Top-Ranked Stanford Baseball Collects Season-High 16 Hits In 9-0 Win Over Washington

March 24, 2001

Stanford, Calif. - Top-ranked Stanford (20-5, 2-0 Pac-10) collected a season-high 16 hits as the Cardinal cruised to a 9-0 win over Washington (13-6, 2-3 Pac-10) in a Pac-10 baseball game Saturday at Sunken Diamond. Jeff Bruksch (5-0) pitched 7.0 scoreless innings to pick up the victory, scattering three hits and striking out a career-high-tying nine. Stanford's regular starting rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (6-0, 1.12), Bruksch (5-0, 2.75) and Sunday's scheduled starter Tim Cunningham (4-0, 2.45) improved to 15-0 on the season with a 2.09 ERA.

'Our rotation seems to be feeding off each other,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'They all want to a good job and they have. They've been very consistent. I don't know if it's humanly possible to continue to pitch as well as they have, but hopefully they will continue to pitch well. They have been the primary reason we have done so well this season.'

'I really focused on trying to pick up strikeouts after I had two strikes on hitters,' commented Bruksch on his performance. 'I'm trying to keep the same approach every outing. Basically, if it's not broke, don't fix it.'

Bruksch has given up just two earned runs over his last 37.2 innings.

'Jeff Bruksch has pitched phenomenally for us all season,' added Marquess. 'I can't say enough about him. It was another fantastic job.'

Stanford has now won six straight games and 18 of its last 20. The Cardinal secured a series victory over the Huskies, giving Stanford its 14th consecutive regular season win dating back to last year. Stanford has now beaten Washington seven straight times.

Jason VanMeetren (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Carlos Quentin (3-5, RBI) and Sam Fuld (3-5) led Stanford's hitting attack. Scott Dragicevich (2-3, 2B) extended his career-high hitting streak to 10 games and Andy Topham (2-5, RBI) also had a multiple-hit day as eight of the Cardinal's nine starters had hits.

'It is always nice to be a part of something like this when the whole team hammers the ball,' said VanMeetren. 'Our team is really beginning to break out offensively. It seems like even when we've been making outs, we've been hitting the ball hard.'

'I'm very optimistic about our offense,' continued Marquess. 'We've swung the bat as well as we have all year in these last two games.'

VanMeetren's two-run homer, his fifth of the year, gave Stanford a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. The Cardinal added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Brian Hall that scored Dragicevich, who had doubled to lead off the frame. Stanford broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Cardinal took advantage of a pair of Husky errors to score a pair of unearned runs and also had RBI singles from Quentin and Topham.

Stanford closed out the scoring with a pair of runs in the sixth inning as the Cardinal collected five hits in the frame. VanMeetren, Quentin and Topham all singled to load the bases with no outs. VanMeetren scored on a double play ball hit by Dragicevich before Quentin crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

Bruksch cruised along without allowing a runner to reach past second base through seven innings, giving up harmless singles in the second, fourth and seventh frames. Jay Garthwaite (2-3) had two of the Huskies' three hits.

Ryan McCally tossed a pair of hitless innings in relief to give the Cardinal its fifth shutout of the season. Stanford lowered its team ERA to 2.72 and has given up three or fewer runs in 16 of its last 19 games.

Stanford continued its dominance on the base paths with three more stolen bases in three attempts. The Cardinal has now stolen 49 bases in 59 attempts for an average of 2.0 steals per game. Stanford's opponents are just 10-for-17.

Washington starter Clay Johnson (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up six runs (five earned) and eight hits over the first 4.0 innings.

Stanford and Washington conclude their three-game series at Sunken Diamond on Sunday (1 pm).

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