No. 1 Baseball Regains First-Place In Pac-10 With 11-2 Win Over UCLA
April 8, 2001
Stanford, Calif. - No. 1 Stanford (27-7, 7-2 Pac-10) regained sole possession of first-place in the Pac-10 with an 11-2 victory over UCLA (21-11, 4-5 Pac-10) in the finale of a three-game Pac-10 series at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. Stanford had entered the afternoon tied for first-place with No. 12 USC, an 11-1 loser to No. 10 Arizona State on Sunday. Sunday's victory kept Stanford's regular season series victory streak alive, which now stands at 16 in a row dating back over a year ago. Stanford, which split a doubleheader with the Bruins on Sunday, has also won nine consecutive conference series and five in a row against the Bruins dating back to 1997. Stanford has won 13 of its last 15 games and two in row. The Bruins have lost two straight after a previous four-game winning streak.
Mike Gosling (2-0, 2.38) earned the victory in his first Pac-10 start of the season, holding the Bruins scoreless through the first seven innings before finally surrendering a solo home run to UCLA's Randall Shelley in the top of the eighth. Gosling, who retired 13 consecutive hitters prior to Shelly's homer, gave up only three hits and one run. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. J.D. Willcox pitched the top of the ninth inning, giving up an unearned run and two hits but keeping his ERA perfect for the season in 13.2 innings and eight appearances.
'I felt like I was getting stronger as I went along,' said Gosling. 'UCLA has very aggressive hitters and you have to be able to use that against them a little bit. I tried to get hitters out early in the count today and not necessarily worry about the strikeout.'
Jason VanMeetren (3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Sam Fuld (3-5, 2B) led the Cardinal offense, which tallied a season-high-tying 16 hits. Arik VanZandt (2-4, HR, RBI), Scott Dragicevich (2-5, RBI) and Chris O'Riordan (2-5, 2 RBI) added two hits each for Stanford. Mario Garza hit his first collegiate home run in his first start of the season.
'I'm finally seeing the ball well,' said VanMeetren. 'I've been trying to stay through the hitting zone longer and so far it is paying off. I've been feeling more comfortable at the plate and that helps me not swing at bad pitches.'
VanMeetren put the Cardinal ahead 1-0 with his first inning solo home run to left field. VanMeetren, who was 3-for-3 in Saturday's nightcap, hit safely in six consecutive official at bats before striking out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Stanford opened up a 5-0 lead with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. VanMeetren drove in the first run of the inning with a double and came around to score on a single by Dragicevich. Ryan Garko then singled home Carlos Quentin to give Stanford a 4-0 lead on a play in which UCLA left fielder Adam Berry was charged with a pair of errors. Berry failed to come up with Garko's single cleanly, allowing Dragicevich to move to third and Garko to second. Dragicevich scored when Berry threw the ball away trying to toss out Garko advancing to second.The Cardinal added two runs in each the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take an 11-0 lead. O'Riordan's two-RBI single up the middle scored VanZandt and Fuld in the fourth. VanZandt then hit a solo homer and Fuld scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. Garza closed out the scoring with his two-out, two-run homer in the sixth.
'I wish I could have done it over and enjoyed it more,' joked Garza about his first collegiate home run. 'It was like I didn't even feel it when I was running around the bases.'
UCLA starter Wade Clark (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up five runs (four earned) and seven hits in the first 2.2 innings.
Four players extended double digit hitting streaks during the game. Topham (14 games), VanMeetren (11 games) and Fuld (11 games) all hit safely to extend their career-high hitting streaks for the Cardinal. UCLA's Brian Baron, who is hitting a remarkable .519 (67-129) for the season, was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Baron has hit safely in 31 of his 32 games this season. UCLA's Josh Canales had his 15-game hitting streak snapped, going 0-for-3.
Stanford will visit Nevada for a non-conference game on Tuesday (2 pm) before returning to Sunken Diamond for a three-game conference series versus Oregon State next Thursday-Saturday, April 12-14 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm).