in the final six innings of Friday night's opener and the first three frames of Saturday's contest, got to Husky starter Matt Kasser for two runs in the top of the fourth with no one out. Chris Minaker led off with a line single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Kasser. Jed Lowrie, who entered the series leading the Cardinal in batting with a .399 average before going hitless in four at-bats in the opener, plated Minaker with a double off the wall at the 365 marker in right field to tie the game. Danny Putnam singled and Donny Lucy walked to load the bases and then Lowrie scored when Brian Hall grounded into a double play.

Nick Batkoski tied the game at 2 for the Huskies in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff home run, his second of the season, a towering fly ball well beyond the wall in left field.

Stanford came right back against reliever Trent Baysinger for two runs in the top of the fifth. Jim Rapoport got hit by a pitch to lead off and Chris Lewis lined a single to right to send Rapoport to third, and when Taylor Johnson bobbled the ball, Lewis took second. Sam Fuld then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to score Rapoport and advance Lewis to third. At that point the skies opened up and dumped heavy rain showers on Husky Ballpark, stopping play and forcing many in the crowd of 1,222 to the exits. When play finally resumed after a 57 minute delay, Minaker singled to center on the first pitch from Baysinger to score Lewis and give the Cardinal a 4-2 lead.

The Cardinal made it 5-2 in the sixth as Brian Hall reached on an infield single, advanced to third when Isaacson booted a grounder by Lewis for an error, and scored on a single by Fuld.

Stanford made it 6-2 in the seventh when Baysinger walked Chris Carter with the bases loaded, scoring Lowrie.

The Cardinal added their final run in the ninth as Carter singled, pinch runner Cameron Matthews advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Richie Lentz, and scored on a squeeze bunt by Rapoport.

Offensively, after managing only seven hits against Kyle Parker and Tim Lincecum in the opener, the Cardinal rebounded with 13 hits on Saturday. Lowrie finished three for four, with three doubles, two runs scored and a run batted in, while Minaker finished three for five with a run scored and an RBI. The Cardinal also got the leadoff batter aboard in the first seven innings, and might have done even more damage had the Huskies not turned three double plays.

On the mound, Gilmore pitched better after the delay than before it. He allowed only a two out walk to Isaacson in the fifth and a two out single to Taylor Johnson in the seventh, before giving way to closer David O'Hagan, who pitched two innings of hitless relief. For the Huskies, Kasser started and came away with a no decision, going four innings and allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Baysinger suffered the loss to drop to 3-3, as he went three and two thirds innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits and four walks. He struck out four.

The Huskies and Cardinal return to Husky Ballpark for the finale of the three game series on Sunday afternoon at 1. The Huskies will send freshman ace right hander Lincecum (5-1, 3.74) to the mound, while Stanford has yet to announce a starter. KKNW 1150 AM will air the game on radio.

Friday: #16 Huskies 3, #1 Cardinal 2 (10)

Nick Batkoski's bloop single scored Brent Lillibridge with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the 16th ranked Huskies a 3-2 win over top ranked Stanford in the opener of a crucial Pac-10 series at Husky Ballpark on Friday night.

After Stanford did not score in the top of the 10th, the Huskies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. Reliever Jeff Stimpson hit Brent Lillibridge in the helmet with a pitch to lead off. Greg Isaacson sacrificed Lillibridge to second, and Zach Clem grounded a 3-2 pitch from Stimpson into the hole between second and third. Third baseman Adam Sorgi came up with the ball, but his throw to first base pulled Brian Hall off the base, allowing Clem to reach safely, while Lillibridge advanced to third. Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess then went to his bullpen, bringing in left hander Blake Holler to face the left handed batting Kyle Larsen. Holler hit Larsen with a pitch, bringing Batkoski to the plate. After taking two balls, Batkoski hit a blooper to shallow right. It looked like Jim Rapoport would make a diving catch for the second out of the inning, but the ball dropped in front of him, allowing Lillibridge to score the game winner.

Husky freshman right hander Kyle Parker and Stanford sophomore ace left hander Mark Romanczuk engaged in a tremendous pitching duel, shutting down the high powered offenses. Parker gave the Huskies their longest outing on the mound by a starter this season, going eight innings, allowing only two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out five. Husky head coach Ken Knutson simply described Parker's effort as "super." Romanczuk went the regulation nine innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while fanning eight.

Both teams scored a run in the first inning. In the top half, Chris Minaker chopped a single off the outstretched glove of Husky third baseman John Otness and cleanup batter Danny Putnam walked. John Mayberry Jr. fell behind Parker two strikes but then grounded a single into left to plate Minaker and give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half the Huskies tied the game as Clem doubled off the wall in left field, Larsen got hit a pitch, and Batkoski lined a double off the bullpen screen in left field. The Huskies had a chance to get to Romanczuk for more when Tyler Mach walked to load the bases, but after Cardinal coach Tom Kunis came out to talk to Romanczuk, he got out of the inning by getting Otness to pop out to first base.

Stanford took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth as Putnam led off with an opposite field single to left and Mayberry Jr. walked. Donny Lucy sacrificed both runners up 90 feet and then Brian Hall plated Putnam with a ground out to second.

The Huskies tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Larsen, his 10th of the season. At first it looked like right fielder Brian Hall made a leaping catch at the wall, but the ball just cleared the wall, and there was still doubt as to whether the ball actually went out until first base umpire Dick Flaherty raised his right arm to signal home run.

Neither Parker nor Romanczuk figured into the decision. Stimpson took the loss for the Cardinal to drop to 1-2, while Husky freshman ace and Sunday starter Tim Lincecum pitched the ninth and 10th in relief and earned the win to improve to 5-1. He allowed leadoff singles in both innings and walked one while striking out two, on a total of 30 pitches.

Although some might second guess the decision to bring in Lincecum in relief, Knutson would not. He said, "One reason we moved Lincecum into the starting slot on Sunday was precisely so he'd be available in such a situation. Friday is his normal day to throw in the bullpen so he was ready to come in. In summer ball last year he pitched four times in seven days. He has a rubber arm. Had we gone another inning, I would probably have taken him out."

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