No. 2 Baseball Scores Four Sixth Inning Runs In 4-1 Win Over USF
April 2, 2002
No. 2 Stanford (20-6) scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and four Cardinal pitchers combined on a five-hitter in a 4-1 victory over USF (8-24) in a non-conference game on Tuesday at Sunken Diamond. Jonny Ash's two-RBI pinch-hit single capped Stanford's four-run sixth inning. Darin Naatjes (2-0) earned the victory, striking out a career-high tying four batters in 3.0 innings of scoreless relief work. Ryan McCally picked up his team-leading fourth save of the season, pitching a hitless final 2.0 innings with two strikeouts.
Stanford has now won 12 of its last 14 games and avenged a 5-4 loss to USF the last time the teams played at Sunken Diamond on April 17, 2001.
'We pitched well tonight and played good defense,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'If you pitch and play defense, you can win some games like tonight even if you don't hit the ball that well.'
The game was scoreless until Scott Dragicevich drew a two-out bases loaded walk from losing pitcher T.J. Franco (0-5) in the bottom of the sixth to score Ryan Garko with the first Stanford run. The Cardinal added another run on a wild pitch before Ash singled home the final two runs of the inning to complete the rally.
'Mentally, I have to prepare myself the entire game to know that I might be needed to help the team win in any situation possible,' said Ash. 'I just have to prepare myself to excel in that one brief moment I get out there on the field.'
USF scored its only run of the game in the top of the seventh inning when Royce Fukuroku led off with a double, moved to third on a single by Ryan Sittauer and scored when Nick Cirbo grounded into a double play.
No player for either team had two hits in a contest that featured only 11 hits. The side was retired in order a total of six times --- four by the Dons and two by the Cardinal.
Stanford's Chris O'Riordan had his 10-game hit streak snapped, going 0-for-2 with one walk.
Stanford opens Pac-10 action with a three-game series at Arizona next Friday-Sunday, April 5-7 (7 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, MT).
'The Arizona series will be important because it is the first weekend of league action for us,' said Marquess. 'But, it's not more important to us than any of our other games.'
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