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
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,
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.
1 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 - 6
Stanford 1 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 X
- 7 9 2
POS AB R H RBI BB SO
RF 3 1 1
0 0 0
Ross Kelling PH
1 0 0 0
Brock Simpson RF
1 0 0 0
Robby Price 3B
4 2 1 0
John Allman LF
5 0 4 3
Preston Land 1B
5 0 1 1
Erik Morrison SS
4 0 0 0
2B 3 1 1
1 1 1
C 3 0 0
0 0 2
Justin Ellrich PH 1
0 0 0 0 0
Dylan Parzyk C
1 0 1 0
Joe Servais DH
3 0 0 0
Casey Larson PH/DH 1
1 1 1 0 0
Kyle Murphy CF
5 1 4 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
1.2 1 0 0 0
POS AB R H RBI BB
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
Brent Milleville 1B 3 2
1 1 1 0 .296
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
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
HR: Taylor (2nd, 1st inning, 0 on, 2 out), Juhl (2nd, 3rd inning, 3 on,
SB: Ratliff, Whitlow
IP H R ER BB SO
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)
* 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
* 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').
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.