Mooneyham Fans 11 in First Career Complete Game as Stanford Wins 9-1 at USC
May 16, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Freshman left-hander Brett Mooneyham tossed a seven-hitter for his first collegiate complete game, while setting his career high with 11 strikeouts as Stanford (29-21, 12-11 Pac-10) rolled to a 9-1 victory at USC (24-27, 10-13) in the second game of a Pac-10 series at Dedeaux Field. In an impressive display of fundamental baseball, the Cardinal turned four double plays, laid down a sacrifice bunt and delivered a pair of sacrifice flies.
Stanford ran its season-best winning streak to six games, while the Cardinal is 9-2 in its last 11 contests, 14-5 in its past 19 outings and 25-11 since March 25. The Cardinal has also won four consecutive Pac-10 games, while Stanford is a season-high eight games over .500 overall at 29-21.
Mooneyham was simply dominant this evening, striking out at least one batter in eight of his nine innings and fanning four different USC hitters twice each. The Cardinal southpaw did not allow a hit after Grant Green doubled to lead off the sixth and, although he issued four walks and hit a batter, made huge pitches when he needed to. Mooneyham and the Stanford defense ended four different innings via a double play, with the pitcher inducing Green in the first and Hector Rabago in the sixth to ground into twin killings. Stanford ended the fourth and seventh innings with the 'strike-em-out, throw-em-out' double play; Mooneyham catching Rabago and Ashton Kent, respectively, looking at called third strikes while catcher Zach Jones nailed a pair of runners attempting to steal.
Staked to a 9-1 lead, Mooneyham took the ball in the ninth and immediately fanned cleanup hitter Ricky Oropesa for the first out. A mound visit was prompted after the next two hitters reached via a walk and hit-by-pitch, but the freshman bounced back to retire Billy Pinkerton on a fly ball to right field. Mooneyham then put an exclamation point on his first collegiate complete game, blowing a fastball by Garret Houts for a swinging strike out that ended the contest.
Stanford gave Mooneyham more than enough support, scoring nine runs while reaching double-digits in hits for the sixth consecutive game. The Cardinal put a crooked number on the board in the third inning for the second straight night, a rally started when Colin Walsh drew a one-out walk - his first of three on the night. After Joey August was retired on a fly ball for the second out of the inning, the next four Stanford batters singled. Toby Gerhart's hit put runners on the corners and set the table for three consecutive two-out, RBI-singles by Kellen Kiilsgaard, Brent Milleville and Jeff Whitlow, respectively, that gave the Cardinal a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinal added two more runs in the fourth, when Adam Gaylord scored on a balk following a leadoff double and August plated Walsh with an RBI-single. Whitlow's sacrifice fly made it 6-1 in the fifth, while a Jones sacrifice fly and a Gaylord run-scoring single accounted for a pair of seventh-inning runs. Stanford scored its fifth two-out run in the eighth, when Gerhart doubled and scored on an RBI-single by Kiilsgaard.
Walsh's three walks extended his streak of reaching base safely to 33 straight games. Milleville finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Gerhart had three hits in five at-bats.
Stanford will go for the impressive, Pac-10 road sweep of USC tomorrow afternoon at Dedeaux Field. Both clubs are undecided on their starting pitchers for the Sunday matinee, which is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. PT.