No. 1 Baseball Holds On For 8-6 Win Over Cal Poly
March 1, 2002
No. 1 Stanford (10-4) held on for an 8-6 victory over Cal Poly (9-12-1) and Cardinal starter Jeremy Guthrie picked up his ninth straight victory dating back to last year in the first game of a non-conference three-game series at Sunken Diamond on Friday. Guthrie struck out eight batters and held the Mustangs to two runs (one earned) and five hits over the first 8.0 innings to improve to 4-0 this season. Jason Cooper (3-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Sam Fuld (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI) led the Stanford offense.
Cal Poly scored four times in the top of the ninth inning before Stanford reliever Ryan McCally recorded the final two outs to earn his third save of the season. The Mustangs, who used five pinch-hitters in the inning, began the rally when pinch-hitter Nick Snow drew a one-out walk off Cardinal reliever J.D. Willcox. Pinch-hitters Josh Wyrick and Chris Hageman followed with singles to load the bases. Aaron Escobedo then singled home the first Mustang run of the inning and McCally relieved Willcox. Pinch-hitter Alex Chavarria greeted McCally with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double to cut the Stanford lead to 8-6. McCally then walked the next hitter before the Mustangs had a runner cut down stealing and Tony Alcantar flied out to end the game.
'Unfortunately, it leaves a little bit of a sour taste in your mouth when you don't close out a ballgame like you should,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'But, give them credit. They had guys coming off the bench getting big hits.'
Stanford jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings.
The Cardinal picked up two runs in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from Cooper and Donny Lucy, who extended his consecutive string of at least one RBI in a game to 11.
Chris O'Riordan doubled with one out in the bottom of the second to extend his hit streak to a career-high-tying 11 games and eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the Cardinal a 3-0 advantage.
Stanford scored three times in the bottom of the third. Brian Hall doubled with out and eventually scored on an RBI ground out by Scott Dragicevich. Fuld gave Stanford its final two runs of the frame with a two-out, two-RBI double to drive in Andy Topham and O'Riordan.
Cal Poly got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of two Cardinal errors. Alcantar was credited with an RBI after reaching on an error and Brian Haskell had a sacrifice fly to score the other run.
Stanford extended its lead to 8-2 with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings as Cooper drove home both runs with an RBI-double in the sixth to score Ryan Garko and an RBI-single in the eighth to plate O'Riordan.
O'Riordan, who walked three times, tied a team season-high and individual career-high with four runs scored. Stanford strung together 11 hits, giving the Cardinal double digit hits in a game for the 12th time in 14 efforts this season.
Bryan Gant (2-4) had a pair of hits for the Mustangs, while Chavarria chipped in with the team's only extra base hit and three RBI. Cal Poly starter Tyler Fitch (2-3) was charged with the loss, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 5.2 innings.
The teams continue the three-game series on Saturday and Sunday with starts scheduled for 1:00 p.m. both days.