Senior Ryan Seawell
On the heels of getting swept at Fullerton to open the season, it's been a busy week thus far on the Farm for the baseball squad. In this week's "News and Notes," read about Tuesday's practice game against rival Cal. Plus, a potential position change for a veteran player, injury updates, and much more.
On occasion, the Stanford Cardinal will participate in
practice games against local rivals Santa Clara and California - two
clubs with head coaches that were once assistants under Mark
Marquess. The point of these games is for hitters that may not
have received many at-bats during the weekend contests some playing
time. Plus, it allows the pitchers who saw little or no action
the past weekend to pitch an inning or two to stay fresh. Tuesday
afternoon was one of those days at Sunken Diamond as the Cardinal,
fresh off of getting swept by Cal State Fullerton, took on their
conference rival California.
Stanford came away with the victory in the practice contest knocking
off the Golden Bears by a 7-3 score in a standard nine-inning
game. The Cardinal had a more experienced lineup on the field as
the likes of Brent Milleville, Ryan Seawell, and Adam Sorgi
participated in the game in an effort to get back to 100%.
Seawell (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Toby Gerhart (2-for-4, 3B, RBI) led the
offensive attack. Brendan Domaracki's RBI double into the right
center field gap in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Stephen Brown to break a 3-3 tie. Stanford went on to score three more
runs in the frame to take control of the contest.
California 0 0 0
0 1 1 1 0 0 - 3 5
Stanford 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 0
X - 7 9 2
POS AB R H RBI
CF 4 2 2
1 0 0
1B 4 0 1
0 1 0
Brent Milleville C
4 0 0 0
3B 3 0 2
2 0 0
SS 4 0 1
0 0 2
Stephen Brown 2B
3 2 0 0
RF 3 1 1
0 1 0
Brendan Domaracki LF 3
1 1 1 0 0
DH 3 1 1
1 0 0
DH 3 0 0
1 0 0
E: Jelmini, Brown
SB: Gerhart, Jelmini
IP H R ER BB SO
2.0 1 0 0 1
David Stringer 2.0 1
0 0 0 2
Kyle Thompson 2.0
3 2 2 3 0
Cory Bannister 2.0 0
1 1 2 1
Blake Hancock 1.0
0 0 0 0 0
Both Seawell and Milleville played the
entire game after each sat out at Fullerton over the weekend.
Seawell had been participating in intrasquads in the week prior to the
Fullerton series (only as a hitter) and now looks ready for actual game
action. The senior is running well and had a number of nice
at-bats on Tuesday with a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly.
Milleville, unlike Seawell, was not hitting during intrasquads just
prior to the Fullerton series (back injury). His timing at the
plate still looks a bit off although he did drive one fly ball to the
edge of the warning track in left today. Milleville has been
playing the field for over a week now, but has just now returned 100%
with his participation as a hitter.
Michael Taylor, Sean Ratliff, Austin Yount, Brian Juhl, Cord Phelps,
Grant Escue, and Adam Gaylord did not play during Tuesday's game
because of their regular playing time last weekend.
POSITION CHANGES - A NEW THIRD BASEMAN?
Seawell raised some eyebrows with his presence at third base
during infield drills at Monday's practice and apparently it wasn't a
one-day experiment as the senior was back at the hot corner for the
entire practice game on Tuesday. The move is an intriguing one,
obviously. Seawell was an above-average center fielder during the
second half of last season getting excellent jumps on fly balls.
The thought was that Seawell, who also did it with the bat as a junior
(.313 AVG), would return to the position this season. Now it
appears the coaching staff may be seriously looking at a move to the
One of the reasons is surely the number of leg injuries
(muscle-related) Seawell has endured since the summer. Various
injuries cut his summer short up in Alaska and prevented him from
playing during most of Fall Ball. Then during just the
second preseason intrasquad game, Seawell suffered a hamstring injury
which forced him to sit out last weekend in Fullerton as he continued
to recover. The injuries now seem behind Seawell, but a move to
third base, where there is far less running than center field (or even
left) could prevent a new injury - especially in the short-term.
