Holler And O'Hagan Pitch No. 1 Stanford To 3-1 Win Over Cal Poly
March 27, 2004
Stanford, Calif. - Blake Holler (3-1) earned his third victory of the season by allowing just one run and spreading out nine hits over a career-high 8.0 innings and David O'Hagan recorded the final three outs of the game for his fourth save to lead No. 1 Stanford (19-3) to a 3-1 victory Cal Poly (22-11-1) in the second game of a non-conference series at Sunken Diamond on Saturday. Stanford's 19-3 start is its best since the 1998 club began the year with a 19-2-1 record after 22 contests. Danny Putnam hit the only homer of the game to lead off the bottom of the second for the Cardinal, extending his hit streak to a career-high-tying 10 games, while Brian Hall (2-3) and Jonny Ash (2-4) had two hits each for Stanford.
'I was pleased with the pitching performances from both Blake Holler and David O'Hagan today,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'Holler got his rhythm in about the fourth inning and pitched very well from that point on and when you have one of your best pitchers in the bullpen in a guy like O'Hagan to close out games, you don't hesitate to use him.'
Holler allowed a first inning run and five hits in the first two innings. Sam Fuld saved the Cardinal a run when he threw out Kyle Blumenthal at the plate after a single to centerfield by Sam Herbert to end the top of the second inning and record his 15th career assist. In the third inning, Holler got out of a one-out bases loaded jam with an inning-ending double play.From the fourth through the eighth innings, Holler allowed only two baserunners on a pair of singles.
'In the middle innings of the game, I got into a groove and became more confident,' said Holler. 'We played great defense, and I felt like all of my pitches were working down the stretch.'
Holler allowed back-to-back singles to Josh Mayo and Bret Berglund to lead off the ninth before giving way to O'Hagan.
'I was a little disappointed not to have finished the game,' admitted Holler. 'But, I was happy with the way the game came out.'
Blumenthal moved the runners to second and third base with a successful sacrifice bunt to move Berglund into scoring position with the tying run before O'Hagan struck out pinch hitter Billy Saul and retired Herbert on a fly out to Fuld to end the game.
'When a pitcher battles so long and hard like Blake (Holler) did today and gives you the opportunity to win, you don't want to be the guy to spoil it,' said O'Hagan, who lowered his ERA to 1.30 and his opponents' batting average to .194. 'When you pitch like he did, you deserve to get the win.'
Stanford has now picked up 10 saves in its first 19 victories, already nearly halfway to the record 23 saves recorded by the 2001 club.
The victory assured Stanford of its 11th consecutive series win, as the Cardinal has also been victorious in 19 of its last 20 series. In addition, Stanford has won 19 of its last 20 home games and 42 of its last 49 overall.
Cal Poly starter Jonathan Fleming (4-1) took his first loss of the season for the Mustangs, giving up a pair of runs and a pair of hits in the first 3.0 innings. Nolan Moser (3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) and Dennis LeDuc (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 SO) held Stanford to just one run over the team's final five trips to the plate.
Cory Taillon (2-3, RBI) and Blumenthal (2-3) had two hits each for Cal Poly. Seven of the Mustangs' nine starters had at least one hit as Cal Poly outhit the Cardinal, 9-8, as Stanford did not record a double-digit hit total for the first time in its last six games.
Cal Poly got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Taillon. Adam Leavitt started the rally with a one-out single but was forced out at second when Brandon Roberts hit into a fielders choice. Roberts then stole his 19th base of the season to reach second when he beat a throw from Cardinal first baseman John Mayberry, Jr. after a pickoff attempt by Holler, setting up Taillon's clutch two-out hit.
Stanford, which has trailed in 11 of its 19 victories this season, tied the score at 1-1 on Putnam's homer over the left field wall to lead off the bottom of the second. Mayberry was hit by a pitch to restart the rally and then produced a run by tagging up on a deep fly ball to left field by Donny Lucy to get to second, advancing to third on a balk and coming home when Fleming uncorked a wild pitch to give the Cardinal a 2-1 lead.
Cal Poly had a chance to tie the score in the top of the sixth inning. Taillon led off the inning by beating out an infield single and moved to second on the play on a throwing error by Cardinal shortstop Adam Sorgi. Taillon advanced to third with one out on a groundout by Mayo, but Holler came up with his first strikeout of the game when he whiffed Berglund and then got Blumenthal to ground out to end the inning.
'I knew I had to get the batter myself in that situation,' said Holler about his key strikeout of Berglund. 'If he puts the ball in play, they probably score a run and tie the game.'
Stanford added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Ash led off the inning with a single and Lowrie walked before Mayberry brought Ash home with an RBI double down the left field line.
Cal Poly stranded nine runners, while the Cardinal left eight on base. Stanford turned the game's only double play.
Stanford and Cal Poly are scheduled to conclude their three-game series Sunday at Sunken Diamond 1:00 pm, PT). Cal Poly is slated to start LHP Garrett Olson (5-2, 3.95), while the Cardinal has announced RHP Jeff Gilmore (4-1, 5.30) as its starting pitcher. Stanford has now won nine straight games over the Mustangs since the last Cal Poly victory when the Mustangs opened Robin Baggett Stadium with a 6-5 victory in 12 innings over the Cardinal on January 21, 2001. Stanford leads the all-time series (since 1949) by a count of 45-5. Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.