Arizona Takes Series Opener At No. 4 Stanford, 4-3
April 25, 2003
Stanford, Calif. - Brian Anderson's solo homer with one out in the top of the eighth broke a 3-3 tie and lifted Arizona (29-15, 8-5 Pac-10) to a 4-3 victory over No. 4 Stanford (27-12, 9-4 Pac-10) in the opener of a key three-game Pac-10 series at Sunken Diamond on Friday. The Wildcats moved to within one game of the first-place Cardinal in the Pac-10 standings along with No. 11 Arizona State (40-9, 8-5 Pac-10), a 21-0 winner over Washington State in Tempe on Friday. Stanford's Carlos Quentin had his career-best 26-game hit streak snapped by going 0-for-3 with a pair of walks.
'They got the big hits and we didn't,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We had a couple of chances and just couldn't get the big hit. They won the big spots and deserved to win the game.'
Arizona starter Richie Gardner (7-1) earned the victory by scattering three runs and seven hits over the first 8.1 innings before John Meloan came on to retire both batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth to earn his second save.
Stanford put runners on first and second base with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie singled with one out and on the next play Sam Fuld hit a ground ball to Arizona shortstop John Hardy, but pinch-runner Chris Lewis was running on the pitch and beat Hardy's throw to second base. Meloan then relieved Gardner and retired Brian Hall on a foul out before getting Quentin to fly out to left field to end the game.
Stanford's John Hudgins (7-3) took the loss despite pitching his fourth complete game of the season and second in a row.
'It wasn't too bad of a pitch that (Brian) Anderson hit out,' commented Hudgins on the game-winning homer. 'If I had to do it over again, I might have tried to get the pitch down a little bit more, but he just did a really good job with it.'
Arizona's Brad Boyer (2-5, 3B, RBI) and Stanford's Jonny Ash (2-4, 2B) were the only players in the game with more than one hit. Moises Duran also hit a key two-run homer for Arizona in the top of the fifth inning, while Ryan Garko drove in his 49th and 50th runs of the season for Stanford.
Stanford scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when Ash led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tobin Swope and, after a walk to Fuld, scored on an RBI single by Hall.
Arizona scored three times in the top of the fifth inning as light showers in the first four innings turned to moderate rainfall. Nick Hundley drew a one-out walk and scored on a two-out RBI triple off the top of the right field fence by Boyer before Duran's two-run homer finished the rally.
Stanford answered back immediately with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out RBI infield single by Garko as Quentin scored all the way from second base when a throw by Hardy from deep in the hole behind second base failed to get Garko at first base. Fuld had started the rally with a one-out single and moved to second when Quentin drew a two-out walk.
The game remained tied 3-3 until Anderson belted an 0-2 pitch from Hudgins over the left field wall with one out in the top of the eighth.
Quentin's updated .426 batting average continues to lead the Pac-10 and is just .004 points below Stanford's school record of .430 posted by Tom Williams in 1971. Quentin is also attempting to become the first Stanford player to hit .400 or better since David McCarty batted .420 in 1991.
Stanford committed three errors in the contest, while Arizona did not committ an error. Both teams had seven hits, while the Cardinal left nine on base and Arizona stranded seven.
Stanford and Arizona continue their three-game series Saturday and Sunday with the first pitch scheduled each day at 1:00 pm. The Cardinal, who has still won nine of its last 11 games overall, will need to win both games to extend its series win streak to nine and its Pac-10 series win streak to 16. USC was the last team to defeat the Cardinal in a Pac-10 series at Sunken Diamond when the Trojans won two-of-three from April 16-18, 1999.
Stanford is scheduled to pitch Pac-10 victory leader LHP Mark Romanczuk (8-0, 3.57) versus Arizona RHP Sean Rierson (7-1, 4.50) on Saturday.