In addition, there is some very nice outfield depth for the Cardinal
right now. Sean Ratliff has emerged offensively and doesn't
appear to be leaving the starting lineup any time soon. Ratliff
has also proven he can play a capable center field. And while
Seawell or Ratliff could certainly play left field as well, that would
force the likes of Toby Gerhart, Joey August, and Brendan Domaracki to
Another reason for a position change could be the slow recovery with
Adam Sorgi's shoulder. Sorgi still isn't ready to play shortstop
and even some action at third base seems unlikely this weekend.
That leaves a hole on the left side of the infield and Seawell could
fit in nicely there.
Seawell was a shortstop in high school, so playing on the infield isn't
completely unfamiliar for the Menlo Park native. He handled all
of his chances flawlessly during Tuesday's game including coming in
nicely on a bunt and throwing out a runner at first. Based on
observations the last two days, Seawell certainly has the arm for third
base and has made nothing but accurate throws so far. Where he
may struggle is with the glove and his foot work. Still, for
playing a new position, he's looked good over at the hot corner and
thus don't be surprised if you see Ryan Seawell's name at third base in
the coming games. Now that he's healthy, his bat is just too good
to stay out of the lineup.
One other position change of note is August seeing action at first base
during Tuesday's game. Since Jason Castro went down with an
injury a few weeks ago, August has worked out at first base from
time-to-time. A natural corner outfielder, August looks solid
over at first and provides the coaching staff with another option at
the position. Milleville, Grant Escue, and Randy Molina have been
playing the position in Castro's absence.
Sophomore first baseman Jason Castro continues his recovery as
the East Bay native is no longer wearing a cast on his right, throwing
hand. He's not yet taking batting practice on the field, but
Castro has been seen throwing lightly and swinging a bat on the side
over the last two days. While Seawell and Milleville should be
in-line to make their season debuts this weekend against Fresno State,
Castro is still not ready - although definite improvement has been made
in the last week.
SURPRISE HITTING LEADER
Sophomore infielder Cord Phelps was the surprise hitting leader
at Fullerton thanks to his 5-for-12 (.417 AVG) effort at the
plate. The switch-hitting Phelps started 28 games last season,
but managed just a .196 average with no extra-base hits in 92
at-bats. Versus the Titans, in addition to leading the club in
batting average, Phelps connected for four doubles - an impressive feat
after nothing but singles a year ago.
Phelps started all three games at third base, but a move to shortstop
could be in order this weekend if Seawell does in fact get the nod at
With a short-handed offense, the Cardinal held their own at
Fullerton last weekend scoring 20 runs in the three games (6.7 AVG)
while hitting .272 as a group. Last season, Stanford averaged 5.6
runs per game while possessing a .286 team average. Two players
(Taylor and Juhl) hit home runs.
The pitching was terrible across the board as the staff allowed 29 runs
to the Titans for a 10.50 ERA. Stanford owned a 2-1 advantage in
the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday before seven pitchers
combined to allow 11 runs in the frame as Fullerton took a commanding
WET WEATHER AHEAD
The schedule for this weekend's series against Fresno State
could definitely change due to expected wet weather. Heavy rain
is in the forecast for the Palo Alto area starting Wednesday through
Saturday. The series-opener is scheduled for Friday night at 5:00
P.M. with the games on Saturday and Sunday slated for 1:00 P.M.
The Cardinal will look to bounce back this weekend when they
host the Bulldogs for three games at Sunken Diamond. Stanford was
swept by 14th ranked Cal State Fullerton last weekend losing games
11-5, 6-5, and 12-10. Fresno State, an NCAA Tournament
participant last season, dropped two-of-three games at home to San
Francisco in their season-opening series last weekend.