O'Hagan masterful in long relief
Not even rainy, cold weather can slow down the Stanford bats. The Cardinal completed the series and season sweep of the California Golden Bears on a wet Sunday afternoon with an 8-3 victory. Jed Lowrie smoked his team-leading 11th home run of the season while Brian Hall extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Meanwhile, David O'Hagan dazzled in long relief with 5 1/3 scoreless, one-hit innings. Read on for a complete recap.
Stanford starter Blake Holler had a little bit of
trouble in the top of the first inning, but escaped without giving up a
run. Allen Craig began the game with an infield single.
After a strike out and a ground out, #4 hitter Chris Grossman drew a
walk to put two runners on, but Holler came back to get Brian Horwitz
to ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Cardinal also threatened in the first inning, but like Cal, they
would come up empty-handed. Jonny Ash drew a one-out walk while
Danny Putnam singled with two outs, but John Mayberry, Jr. popped out
to end the rally.
Holler continued to labor in the top of the second, but this time he
could not hold Cal off the scoreboard. With one out, Justin
Nelson singled and then #8 hitter James Holder crushed a home run well
over the fence in left for a 2-0 lead. After a ground out, Holler
issued back-to-back to walks throwing just one strike in the
process. That would end his afternoon as Coach Marquess wasted
little time bringing in his ace reliever, David O'Hagan.
O'Hagan walked the first batter he faced, but then came back to strike
out Grossman with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Stanford scored their first runs of the game in the bottom of the third
against Cal starter Matt Brown. Still trailing 2-0, back-to-back
walks to Sam Fuld and Ash started the inning. Jed Lowrie then
singled to load the bases for clean-up hitter Danny Putnam.
Putnam grounded a ball to shortstop as the force was made of Lowrie at
second base. Fuld scored on the play to make it 2-1 while Putnam
was safe at first.
Mayberry, Jr. was up next and the towering first baseman grounded a
ball down the third base line. Bears third baseman Matt Einspahr
made an excellent diving stop, but instead of throwing the ball to
second or first, he tried to get Ash at the plate. An accurate
throw would have gotten Ash, but it wasn't an easy toss to make and it
bounced past the catcher Grossman and all the way to the
backstop. Ash scored on the play to tie the game while Putnam and
Mayberry, Jr. moved up to third and second respectively.
After a walk to Donny Lucy loaded the bases, red-hot Brian Hall
delivered the big hit with a ringing double to deep center field.
Putnam and Mayberry, Jr. scored on the play although Lucy was thrown
out at home on a perfect relay to the plate. Still, the damage
had been done and Stanford had taken the lead at 4-2.
Meanwhile, O'Hagan was really settling into a groove. He issued a
two-out walk in the third inning, but worked around it. He then
fired 1-2-3 fourth and fifth frames to keep the score at 4-2
Cardinal. In the sixth, O'Hagan surrendered a leadoff single to
Jeff Dragicevich, but he easily set down the next three hitters to
retire the side.
Stanford did very little against Cal reliever Kyle Crist in the fourth
and fifth innings, but they would get a gift run courtesy of Crist and
fellow reliever Jesse Ingram in the bottom of the sixth. With one
out, Crist beaned Ash with a pitch which was followed by a walk to
Lowrie. Ingram would enter the game at this point and he promptly
walked Putnam to load the bases. Then with Mayberry, Jr. at the
plate, Ingram uncorked a wild pitch to score Ash for a 5-2 Stanford
O'Hagan breezed through the seventh 1-2-3 keeping the score at 5-2
before the Stanford hitters went back to work in the bottom half of the
inning. Lucy got things started with a double that one-hopped the
wall in deep left center. Stanford then played perfect
fundamental baseball as Hall bunted the Cardinal catcher over to third
which was followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of DH Chris Carter.
Jeff Stimpson relieved O'Hagan to start the eighth inning.
Stimpson struggled a little early as he issued a leadoff walk.
After a strike out of the next batter, Dragicevich singled to put
runners at the corners. Stimpson got the next hitter, Nelson, to
ground out, but a run would score on the play to make it a 6-3 game.
Stanford scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the
eighth. Fuld singled to lead off and then two batters later,
Lowrie crushed a no-doubt-about-it home run to deep right center
field. For Lowrie, it was his team-leading 11th home run of the
Stimpson allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but a double play and
fly out later, the ballgame was over and Stanford had completed the
season sweep of the Bears.
* O'Hagan dominated on the hill in his long relief stint this
afternoon. The senior right hander worked 5 1/3 innings yielding
no runs on just one hit. He walked two and struck out five.
For the season, O'Hagan is now 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA, .184 opposing
average, and four saves. He's also struck out 44 (compared to
just 14 walks) in 41 innings.
* Lowrie had another big day at the plate with a 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
effort. He's now hitting .397 this season with 11 home runs, 47
RBI, a .778 slugging percentage, and a .509 on-base percentage
(team-leader in all five categories).
* Other multi-hit games came from Putnam (2-for-4, RBI) and Lucy
* Hall extended his hitting streak to 19 games with his third-inning
double. Hall finished 1-for-2 today to raise his season average
to .371 (third on the team).
* Lucy (11 games) and Fuld (ten games) also extended their respective
* Holler lasted just 1 2/3 innings today. The freshman southpaw
surrendered two runs on three hits with three walks and one strike out.
* Stanford won their fifth game in a row overall, their eighth straight
at home, and 16th in a row over the Cal Bears dating back to March,
* The Cardinal became the first Pac-10 team to record a conference
series sweep. Stanford (7-2) has opened up a two game lead in the
Pac-10 race over Arizona (5-4), USC (5-4), and Washington (5-4).
California 0 2
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 3
Stanford 0 0 4 0 0 1 1 2
x - 8 10 0
WP: David O'Hagan (5-0)
LP: Matt Brown (3-3)
HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (11) ; California - James Holder (6)
Records: #2 Stanford (29-5, 7-2), California (20-23, 6-9)
* The Cardinal will next be in action on Tuesday night when they host
the Saint Mary's Gaels for a 6:00pm game. This weekend, Stanford
takes on Sacramento State in a two-game series. Friday's game
will be at Sunken Diamond at 6:00pm while Saturday's contest is in
Sacramento at 2:00pm.