Four-Run Ninth Lifts No. 7 Stanford To 6-4 Win At California
May 10, 2003
Berkeley, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford (34-14, 15-5 Pac-10) scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning for a 6-4 comeback victory over California (27-26, 10-13 Pac-10) in a Pac-10 game at Evans Diamond on Saturday to extend its season-long road win streak to 13 games. The Cardinal also won for the sixth straight time overall and has beaten the Golden Bears on nine straight occasions dating back to early in the 2002 campaign. Sam Fuld's one-out RBI single off Golden Bear reliever Travis Talbott scored Tobin Swope to snap a 4-4 tie after an RBI double by Chris Carter and a wild pitch that allowed pinch-runner Brian Hall to score had tied the contest. Carlos Quentin gave Stanford an insurance run with an RBI single to score Fuld.
'You don't want to have to count on it (scoring in the ninth inning), but we did a good job,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess.
The victory increased Stanford's lead in the Pac-10 race to 2.5 games over Arizona State (10-5 Pac-10) and 3.0 games over Arizona (11-7 Pac-10). Stanford has just four more conference games remaining, while Arizona State still has nine to play and Arizona has six left.
Jed Lowrie started Stanford's four-run ninth with a bad-hop double over the left shoulder of California first baseman Conor Jackson and scored on Carter's RBI double before Matt Brown came on in relief and struck out Donny Lucy for the first out of the inning. Hall, pinch-running for Carter, then stole third off Brown and Swope walked to put runners on the corners before Brown uncorked a wild pitch to score Hall and move Swope to second, setting up Fuld's game-winner.
'It's a testament to our confidence and abilities to come back and win a game like this,' said Fuld. 'We have the ability to fight and battle back, and the more we do it, the better we get at it.'
Stanford scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning for the second time in the series after also scoring in the ninth to defeat the Golden Bears, 9-8, in Friday's series opener.
Brown (3-8) took his second loss of the series, issuing a walk to Swope that proved to be the winning run.
California brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning after Ben Conley doubled and David Nicholson singled with two outs but Stanford reliever Matt Manship struck out Brian Horwitz to end the game to record his seventh save of the season and second in the series. Manship now ranks as the co-Pac-10 leader in saves and moved into a tie for ninth on Stanford's all-time single-season list.
Ryan McCally (4-2) picked up the victory by recording two outs in the bottom of the eighth in relief of Cardinal starter Mark Romanczuk, who remained unbeaten with a perfect 9-0 record after he was taken off the hook in the top of the ninth inning. After giving up three runs in the top of the first, Romanczuk (7.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 BK) held the Golden Bears scoreless on just three hits from the second through the seventh innings before being removed after a one-out triple by Jackson in the bottom of the eighth. Romanczuk was charged with his fourth run of the game (third earned) when Jackson scored later in the inning on a balk by McCally.
'I was happy to keep California down after the first inning, keep our team in the game and give us a chance to do something special,' said Romanczuk. 'After (Conor) Jackson's first inning homer, I just tried to look at the big picture and ask myself what I needed to do just to throw up some zeros on the scoreboard.'
'Plus, it was nice to not get that first blemish on the record,' joked Romanczuk. 'But, the big thing is that we showed we could come from behind like that, and I think that's going to be big down the road.'
Carter (2-3, 2B, RBI), Jonny Ash (2-3) and Fuld (2-5, RBI) had two hits each for the Cardinal.Jackson (2-3, 3B, HR, 3 RBI) had the game's only homer, a three-run blast in the bottom of the first inning that was enough to keep the Golden Bears in the lead until the top of the ninth. James Holder (2-4) and Nicholson (2-5) added two hits each for California.
Stanford started the scoring in the top of the first when Fuld and Ash led off with back-to-back singles and moved to second on a groundball by Quentin before Fuld scored on an RBI single by Ryan Garko that raised his team-leading total to 68.
California took a 3-1 lead on Jackson's long three-run homer to left field in the bottom of the first. Jackson's blast was set up when Nicholson walked and moved to second on an error by Lowrie at second base on a potential double play ball that could have ended the inning.
The score remained 3-1 as Romanczuk and Montalbo traded shutout innings until the Cardinal finally picked up a run in the top of the seventh when Carter led off the inning with a single, moved to third on a single by pinch-hitter Donny Lucy and scored on an sacrifice fly by Swope. Lucy's single improved his average to .778 (7-for-9) as a pinch-hitter this season.
California got the run back in the bottom of the eighth when Jackson tripled with one out and scored on McCally's balk.
California starter Brian Montalbo pitched an impressive 8.0 innings in a no-decision effort, scattering four runs and eight hits.
Stanford picked up 10 hits, marking the seventh time in the last nine games that the Cardinal has reached double digits.
Both teams stranded eight runners.
Stanford has now 10 of its last 11 series and will look for its third Pac-10 road sweep of the season and second in a row when the teams conclude their three-game Pac-10 series Sunday (1:00 pm) in Stanford's final regular season road game. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for the series finale.