Taylor's homer starts seven-run inning
Stanford needed a strong weekend up in Seattle to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. What transpired was complete domination on the Cardinal side for a convincing three-game sweep. Sunday saw Stanford score seven runs in the fourth inning en route to an easy 10-2 victory. The Cardinal again received contributions from up-and-down the lineup while Jeremy Bleich delivered a solid performance on the mound. With the victory, Stanford has now won six in a row.
The Stanford Cardinal made things look awfully easy
this weekend. Playing a club also battling for a spot in the NCAA
Tournament, Stanford went up to Seattle and promptly swept the host
Washington Huskies. After a shutout win behind Greg Reynolds on
Friday and a blowout victory on Saturday, the Cardinal handed
Washington a 10-2 defeat Sunday afternoon to complete the sweep.
Stanford rapped out 15 hits - including three home runs - in the
victory while Jeremy Bleich tossed a career-high seven innings on the
The Cardinal have now won six games in a row and eight out of their
last nine. Stanford's conference record has climbed all the way
up to 10-11 while their overall mark now sits at 27-21.
On Sunday, much like on Saturday, it would be a big inning at the plate
that propelled the team to a convincing win.
Trailing 1-0, the pivotal top of the fourth inning started with Michael Taylor. The sophomore right fielder has had a solid year at the
plate with an average hovering around .300 all season. The one
statistic that has plagued Taylor all year though has been the home
run. Taylor went deep versus Cal State Fullerton back in
early-February and then went a total of 45 games without another
longball. That streak came to an end today as Taylor took a 1-0
pitch from UW starter Elliott Cribby and blasted it over the wall in
left field for a no-doubt-about-it home run. The shot tied the
score at 1-1 and set the stage for a thrilling top of the fourth.
Randy Molina followed the Taylor home run with a single before Chris Lewis ripped a double down the left field line to put runners on second
and third. Jason Castro was up next and the freshman bounced a
ball to the left side of the infield for an RBI single. Shortstop
Bradley Boyer was able to make a play on the grounder and attempted to
throw out Lewis at third base. However, a wild throw from Boyer
led to yet another run coming across as Lewis raced home for a 3-1
A walk to Brian Juhl and a bunt single from Jim Rapoport loaded the
bases before Ryan Seawell grounded into a fielder's choice with Castro
forced out at home. Emerging DH Grant Escue followed with an
infield single plating Juhl for a 4-1 lead and then Chris Minaker, the
ninth man to hit in the frame, grounded a sharp single into left field
scoring two more Cardinal runners. That ended Cribby's afternoon
as the converted closer, who threw well initially with three scoreless
frames, retired just one batter in a difficult top of the fourth.
Stanford's final run of the inning scored on a Molina groundout.
The Cardinal sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth scoring seven
runs on seven hits.
Bleich's solid seven-inning stint on the mound saw the freshman allow
two runs (both earned) on eight hits. The southpaw has been
in-and-out of the starting rotation throughout the Pac-10 season after
recording seven saves during the first two months of the '06
campaign. Last weekend against Cal, Bleich fired 4 1/3 impressive
innings of long relief with just two hits and one run
surrendered. That effort earned Bleich a return to the starting
rotation and the Louisiana native would come through against the
Bleich worked out of a key bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second
inning as he struck out Brett Kaluza to strand the three runners.
With a big lead, Bleich threw plenty of strikes during the second half
of his afternoon. He also was able to induce a pair of
inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth frames. All
total, Bleich walked just one batter and struck out three.
Stanford added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning.
After Lewis drew a leadoff walk, Castro belted an offering from
reliever Nick Hagadone over the fence in right field for a home
run. It was Castro's second round-tripper of the year and was
especially impressive as it came against a talented left-handed
pitcher. Then in the ninth, Seawell connected for a line drive,
solo homer to left to cap the scoring.
The Cardinal had baserunners this afternoon in every inning except the
third. Every starter, with the exception of Juhl, recorded a
Matt Manship finished the game out of the bullpen for Stanford.
The senior allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth and
then promptly went on to set down the next six batters he faced to seal
the victory and complete the sweep.
0 0 7 0 0 2 0 1 - 10 15 0
Washington 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
- 2 9 1
POS AB R H
RBI BB SO
CF 6 2 2 1
DH 5 1 3
1 0 1
Brent Milleville PH
1 0 0
0 0 0
SS 5 0 1
2 0 1
Michael Taylor RF
4 1 3
1 1 0
3B 4 1 1
1 1 0
2B 3 2 2
0 2 1
1B 4 1 2
3 1 0
C 4 1 0
0 1 1
LF 5 1 1
0 0 0
2B: Lewis 2
HR: Seawell (2nd), Taylor (2nd), Castro (2nd)
IP H R ER BB SO
Jeremy Bleich (W) 7.0
8 2 2 1 3
2.0 1 0 0 0
POS AB R H
RBI BB SO
Bradley Boyer 2B/SS
4 0 0
0 0 0
DH 4 0 1 0 0
Curt Rindal 1B 4
1 2 0 0 0
Zach Clem LF 4
0 2 1 0 0
Matt Stevens 3B 4 0
0 0 0 2
Matt Lane C 3
0 1 0 1 0
Nick Burnham CF 3 0
1 0 0 0
Cory Rickard PH 1
0 0 0 0 0
Danny Cox SS 0
0 0 0 0 0
Ryan Anderson 2B 2 0
0 0 0 0
Andy Lentz PH 1
0 0 0 0 0
Brett Kaluza RF 3 1
2 1 0 1
Jake Rife PH 1
0 0 0 0 1
2B: Rindal, Clem
HR: Kaluza (2nd)
R ER BB SO
Elliott Cribby (L) 3.1 10 7 7
Matt Kasser 0.2 0
0 0 2 1
Nick Hagadone 5.0 5 3
3 3 2
WP: Jeremy Bleich (4-4)
LP: Elliott Cribby (6-6)
Records: Stanford (27-21, 10-11), Washington (32-23, 9-12)
* The sweep was Stanford's second of the year (February 3-5, vs. Cal
State Fullerton) and first on the road. The Cardinal have also
won three consecutive series' for the first time this season.
* Stanford outscored Washington by a staggering margin of 29-8 in the
three games. The 29 runs scored was a season-high in a
three-game, weekend series for the Cardinal.
* This was the first time all year the Huskies had been swept at
home. Prior to this weekend, Washington had dropped just one home
series (two-of-three versus Cal Poly in March) all season.
* Taylor extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 3-for-4
performance at the plate.
* Escue started all three games at DH this weekend finishing 5-for-12
(all singles) with two RBI.
* The Cardinal went a perfect 5-0 on the road this week.
* In their last nine games (8-1 record), the Stanford pitching staff
has recorded a stellar 2.69 ERA.
* Stanford (10-11) now only trails Oregon State (11-6), Arizona State
(10-7), USC (11-9), and UCLA (9-8) in the Pac-10 standings. The
Beavers and Sun Devils are currently doing battle in Tempe while the
Trojans and Bruins will get together in Los Angeles for their series
finale late Sunday afternoon.
* Stanford returns to action on Tuesday evening when they host the
Santa Clara Broncos for a single non-conference game. First pitch
at Sunken Diamond is scheduled for 6:00 P.M.