No. 9 Stanford Tops California, 8-5, To Complete Three-Game Sweep

May 5, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - No. 9 Stanford (32-13, 9-6 Pac-10) completed a three-game sweep of California (26-26, 8-13 Pac-10) with an 8-5 victory over the Golden Bears in front of a season-high 4,143 fans at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. Stanford finished the season series with five wins in six games versus California. John Hudgins (8-0) remained unbeaten by scattering nine hits and five runs over the first 6.0 innings, while solo homers from Sam Fuld, Scott Dragicevich and Arik VanZandt sparked the offense.

'A sweep is huge,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'When you get a chance to sweep, you better take advantage of it. It's a difficult thing to do with the type of teams we play.'

'We hit the ball better this weekend than the last two series at Washington and Oregon State, and that was the difference,' continued Marquess in reference to his team dropping two-of-three games at both Northwest schools the previous two weekends.

Fuld (2-3, HR, RBI, 2 SB) continued a torrid stretch of hitting with his 12th multiple-hit game in the last 13 contests, going 30-for-53 (.566) over the stretch. Fuld raised his team-high batting average to .377 and also maintained his spot on top of Stanford's career batting average list with an updated all-time mark of .366.

'I've been in a good zone,' said Fuld. 'The most important things are just to maintain a consistent stroke and to have confidence at the plate. Those two things have been what has been keeping me hot.'

California also had three solo homers in the contest as Nick Medrano, Conor Jackson and Justin Nelson cleared the fences. John Baker (2-3, 2B, RBI), Nelson (2-4, HR, RBI), Carson White (2-4, 2B, SB) and Brian Horwitz (2-5, RBI) each had two hits as the Golden Bears outhit the Cardinal, 11-7.

Carlos Quentin and Brian Hall both drove in a pair of runs for Stanford, while Jason Cooper reached base in all four of his plate appearances with three walks and a hit by pitch.

The game was tied 4-4 before Stanford scored three times in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Fuld led off the inning with a solo homer to right field for the first Cardinal run. Ryan Garko and Cooper then drew back-to-back walks off California starter and losing pitcher Matt Brown (5-3) to chase him from the game. A sacrifice bunt by Quentin moved the runners up to second and third base before Garko scored on a sacrifice fly by Hall. Cooper crossed the plate for the final Cardinal run of the inning when California shortstop Jeff Dragicevich made a two-out throwing error on a ground ball hit by his brother and Stanford third baseman Scott Dragicevich.

California cut the lead to 7-5 with a run in the top of the seventh inning when White led off with a double to chase Hudgins and Baker drove him in with a one-out single off Stanford reliever Darin Naatjes.

Ryan McCally came on in the top of the eighth inning and pitched 2.0 scoreless frames to record his sixth save of the season, one day after earning a win in relief against the Golden Bears on Saturday.

California put the tying run on first base and the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the eighth inning after drawing a pair of two-out walks from McCally before White fouled out to VanZandt at first base to end the threat.

Stanford added an insurance run on VanZandt's solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.

Stanford scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning on a solo homer by Dragicevich.

The Golden Bears took a 3-1 lead with three runs in the top of the third inning. Medrano and Jackson accounted for the first two California runs of the inning with solo homers before Baker doubled and scored on an RBI single by Horwitz.

The Cardinal regained a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third inning by answering with three runs. Fuld led off the inning and stole second base before Chris O'Riordan drew a walk. Both runners scored on a two-RBI triple by Quentin, his team-leading fourth three-bagger of the season. Hall picked up Quentin with his first of two sacrifice flies.

California tied the game at 4-4 on Nelson's solo homer in the top of the fourth inning.

Stanford won for the 17th time in 32 victories this season after trailing.

California left 10 runners on base, while Stanford stranded five.

The game featured six hit batsmen with California being hit four times and the Cardinal twice.

Stanford gained another half game on idle USC in the Pac-10 standings, moving within 2.0 games of the first place Trojans (11-4 Pac-10). The Cardinal moved 1.5 games closer to the Trojans over the last three days and into a three-way tie for third place with idle Arizona State and Oregon State, who completed a three-game sweep of Washington State with a 22-21 victory in an offensive slugfest on Sunday. All three teams are 9-6 in Pac-10 action. Washington (10-5 Pac-10) held on to second place in the conference with a 9-5 victory over UCLA on Sunday.

'Four or five teams are in hunt for the Pac-10 title,' said Marquess. 'It should shake down over the next couple of weekends.'

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