Stringer Saves The Day As Cardinal Sweep

Five saves this year for Stringer

For the second time this weekend, the Cardinal jumped out to a sizable early lead before having to hold off a late Kansas rally to post a victory. And for the fourth time this week, it was David Stringer coming in to slam the door for a save. A grand slam from Brian Juhl gave Stanford an early cushion before Stringer's ninth-inning magic preserved the 7-6 Stanford win completing a sweep.

David Stringer is quickly becoming the savior out of the bullpen for the Stanford Cardinal.  After saves in Stanford's last three games, Stringer did it again on Sunday afternoon as the Cardinal completed a sweep of the Kansas Jayhawks with a 7-6 victory.  The junior right-hander, who now has five saves on the year, entered the game with one out in the ninth inning and managed to set down a pair of Kansas hitters to preserve the slight Stanford lead en route to the victory.

The Cardinal appeared to be in control of this afternoon's contest with a 7-2 advantage heading into the seventh inning.  Jeremy Bleich started on the mound for Stanford and fired six effective innings to begin the game, but was lifted to start the seventh due to a high pitch count.  Austin Yount, who was coming off of the best outing of his career (five scoreless innings versus USF last Tuesday), was brought into pitch, but it would be a struggle for the sophomore.

Yount allowed a single run in the seventh inning when Preston Land scored Nick Faunce with a clutch two-out double.  An error and a walk loaded the bases and brought the potential tying run to the plate, but Yount was able to bear down retiring pinch-hitter Justin Ellrich on a fly ball to left.  It was a particularly impressive effort from Yount as not only did he pitch through the error, but he recovered from a 3-0 count on Ellrich, to retire the side.

The top of the eighth though would be a different story.  Kansas started the frame with back-to-back singles to chase Yount from the game as freshman Brandt Walker was summoned into pitch.  Walker initially started strong with a punchout of Ross Kelling and a fly out off the bat of Robby Price.  But a wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet before the red-hot John Allman singled sharply into right field scoring a pair to cut the Stanford lead down to 7-5.

Walker did set down the next hitter, Land, on a pop-out, but the Jayhawks were right back in the game.

The Stanford offense was held off the scoreboard in the late innings, so it was going to be up to the bullpen to try to preserve the two-run lead.  Walker went back out to start the ninth and the hard-throwing right-hander fanned Erik Morrison to start the inning before Ryne Price reached on an error.  After Dylan Parzyk singled, Mark Marquess wasted no time going to his standout closer.

Stringer had already pitched twice in the series - a two-inning stint on Friday before throwing 2/3 of an inning on Saturday.  In a rare move, Marquess brought a reliever back for the third straight day and it would pay off. 

Stringer started his outing by inducing Casey Larson to fly out to left field.  The ball was hit deep enough to score Price making the score 7-6, but Stringer certainly didn't mind as he picked up the huge second out. 

Kyle Murphy was up next and the #9 hitter in the KU lineup singled into right center field allowing Parzyk, who was representing the potential tying run, to move over to third base.  But Stringer rebounded after the Murphy hit to strike out Brock Simpson on three pitches - the final offering a called third strike - to end the game.  The Jayhawks put up a valiant effort in the final innings, but it wasn't quite enough to overtake the red-hot Cardinal.

Much like in the series-opener Friday, the Cardinal scored early and often against Kansas to build a big lead.  Today, it was Michael Taylor starting the scoring when he blasted a pitch from Andy Marks off the batters eye in center field for a home run.  The mammoth blast from Taylor was his second round-tripper of the year and it tied the score at 1-1.

Stanford would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third on the strength of five runs - four of which came on one swing of the bat.  Adam Gaylord started the rally with a one-out single before a single from Ryan Seawell put two runners on.  After Sean Ratliff struck out, Taylor drew a walk to load the bases.  Brent Milleville was up next and the slugging first baseman also drew a walk as Gaylord scored from third base to make the score 2-1.

Then it was Brian Juhl's turn.  The Cardinal catcher took an extremely close 2-2 change-up from Marks that was called a ball much to the displeasure of the large Kansas contingent on the third base side at Sunken Diamond.  And the close call would pay off in a huge way for Stanford as on the 3-2 offering, Juhl hammered a line drive over the fence in straightaway left field for a grand slam.  It was Juhl's first career grand slam and second homer of the year.

Stanford's final run of the day came in the bottom of the fifth as Milleville doubled with one out and scored on Jeff Whitlow's two-out, infield single.

Bleich delivered his best start of the year today with his six quality innings of work.  The southpaw had struggled in his previous two starts to get through the middle innings, but that would not be the case this afternoon.  Bleich, in fact, struck out five batters in the fourth through the sixth innings.  He also retired the last six Kansas batters he faced.

