Card Sweep Twinbill From Jayhawks

Gilmore off to a hot start this season

After a rainout on Friday, the Cardinal baseball team returned to the field on Saturday and promptly swept a doubleheader from the Kansas Jayhawks, 7-3 and 9-2. A couple of strong starting pitching performances from Mark Romanczuk Jeff Gilmore led the way while two big home runs - one in each game - provided the offensive lift.

Strong starting pitching was the theme of the day for the Stanford Cardinal.  Mark Romanczuk got the ball in game one during the afternoon and the junior lefty came up with a solid effort on the mound.  Kansas had baserunners throughout the first three innings against the southpaw, but was never able to push across any runs.  Romanczuk prevented any sort of rally in the top of the first when he picked off Matt Baty at first base.  In the third, the Jayhawks put a couple of runners on with one out, but back-to-back strike outs of Ritchie Price and John Allman, the #3 and #4 hitters in the Kansas lineup, retired the side.

Innings four through seven saw Romanczuk dominate the Jayhawks hitter with two exceptions.  Romanczuk only allowed two hits during those four frames, but both knocks were solo home runs off the bat of center fielder Gus Milner.  Fortunately, the Cardinal maintained a lead after each home run and so the damage was minimal. 

Overall, Romanczuk's control was much better in today's start when compared to his previous two outings.  In those two starts, Romanczuk walked a total of nine batters in 10 2/3 innings.  However, in this afternoon's game, the Delaware native issued just two free passes in his 7 1/3 innings.  He also recorded six strike outs while holding the Kansas hitters to two runs on six hits.

The Cardinal hitters in this first game used a steady offensive attack to knock off the Jayhawks.  The first inning saw John Mayberry, Jr. pick up an RBI single and then later in the frame it was Adam Sorgi knocking in a run with a sacrifice fly to right.  In the second, Stanford scored a run without the benefit of a hit when Ryan Seawell led off by drawing a walk.  He moved to second on a balk, to third on an error, and then scored on a John Hester's fielder's choice ground ball.

The game was still tight, at 3-1 Cardinal, in the bottom of the fifth when Chris Lewis connected for a two-run home run to left.  Lewis smacked two homers in Stanford's last game - the 15-10 thrashing of Cal State Fullerton - and picked up right where he left off today.  The Cardinal then capped their scoring in the bottom of the sixth when Jim Rapoport led off with a double and then scored two batters later on a Hester double.  Later in the inning, Hester would come home and score on a Minaker single.

Greg Reynolds came in for Romanczuk with one out in the eighth and a couple of runners on and the sophomore right-hander got Stanford out of the inning with ease inducing a ground out and a fly out.  Kansas scored a run in the ninth off Reynolds when with one out, Travis Dunlap was hit by a pitch and he would score when the next batter, Ryan Baty, doubled him home.  Reynolds though would set down the next two batters to end the game and preserve the 7-3 Cardinal victory.

******

Game two got off to a rocky start when starter Jeff Gilmore was touched up for two runs in the top of the first inning.  A Michael Taylor dropped fly ball in right started the rally.  Price singled home a run after the error then a walk and another single produced the second run of the inning.  Gilmore would eventually retire the side and that would be all Kansas would get off the junior right-hander on this day.

In fact, from with one out in the first inning through the end of the fourth, Gilmore retired 11 consecutive Jayhawk hitters.  He was in complete control and was keeping the Kansas batters off balance the entire evening.  The Jayhawks put a few runners on base in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, but never were able to push across any runs.  The fifth saw a leadoff single and then an error put runners at first and second with none out.  But Gilmore easily set down the next three batters to put up another zero on the scoreboard.  In the sixth it was a one-out walk and in the seventh a two-out single, but nothing came of either rally as Gilmore came up with yet another high-quality outing.

Meanwhile, the Stanford offense was having a tough time with Kansas starting pitcher Clint Schambach.  Schambach, a soft throwing right-hander, allowed just one hit in seven innings in his first start of the season last weekend at Hawaii-Hilo.  For awhile, it looked as if he was going to match that effort tonight as the Cardinal were only able to muster one hit off of him through their first five times up to bat.

Finally in the sixth, with the score still 2-0 Kansas, the Stanford bats came to life.  Pinch-hitter Brendan Domaracki got things started with a line drive single to right.  After Taylor reached on an infield single, Hester came up and smoked a double down the left field line to score both runners and tie the game at 2-2.  Stanford though was hardly done as a Jed Lowrie walk again put two runners on and then it was Mayberry, Jr. providing the big hit with a three-run home run to left - his second round tripper of the season.

Stanford would score two more runs in the inning on a Lewis RBI fielder's choice and a Taylor sacrifice fly.  All total, 12 men came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with seven of them coming home to score.

The Cardinal's final two runs of the nightcap came in the bottom of the eighth when freshman Jeff Boes singled into left field driving home Sorgi.  For Boes, who came off the bench in this game, it was his first career hit.  Taylor brought home the final run of the evening for Stanford on a fielder's choice ground out.

Gilmore was done after seven inning tonight as Matt Leva was summoned from the bullpen to start the eighth.  Leva had not allowed a single run over his first two appearances of the season spanning 6 1/3 innings.  He would have to work hard tonight, but was able to preserve that perfect mark.  The Jayhawks loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the eighth, but a strike out and a 6-4-3 double play kept Kansas off the scoreboard.  Then in the ninth, Leva was able to pitch around a leadoff single to end the game and give Stanford a 9-2 victory.

Notes:
* In the second game, Gilmore allowed just four hits and two runs (one earned) in his seven innings.  He walked two and struck out six.  Over his first three starts, Gilmore boasts a 1.89 ERA and a .145 opponents average.

* Romanczuk recorded the win in the opener to improve his career record to 25-6 and 2-1 this season.  Like Gilmore, he's holding opponents to a sub-.200 batting average against with a paltry .190 mark.

* Hester had a big day at the plate in game one finishing 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.  He also doubled in game two to give him five two-baggers over the first eight games of the season.

* Rapoport went 3-for-4 with a double in the first game while Lewis hit his third homer of the season - tying him with Lowrie for the team lead.

* In the nightcap, Sorgi was the only player with a multi-hit game at 2-for-4.

* Stanford is a perfect 5-0 at home this season outscoring their opponents by a combined margin of 43-10.

Kansas     0 0 0  1 0 1  0 0 1  -  3   7   2
Stanford   2 1 0  0 2 2  0 0 x  -  7  10   0

WP: Mark Romanczuk (2-1)
LP: Sean Land (0-1)

HR: Kansas - Gus Milner 2 (1, 2); Stanford - Chris Lewis (3)


Kansas     2 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0  -  2   7   4
Stanford   0 0 0  0 0 7  0 2 x  -  9   9   2

WP: Jeff Gilmore (2-0)
LP: Clint Schambach (1-1)

HR: Stanford - John Mayberry, Jr. (2)

Records: #6 Stanford (6-2), Kansas (6-2)


* These two teams will play the final game of this three-game series tomorrow morning at 11:00am.  Freshman right-hander Nolan Gallagher (0-1, 1.80) will make his first career start for the Cardinal while the Jayhawks are expected to counter with lefty Mike Zagurski (0-0, 0.00).
 

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