No. 6 Stanford Wins Second Straight Over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 31, 2004

Stanford, Calif. - No. 6 Stanford (2-0) picked up its second victory in as many days over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton (0-2) with an 8-7 non-conference win over the Titans before a crowd of 2437 on Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The win was also Stanford's fourth in a row over the Cal State Fullerton dating back to a pair of victories over the Titans in a College World Series bracket final in Omaha last season. The victory also increased Stanford's home win streak to 11 games dating back to last year, while the Cardinal secured its 13th series victory in its last 14 efforts.

'This was a good win for us to be able to come from behind a couple of times like we did,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We showed a lot of character as a team.'

The Cardinal trailed 6-4 before scoring four times after two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Donny Lucy and pinch-hitter Adam Sorgi stroked back-to-back RBI singles to plate Danny Putnam and Jed Lowrie to tie the score, before Sam Fuld came through with a two-out, two-RBI double down the left field line to score Lucy and Sorgi.

'I was a little nervous,' admitted Sorgi about the key RBI single in his first collegiate at bat. 'But, coach Marquess showed the confidence in me to put me up to the plate in that situation, and I was able to do what I needed to do.'

'We wouldn't want to open the season any other way,' added Fuld about the team's season-opening series with long-time rival Cal State Fullerton. 'We knew they were going to come out strong today after last night's game (a 16-3 Stanford win). They put up a good fight, but we showed the makings of good team by coming back and beating an excellent effort from Cal State Fullerton.'

Jed Lowrie (3-4) had three hits for the Cardinal, while Fuld (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Lucy (2-4, RBI, SB) had two hits each. Jonny Ash also drove in a pair of runs.

Cal State Fullerton's Kurt Suzuki was 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI, while Justin Turner (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Ronnie Prettyman (2-5, 2B) and Felipe Garcia (2-5) added two hits each as the Titans outhit the Cardinal, 12-10.

Stanford reliever David O'Hagan earned his first save of the season with an impressive performance, recording all three of his outs in the top of the ninth inning on strikeouts and leaving the go-ahead run at the plate while limiting the Titans to one run and three hits over the final 3.0 innings. O'Hagan entered the game after winning pitcher Matt Leva (1-0) walked Suzuki to lead off the top of the seventh. Leva recorded a pair of outs in the sixth inning to earn the victory in his first collegiate appearance.

'The main thing for me was just trying to take a deep breath, go after the hitters and access the situation,' said O'Hagan about his clutch performance.

Cal State Fullerton starter Ricky Romero (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) and six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over the first 5.2 innings. John Tucker (1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) and Mike Martinez (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) limited the Cardinal to one run the remainder of the way.

The Titans rebounded from a 16-3 loss on Friday by getting on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning on a leadoff double by Prettyman and an RBI single from Suzuki.

Stanford scored twice in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead on Ash's clutch two-out, two-RBI single through the left side of the infield.

Cal State Fullerton regained a 3-2 lead when Suzuki blasted a two-run homer off the scoreboard in left field in the top of the third.

Stanford answered right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. The rally started when Chris Lewis reached second on a two-base throwing error by Titan shortstop Neil Walton and scored on a single by Fuld, who moved to second base on a throwing error by Titan rightfielder Brett Pill in an attempt to throw Lewis out at home. Fuld moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Hall and scored on an RBI single by Danny Putnam two batters later.

Cal State Fullerton tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. Turner walked to lead off the inning before moving to second and third on a pair of wild pitches by Cardinal reliever Drew Ehrlich before he was forced out at home on a fielders choice hit into by Suzuki, who moved to second on a single and scored all the way from second base on Ehrlich's third wild pitch of the frame.

The Titans took a 6-4 lead in the top of the sixth on a clutch two-out, two-RBI single up the middle from Turner, scoring Jake Mendrin and Prettyman who had both singled earlier in the inning.

Stanford starter Matt Manship took a no-decision as he was touched for three runs and four hits in the first 2.1 innings of his third collegiate start.

Stanford and Cal State Fullerton are scheduled to conclude their current series on Super Bowl Sunday with the first pitch scheduled at 1:00 pm. Sunday's probable pitchers are righthanders Mark Jecmen of Stanford and Lauren Gagnier, scheduled to make his collegiate debut for Cal State Fullerton.

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