The sophomore struck out seven batters all total with no walks and seven hits allowed.  Control was an issue for Bleich in the first inning as three hit batters led to a run, but he managed to find the strike zone after those struggles and pitched very well with the lead.


BOXSCORE

Kansas     1 0 0  0 1 0  1 2 1   -   6  14   0
Stanford   1 0 5  0 1 0  0 0 X   -   7   9   2

Kansas            POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO
Nick Faunce        RF   3   1   1   0    0   0
 Ross Kelling      PH   1   0   0   0    0   1
 Brock Simpson     RF   1   0   0   0    0   1
Robby Price        3B   4   2   1   0    0   0
John Allman        LF   5   0   4   3    0   1
Preston Land       1B   5   0   1   1    0   1
Erik Morrison      SS   4   0   0   0    0   1
Ryne Price         2B   3   1   1   1    1   1
Buck Afenir         C   3   0   0   0    0   2
 Justin Ellrich    PH   1   0   0   0    0   0
 Dylan Parzyk       C   1   0   1   0    0   0
Joe Servais        DH   3   0   0   0    0   3
 Casey Larson     PH/DH 1   1   1   1    0   0
Kyle Murphy        CF   5   1   4   0    0   0

2B: Ro. Price, Allman, Land
HBP: Ro. Price, Morrison, Ry. Price

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Andy Marks (L)      4.1   6   7   7   4   5
Thomas Marcin       2.0   2   0   0   0   1
Paul Smyth          1.2   1   0   0   0   1



Stanford          POS  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO   AVG
Ryan Seawell       3B   3   1   1   0    1   0  .367
Sean Ratliff       CF   4   0   1   0    0   2  .280
Michael Taylor     RF   3   2   1   1    1   0  .229
Brent Milleville   1B   3   2   1   1    1   0  .296
Brian Juhl          C   3   1   1   4    1   0  .351
Jeff Whitlow       LF   4   0   1   1    0   2  .308
Cord Phelps        2B   4   0   1   0    0   3  .300
Jeff Inman         DH   0   0   0   0    0   0   ---
 Brendan Domaracki DH   4   0   0   0    0   0  .235
Adam Gaylord       SS   3   1   2   0    0   0  .350

E: Seawell, Taylor
2B: Milleville
HR: Taylor (2nd, 1st inning, 0 on, 2 out), Juhl (2nd, 3rd inning, 3 on, 2 out)
SB: Ratliff, Whitlow

                     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
Jeremy Bleich (W)   6.0   7   2   2   0   7  5.82
Austin Yount        1.0   4   3   3   1   1  6.43
Brandt Walker       1.1   2   1   0   0   2  0.00
David Stringer (S)  0.2   1   0   0   0   1  2.25


WP: Jeremy Bleich (1-1)
LP: Andy Marks (2-1)
S: David Stringer (5)

Records: Stanford (7-5), Kansas (7-4)


NOTES
* With the victory, the Cardinal have now won five games in a row.  They also remained perfect this season at Sunken Diamond (6-0).  Stanford will play six of their next seven games at home leading up to their break for final exams.

* Stringer notched saves in all four of Stanford's games this week.  The junior pitched a total of 6 1/3 innings without allowing a run.  For the year, Stringer boasts a 2.25 ERA (3 ER/12.0 IP) with ten strikeouts.  He's now appeared in eight of the Cardinal's first 12 games.

* Seawell extended his hitting streak to a career-high tying seven games with his 1-for-3 performance at the plate. 

* Kansas out-hit the Cardinal by a 14-9 margin, but left 13 runners on base.

* Constant rain during the morning hours left some doubt as to whether this game would ever be played.  But at about 10:00 A.M., approximately one hour before scheduled first pitch, the rain stopped, the tarp was taken off the field, and the game was started on-time at 11.  The contest was played on a soggy field, but no rain fell during the duration of the two hour, 56 minute game.

* Juhl's grand slam was Stanford's first of the 2007 season.  Their last grand slam came off the bat of John Hester last June against the Texas Longhorns at the Austin Regional.

* Stanford and Kansas started this annual three-game series in 2004 with the Cardinal now notching sweeps in three of the four years ('04, '05, and '07).  The Jayhawks took two-of-three from Stanford in 2006.  All four series' have been played at Sunken Diamond.  It does not appear that these two teams will play each other in 2008 with the new schedule going into effect (opening day not until February 22nd and thus fewer non-conference weekend series').


ON DECK
The Cardinal return to action on Friday evening when they open a three-game, non-conference series against the California Golden Bears at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 P.M.  The series will continue on Saturday at 1:00 P.M. and will conclude Sunday at 1:00 P.M.

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