No. 4 Stanford Opens Series At Washington State With 6-1 Win

April 4, 2003

Pullman, Wash. - John Hudgins tossed his second complete game of the season and the fifth of his career to lead No. 4 Stanford (19-10, 5-2 Pac-10) to a 6-1 victory over Washington State (9-20, 1-3 Pac-10) in the opener of a three-game Pac-10 series at Bailey-Brayton Field on Friday. Carlos Quentin extended his career-best hit streak to 17 games, while Sam Fuld ran his to a career-high-tying 13 in a row. Jonny Ash (2-3, 2 RBI) was the only Stanford player with more than one hit, while Jed Lowrie added a pair of RBI. The victory moved Stanford into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10, one-half game ahead of California (4-2 Pac-10). The Golden Bears play at UCLA (2-1 Pac-10, third place) on Friday evening (6 pm, PT).

'John Hudgins had another great outing today,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'He has pitched well for us all season and just had a little bit of tough luck not getting a win in his last couple of starts.'

Hudgins, who won for the first time since also going the distance at California on March 7, allowed just seven hits and one run while striking out six in the fastest Stanford game of the season, which clocked in at two hours and one minute.

'That's a pitcher's dream,' commented Hudgins. 'It's tough to get out of your rhythm in a game that moves as quickly as this one did.'

The only run off Hudgins came on a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the sixth by Jeremy Farrar. Hudgins gave up more than one hit only once in the sixth frame and was benefited by a double play prior to Farrar's homer. The Cardinal turned its second double play to get out of the eighth inning after the Cougars had put runners on first and second with one out.

'I felt like I did a pretty job of going after hitters and mixing my pitches,' added Hudgins. 'I've been disappointed that we haven't won my starts the last two weeks. It sets the tone for the whole series to win the opener.'

Washington State's Tony Banaszak (1-7) suffered the loss despite holding the Cardinal to seven hits and pitching his third complete game of the season.

Wes Falkenborg (2-4, 2B) was the only Washington State player with more than one hit.

Stanford scored first in the top of the third when Tobin Swope led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ash and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lowrie.

The Cardinal picked up another run in the fourth when Fuld beat out an infield single to lead off the inning, moved to third when Quentin doubled off the left field wall and scored when Ryan Garko singled to drive in his 37th run of the season and 12th in the last six games.

Stanford broke the game open with four runs in the top of the sixth, benefiting from two walks and two hit batsmen by Banaszak as well two-out pop-up in foul ground that catcher Jon Baeder failed to catch. Quentin walked with one out and Garko was hit by a pitch to start the rally before moving to second and third on a groundout by John Mayberry, Jr. Donny Lucy then drew a walk to load the bases and Swope was hit by a pitch to score the first Cardinal run. Ash then hit a pop-up in foul ground behind the plate that dropped safely after glancing off Baeder's glove. Ash took advantage of his second chance with the runners going on a 3-2 two-out pitch when he grounded a ball deep behind second base and beat it out for a two-RBI infield single. The Cardinal added another run when Lowrie followed with an RBI single before Banaszak steadied and retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

'We were fortunate offensively today,' explained Marquess. 'We got a little lucky, but we bunched the runs together when we had to. That was really the difference in the game.'

Stanford's victory made the Cardinal a perfect 13-0 versus Washington State since the Cougars rejoined the Pac-10 in 1999. The Cardinal holds an all-time lead in the series, 21-13.

Stanford's seven-hit effort ended the team's string of 12 consecutive games with double-digit hits.

Quentin's overall batting average dropped .002 points to .398 with his 1-for-3 performance. He is hitting at a .470 clip (31-66) during his 17-game hit streak.

Fuld is hitting .500 (31-62) during his 13-game hit streak and has an updated career batting average of .363, one percentage point ahead of the second-place .362 mark posted by the late Jack Shepard from 1951-53.

Stanford has won 17 of its last 21 games and needs just one victory in the final two games of the Washington State series to extend its series win streak to seven. Stanford and Washington State continue their series with single games Saturday (1 pm, PT) and Sunday (11 am, PT).

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