Pitching And Defense Dominate No. 7 Stanford's 3-1 Victory Over Sun Devils

May 12, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. -- The 19th-ranked Arizona State baseball team left 10runners on base and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in atough 3-1 loss to the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-10 series finaleSunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal scored two runs in thesixth inning and added an important insurance run in the eighth, and heldoff a late Sun Devil really as ASU left the bases loaded when the gameended on a fly ball to center field.

With the win the Cardinal secured its 21st straight regular season seriesvictory at Sunken Diamond and improved to 35-14 overall, 11-7 in Pac-10play. Arizona State drops to 28-18 overall with its second straight Pac-10series loss and stand alone in fourth place in the conference with a 10-8record. The two teams split the previous two games in the series, withStanford taking Friday's opener 5-3 and ASU dominating Saturday's game10-2. The all-time series between the two college baseball powers is nowtied 76-76.

Stanford starting pitcher Tim Cunningham picked up the win by throwingseven shutout innings. The 2001 Team USA member scattered seven hits andstruck out two in his 15th start of the year to improve to 6-2. Phoenixnative and graduate of Mountain Pointe High School Ryan McCally closed outthe victory with a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his seventh season ofthe year.

ASU starter Robbie McClellan was brilliant in his 11th start of the year,but was saddled with the loss to fall to 7-5 on the year. McClellan gave upsix hits and three runs in seven and a third innings. He struck out fourand walked four in his outing.

The Devils put runners in scoring position in four of the first fiveinnings with no results, stranding seven runners on base. Sophomore leftfielder Rod Allen flied out to the warning track in center field in thefirst inning and Steve Garrabrants grounded out sharply in the second toend the potential threats. Allen and Jeremy West also grounded out with arunner on second to end the third and fifth innings.

The Cardinal broke up the pitcher's duel with two runs in the bottom of thesixth to break the 0-0 tie. Sophomore center fielder Sam Fuld led off theinning with a triple to the right field gap and scored the first run of thegame on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Brian Hall. All-American secondbaseman added to the Stanford lead with his eighth home run of the year togive the Cardinal a 2-0 lead.

ASU senior second baseman Sergio Garcia pulled the Sun Devils to within onerun with his first home run of the year.

Stanford added an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighthinning when preseason All-American right fielder and 2001 Pac-10 Freshmanof the Year Carlos Quentin drew a bases loaded hit-by-pitch from ASUreliever Mark Sopko. Junior left-hander Bryce Kartler inherited the basesloaded and struck out the only batter he faced.

ASU made the game interesting by loading the bases in the ninth inning, butMcCally got Steve Garrabrants to ground into a fielder's choice and Garciato fly out to center field to end the game.

Garcia finished the game 3-for-5 for his first three-hit game as a SunDevil. No other Sun Devil recorded more than one hit. Fuld led the Cardinalwith three hits for his ninth multi-hit game in the last 10 contests.

Arizona State will return to action with a pair of midweek games againstthe University of Portland Tuesday and Wednesday at Hohokam Park in Mesa,Ariz. ASU will host a crucial three-game conference series next weekend(May 17-19) against the Pac-10 leading USC Trojans.

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