Stanford Knocks Off Cal Poly Before Season-High Crowd, 9-4

May 23, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - No. 5 Stanford (39-15) won for the 11th time in its last 12 games with a 9-4 victory over Cal Poly (27-26-1) in the opener of a non-conference series played before a season-high crowd of 4017 that was treated to fireworks after the game at Sunken Diamond on Friday. John Hudgins (9-3) picked up his ninth victory of the season to move into a tie for the Pac-10 win lead, limiting the Mustangs to one unearned run and three hits over the first 6.0 innings. Brian Hall (3-5, 2B, SB) had three hits to pace Stanford's 13-hit attack, recording his fourth consecutive three-hit game and extended his hit streak to a season-high-tying seven games.

Donny Lucy (2-3, 2 RBI), Ryan Garko (2-4, 2B, RBI) and Jed Lowrie (2-4, 2B, RBI) had a pair of hits each for the Cardinal with Lucy tying a career-high by scoring three runs. Jonny Ash added a pair of RBI on a sacrifice fly and the team's first successful suicide squeeze of the season in the sixth inning. Sam Fuld (12) and Carlos Quentin (11) extended hit streaks with Quentin hitting safely for the 39th time in his last 41 games.

The victory left Stanford one win short of its ninth consecutive 40-win season as the Cardinal defeated Cal Poly for the fifth straight time and improved to 41-5 all-time versus the Mustangs (since 1949).

'It was important for us to continue to play well tonight because you certainly don't want to go into the postseason not playing well,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess about his team that has already secured its 24 NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in a row by winning the 2003 Pac-10 regular season title. 'We had a good all-around offensive performance tonight and John Hudgins pitched well for us again.'

'I was really focusing on keep my pitch count down tonight, because I want to be fresh for the NCAA Regionals next Friday,' said Hudgins, who struck out just two and did not walk a batter. 'I feel like I'm ready for the postseason.'

Hudgins' 6.0 innings of work marked the 15th time in his Pac-10 high 17 starts that he has lasted at least 6.0 innings. He is also the Pac-10's leader in innings pitched (123.1), strikeouts (110) and complete games (5).

Cal Poly starter Josh Kougl (1-9) took the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) and 10 hits over the first 6.0 innings.

Scott Anderson was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Mustangs, while Billy Saul (2-4, RBI) also had a pair of hits and Cory Taillon drove in two runs.

Stanford started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Hall doubled with one out and scored two batters later on an RBI double by Garko that gave him his 75th RBI of the season, tying him for ninth on Stanford's single-season list.

The Cardinal added two more runs in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Lucy walked to lead off the inning and scored on a double by Lowrie, who moved to third on the first of two sacrifice bunts in the game by Ash and scored on an RBI groundout from Tobin Swope.

Stanford picked up an unearned run in the fourth inning to make the score 4-0. Lucy singled with one out to start the rally and Ash kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Swope then was credited with an infield single when he hit a groundball up the middle that was fielded by Anderson behind second base, who attempted to throw out Ash at second but threw the ball past Mustang second baseman Adam Leavitt, allowing Lucy to score.

Hudgins held Cal Poly scoreless over the first five innings, facing the minimum 15 batters before the Mustangs got on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning. Hudgins hit Bret Berglund to lead off the inning before retiring the next two batters. Swope then made the only Cardinal error of the game on a grounder to shortstop to keep the Cal Poly inning going and Saul followed with an RBI single to score Berglund.

Stanford answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth when Lucy reached second base on a two-base throwing error by Josh Mayo at third base to lead off the inning, moved to third on a fly ball by Lowrie and scored on Ash's suicide squeeze.

Cal Poly cut the Stanford lead to 5-3 in the top of the seventh when Taillon connected for a two-out, two-RBI single off Cardinal reliever Jonny Dyer. Mayo started the rally with a one-out single and moved to second on a two-out single from Berglund before both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch.

Stanford responded with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fuld and Hall started the inning with back-to-back singles to chase Kougl. Quentin greeted reliever Dennis LeDuc with an RBI single to score Fuld before a double steal by Hall and Quentin put Cardinal runners on second and third. After Garko struck out, Danny Putnam drew an intentional walk and Lucy came through with a two-RBI single to score Hall and Quentin. Lowrie singled to reload the bases before Putnam scored on a sacrifice fly from Ash.

Cal Poly scored the final run of the game in the top of the ninth off Ryan McCally, the third Cardinal reliever of the game. Kyle Wilson doubled down the left line to lead off the inning before moving to third on a one-out groundout by Taillon and scoring on an RBI infield single from Anderson.

'It's definitely very important for us to play well in this series,' said Hall, who established his new single-season high when he stole his 15th base of the year in the seventh inning. 'We want to keep our momentum going heading into the playoffs.'

Stanford improved to 22-10 at Sunken Diamond this season and 21-9 in non-conference games.

Garko struck out twice in the contest, going down swinging in the third and seventh innings, to break a streak of 81 consecutive official at bats and 23 games without a strikeout. He still has more home runs (14) on the season than strikeouts (13). Despite the two strikeouts, Garko's two-hit game marked his team-leading 25th multiple-hit contest of the season.

Both teams left six runners on base.

Stanford will continue its final regular season series of the year versus Cal Poly on Saturday and Sunday with start times scheduled both days at 1:00 pm. Stanford is scheduled to start LHP Mark Romanczuk (9-0, 3.70) on Saturday as he will attempt to become the first Pac-10 pitcher to reach the 10-win mark in 2003. Cal Poly has named LHP Garrett Olson (5-2, 3.89) as its probable Saturday starter. On Sunday, Stanford LHP Tim Cunningham (2-3, 5.70) has been announced as the starter, while Cal Poly has not named a starter.

The 16 regional sites for the 2003 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships will be announced on Sunday, May 25. The entire 64-team field will be revealed live on ESPN on Monday, May 26 (9:30 am, PT).

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