No. 7 Stanford Tops California, 9-4, For Fourth Straight Win
March 8, 2003
Stanford, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford (13-7) rolled to its fourth straight win overall and its sixth straight versus California (11-7) with a 9-4 victory over the Golden Bears in a non-conference game at Sunken Diamond on Saturday. The victory also assured the Cardinal, who has won 10 of I its last 12 games overall, of its fourth straight series victory. Stanford will attempt to sweep the Golden Bears in a three-game series for the second straight time dating back to last season on Sunday (1 pm, PT).
'We just have to play well tomorrow,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'Sure, we'd like to sweep but California has a good team. We've been fortunate and picked up some timely hits in the first two games of the series. Hopefully, we can play well tomorrow and get another win.'
Ryan Garko (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) continued his production in the Cardinal cleanup spot, driving in a pair of runs to raise his team-high total to 25 in the club's first 20 games. Garko has driven in 17 runs in the team's last nine games. Jonny Ash (2-4, 2B) also had a pair of hits for the Cardinal while making his first start since February 9. Sam Fuld and Danny Putnam drove in two runs each.
Ryan McCally (3-1) earned the victory, scattering three runs and seven hits with six strikeouts over the first 5.2 innings. Kodiak Quick, the fourth Stanford pitcher of the day, earned the save by striking out four in 2.0 hitless innings after entering the game in the top of the eighth with the Cardinal ahead 7-4.
'This was a solid team performance today,' emphasized Marquess. 'We made some good defensive plays, had a pretty good effort from our pitching staff and came up with some clutch hitting.'
Justin Nelson (2-3, 3B, 2 RBI) and Chris Grossman (2-5, 2B) had two hits each for the Golden Bears, while Jeff Dragicevich had a pair of RBI.
California starter Brian Montalbo (2-1) was charged with the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on five hits and five walks over the first 5.2 innings.
The Golden Bears also committed three errors for the second consecutive game.
Stanford jumped out to a 4-0 lead by scoring twice in both the first and third innings.
In the bottom of the first, a one-out walk to Brian Hall and a double by Quentin off the glove of a stretched out Brian Horwitz in right field put Stanford runners on second and third base. A groundout by Garko scored Hall with the first run and Putnam followed with an RBI single to plate Quentin.
Quentin started Stanford's third inning rally by drawing his team-high 18th walk of the season and scored on an RBI double by Garko off the leftcenter field fence. Garko moved to third when a throw by California shortstop Allen Craig bounced by catcher Chris Grossman on a play at the plate and scored on Putnam's sacrifice fly.
California got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning when James Holder singled with one out and scored on a two-out RBI double by Dragicevich.
Stanford answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth frame when Fuld was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, advanced to second when Hall reached safely on Craig's second error of the game, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Quentin.
California cut the lead to 5-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Holder was hit by a pitch with one out to start the rally and was tripled home by Nelson, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Dragicevich. David Nicholson restarted the rally with a two-out walk and Craig drew a walk to chase McCally before Stanford reliever David O'Hagan came on to retire Jeremy Burchett for the final out.
Stanford once again answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth when Fuld singled on a 0-2 pitch off California reliever Travis Talbott to score Mayberry and Ash, who had singled and doubled respectively earlier in the inning.
'I just wanted to get the bat on the ball, choke up a little bit and put the ball in play,' explained Fuld. 'It's important to try to come through in big spots because that can often be the difference in winning or losing games.'
'Sam is just a tough out,' added Marquess. 'Sometimes, he is even tougher and more dangerous with two strikes.'
California scored its final run of the game in the top of the eighth, cutting the Cardinal lead to 7-4 before leaving the bases loaded. Grossman doubled with one out before O'Hagan walked Horwitz and hit Holder to load the bases. Matt Manship came in to relieve O'Hagan and walked Nelson to give the Golden Bears a run before striking out Dragicevich and retiring Nicholson on a comebacker to end the threat.
Quick came on to retire all six batters he would face, striking out the side in the eighth and Holder to end the game in the ninth.
'I felt pretty good today,' said Quick. 'It was nice to get over that little hump with my first save.'
Stanford scored its final two runs in the bottom of the eighth when Ash singled with one out and scored on an RBI double by Chris Lewis, before Hall followed with a single up the middle to drive in Lewis.
California stranded 11 runners, while the Cardinal left six on base.
Stanford improved to 39-7 at Sunken Diamond over the last two years with the victory.
Stanford LHP Mark Romanczuk (4-0, 3.86) is slated to pitch against California RHP Kyle Crist (0-0, 1.72) in Sunday's series finale.
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