No. 7 Stanford Completes Sweep Of California, 5-4 In 10 Innings
May 11, 2003
Berkeley, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford (35-14, 16-5 Pac-10) completed a three-game road sweep with a 5-4 win at California (27-27, 10-14 Pac-10) when Danny Putnam scored all the way from first base on an errant pick off throw by California reliever Jesse Ingram with two outs in the top of the 10th inning. Stanford extended its road win streak to 14 games in its final regular season road contest and won for the seventh straight time overall. The Cardinal also finished a six-game season sweep of California and has won 10 in a row over the Golden Bears dating back to last season. Carlos Quentin hit a key three-run homer for the Cardinal with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to erase an early 2-1 California lead.
'I saw the ball thrown away, and I was just going to keep running until somebody stopped me,' said Putnam, who left early in a stolen base attempt and was picked off on the play before Ingram's throw bounced in front of California first baseman James Holder. 'I just figured if I was going to make an error to make it aggressively. On the play at home plate, I slid to the back side of the plate and then was able to get my left hand in to touch home on the way by. I've actually worked on that type of slide and this was an opportunity to use it.'
'I have to make them make a play,' said Stanford associate head coach and third base coach Dean Stotz about his decision to send Putnam around third base before the close play at home. 'I'm a very aggressive base coach and with two outs you need to really force the issue. I was thinking about bringing him home the whole way.'
The victory moved Stanford 3.0 games ahead of Arizona State (10-5 Pac-10) in the conference standings and reduced its magic number to three to clinch a share of the Pac-10 regular season title and four to capture the title outright. Stanford, which has won 10 of its last 11 series, concludes its Pac-10 season by hosting UCLA in a three-game series next Friday-Sunday, May 16-18 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). Stanford last won a Pac-10 regular season title in 2000 when the Cardinal shared the regular season crown with Arizona State and UCLA. Arizona State still has nine conference games remaining beginning with a three-game series at Oregon State this Monday-Wednesday, May 12-14 (5 pm, 4 pm, 4 pm).
Stanford scored in its final trip to the plate for the third straight time in the series after scoring once in the ninth for a 9-8 win on Friday and four times in the ninth during Saturday's 6-4 comeback win.
'All three games could have gone either way,' acknowledged Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We were fortunate to win all three games, but we did the things we needed to do to win them. Today, Danny Putnam made a great slide to score the game-winning run.'
'Today was an unbelievable finish to a crazy weekend of good baseball,' added Putnam. 'Nobody on this team likes to lose, and we're going to do anything we can not to.'
David O'Hagan (6-1) picked up his sixth victory of the season out of the bullpen with 2.2 hitless innings after coming on as the third Cardinal reliever with one out, a runner on third base and two runs already in for California in the bottom of the eighth. O'Hagan ended the Golden Bears' rally by retiring Holder on a pop-up to Jonny Ash at third base and Justin Nelson on a fly out to Sam Fuld in centerfield.
'I just felt really fortunate to get the chance to pitch and thankful that coach (Mark) Marquess gave me another chance to pitch after a rough outing on Friday,' said O'Hagan, who gave up three runs in just 0.2 innings in a relief appearance during the series opener. 'I'm happy that things turned out the way they did today.'
'David O'Hagan did a great job,' added Marquess. 'The difference in the game was when he came in with a runner on third and one out in the bottom of the eighth, got the final two outs and shut them out the rest of the way.'
Ingram (2-3) took the loss despite giving up just one unearned run and one hit in 3.0 innings of relief.
California had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth when O'Hagan hit Ben Conley and David Nicholson reached first base on an error by Hall during a sacrifice bunt attempt that put runners on first and second base with one out. Marquess was ejected from the game after arguing the call in which the umpires ruled that Hall did not have possession of a throw from O'Hagan that he tried to pin against his glove and body after juggling. Hall redeemed himself on the next play when he made a leaping grab on a line drive by Brian Horwitz and tagged Nicholson before he returned to first base for an inning-ending double play and send the game into extra innings.
Hall (2-4, 2B) and Ash (2-5, 2B, RBI) each picked up a pair of hits for the Cardinal. Quentin's three-run homer in the top of the fifth extended his hit streak to seven games and was his seventh of the season, while Jed Lowrie and Fuld also extended their hit streaks to seven with one hit each.
'I hoped that the home run would get the ball rolling a little bit and get us going in the right direction,' said Quentin about the opposite field homer.
Quentin has hit safely in 35 of his last 37 games and has an updated batting average of .401 in his attempt to become the first Stanford player to hit .400 or better in a season since David McCarty batted .420 in 1991.
California's Conor Jackson hit his third homer of the series, a long two-run shot to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth. Jeff Dragicevich (2-3, 2B) and Ben Conley (2-4, RBI, SB) had a pair of hits each for California.
Stanford struck first in the top of the third inning on back-to-back doubles by Fuld and Ash, who finished 6-for-11 (.545) in the series.
California came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Dragicevich doubled with one out to start the rally. After a walk to Holder, Nelson doubled home Dragicevich and a two-out RBI single from Conley plated Holder.
After Quentin's three-run homer in the top of the fifth, Stanford held a 4-2 lead until Jackson's two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth that scored Horwitz, who had led off the inning with a single.
Stanford starter Tim Cunningham pitched a season-high 6.0 innings, allowing just two runs and scattering six hits. California starter Joe Todoroff lasted 5.0 innings, scattering four runs and seven hits.
Both teams stranded eight runners.
Stanford won its third straight extra-inning game with all three victories coming during the 14 game road win streak.
Stanford will next be in action when the Cardinal begins a seven-game homestand to end the regular season by hosting Saint Mary's in a non-conference game at Sunken Diamond this Tuesday, May 16 (6 pm, PT).