John Hudgins Pitches No. 4 Stanford To 9-1 Win Over Sacramento State

April 11, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - John Hudgins (6-2) pitched 8.0 scoreless two-hit innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters to lead No. 4 Stanford (23-10) to its fifth straight win with a 9-1 victory over Sacramento State (20-16) in a non-conference game at Sunken Diamond on Friday. Hudgins retired 20 of the final 22 batters he faced and did not allow a hit over his final 6.0 innings before he was relieved by Kodiak Quick to begin the ninth inning. Ryan Garko (3-4, 2 RBI) had three hits to extend his season-long hit streak to 10 games, while Carlos Quentin's fifth inning single kept his career-best hit streak alive at 21 games. Danny Putnam (2-3, HR, 2 RBI) hit the game's only homer and drove in a pair of runs for the Cardinal.

'John Hudgins pitched one of his best games of the year in a phenomenal effort and was dominating for us tonight,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We played well with his pitching performance and putting nine runs on the board to support him.'

'I feel like I'm on top of things pretty well right now,' said Hudgins, who pitched a complete game in his previous start at Washington State last Friday.

Hudgins leads the Pac-10 in both strikeouts (78) and innings pitched (81.0), and lowered his season ERA to an even 3.00.

Sam Fuld (2-3, 2B, SB), Tobin Swope (2-3, RBI) and Brian Hall (2-4, RBI) each added two of Stanford's 13 hits as the Cardinal reached double digits in hits for the 16th time in the last 17 games and raised its team batting average to .325. Donny Lucy also had two RBI.

Garko is hitting .585 (24-41) with five homers and 21 RBI during his current 10-game hit streak. Quentin's season batting average stands at .421 after the first 33 games of the season as he is attempting to become the first Stanford player to hit .400 or better in a season since David McCarty batted .420 in 1991. Quentin is hitting .488 (41-84) during his current 21-game hit streak. Swope and Garko remained for the team's lead in multiple-hit games as both collected their 17th of the season.

All three of Sacramento State's hits were singles and the Hornets did not have a player with more than one hit.

Sacramento State starter Steve Cuckovich (5-2) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on six hits and five walks over the first 4.0 innings.

Stanford got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning when Fuld drew a one-out walk, stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hall and scored on an RBI single from Garko.

The Cardinal scored three times in the bottom of the fourth to extend its lead to 4-0. Putnam homered to left field to lead off the inning. Jed Lowrie walked to restart the rally, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Swope and scored on an RBI groundout from Lucy. Chris Carter then walked to get a two-out rally going, moved to second on a single by Fuld and scored on an RBI single from Hall.

Quentin led off Stanford's two-run fifth frame with a single, moved to third on a single by Garko and scored on an RBI single from Putnam. Lowrie followed by reaching first base on a rare fielders choice double play when he bounced a ball in front of the plate that Hornet catcher Matt Wilson pounced on and tagged Garko out at home before throwing out Putnam trying to advance from first to third. Lowrie eventually came home to score late in the inning when Swope singled to third and Lucy came through with an RBI single after two were out.

Stanford scored its final three runs in the sixth inning. Garko and Swope had RBI singles to highlight the frame as the Cardinal also took advantage of three wild pitches, a hit batsmen and a Sacramento State error.

Sacramento State avoided being shut out for third time this season by scoring a ninth inning run. Cliff Hinkle and Chris Kinsey led off the ninth by drawing back-to-back walks off Quick before a two-out RBI single by Bobby Ciani ended Stanford's bid for its second shutout of the season.

Stanford (7-2 Pac-10) also gained one-half game in the Pac-10 standings Friday on second-place California (6-4 Pac-10), which lost the opening game of a three-game Pac-10 series to Arizona State, 11-3.

Stanford has won 20 of its last 25 games overall and improved to 43-9 at Sunken Diamond over the past two seasons, including a 14-5 mark this year.

Stanford's updated .325 team batting average would rank third on the school's all-time single-season list.

Stanford and Sacramento State are scheduled to conclude their two-game home-and-home series on Saturday in Sacramento (2 pm, PT). The Cardinal will put a season-best six-game road win streak on the line and look to avenge a 12-3 loss to the Hornets the last time the teams played in Sacramento at Raley Field on May 2, 2001.

Following Saturday's game at Sacramento State, Stanford will return to Sunken Diamond to begin an eight-game homestand by hosting San Jose State next Tuesday, April 15 (6 pm, PT) before returning to Pac-10 action by welcoming Oregon State to Sunken Diamond for a three-game series Thursday-Saturday, April 17-19 (6 pm, 6 pm, 1 pm, PT). Stanford will then host Arizona for three Pac-10 games Friday-Sunday, April 25-27 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT) before concluding the homestand with a non-conference game versus Santa Clara on Tuesday, April 29 (6 pm, PT).

The Arizona game on April 25 will be the first Stanford Baseball game to be televised by the College Sports Television Network (CSTV), which made its debut earlier this month. Stanford's home game versus UCLA on Sunday, May, 18, is also scheduled to be televised by CSTV.

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