Stanford Hits Eight Homers To Finish Sweep Of Washington State, 17-3
May 2, 2004
Stanford, Calif. - No. 2 Stanford (35-6, 10-2 Pac-10) hit a season-high eight homers and had 13 extra-base hits to finish a sweep of Washington State (23-19, 5-10 Pac-10) with a 17-3 victory over the Cougars at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. The game was called after the top of the seventh inning due to a Pac-10 rule that allows the final game of a conference series to be an official contest if there is a margin of 12 runs or more after seven innings and both teams agree prior to the contest. Danny Putnam (3-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI) had his fifth career two-homer game and his second of the season, while scoring a career-high four runs to lead Stanford's 19-hit attack.
'This was just our day,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'It was one of those days where everything we hit was hard and even when we didn't hit it hard, it fell. I was also very pleased with the pitching performance we got from Greg Reynolds.'
Brian Hall (2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) continued his torrid stretch by hitting safely for the 25th time in his last 26 contests, raising his overall batting average to .399 and his Pac-10 mark to an astonishing .638 (30-47) in 12 conference games. Hall was 10-for-11 (.909) with a double, two homers, eight RBI, one walk, six runs scored and a 1.545 slugging percentage in Stanford's three-game sweep of the Cougars.
'Brian Hall has been having a great year all season for us and has been really hot of late,' commented Marquess.
Donny Lucy (3-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Sam Fuld (2-3, HR, 3 RBI), Chris Lewis (2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Chris Carter (2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) and John Mayberry, Jr. (2-5, HR, RBI) also went deep and had multiple-hit games for the Cardinal. In addition, Chris Minaker was 2-for-5 with a double and National Player of the Year candidate Jed Lowrie had a single in five at-bats to extend his hit streak to nine games as all nine Stanford starters had at least one hit in the contest.
Stanford's eight homers increased the team's season total to 71 as the Cardinal continues its run at the school record of 102 set by the 1997 club. Stanford has hit 34 of its home runs in 12 Pac-10 contests and has homered at least once in 32 of its 41 games this season. Stanford hit 12 homers in the three-game series versus Washington State, one better than its previous series-high of 11 this season at Oregon State (April 8-10).
Greg Reynolds (3-0) earned the victory in his first Pac-10 start and the third of his career, allowing just three runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts over the first 5.0 innings. Reynolds retired the first 11 batters he faced before allowing an infield single with two outs in the top of the fourth to Jay Miller (2-3), who had half of the Cougar's four hits.
'I felt really comfortable, especially in the first four innings,' said Reynolds. 'Everything we were trying to do in our game plan was working.'
Blake Holler struck out three and allowed just one hit in 2.0 innings of relief and retired the final five batters he faced to close out the contest. Holler has now thrown 7.0 consecutive scoreless frames over his last three appearances.
Stanford's 35-6 record is the second-best in school history after 41 games, ranking behind only the 35-5-1 mark posted by the 1967 club. Stanford needs to win its next two games to post the best record ever by a Cardinal team through 43 contests as the 1967 team finished its season with a 36-6-1 mark and a third-place finish at the College World Series.
Stanford extended its home win streak to 13 with the victory and won its 20th game in a row versus Washington State dating back to the last Cougar win over the Cardinal on March 28, 1978 (5-3 at the UC Riverside Invitational). The Cardinal has won 29 of its last 30 home games and is 20-1 at Sunken Diamond this season. Stanford has also won 11 of its last 12 games overall and is 58-10 in its last 68 games going back to May 5, 2003. In addition, Stanford has swept six of its 11 regular season three-game series this season and nine during its current string of 15 consecutive regular season three-game series victories.
Stanford started the scoring Sunday with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a leadoff single by Putnam, Lucy blasted the first of Stanford's eight homers with a two-run shot over the left field wall. Lewis kept the inning alive with a two-out double before Fuld went deep over the right field fence to put the Cardinal ahead, 4-0.
Mayberry and Putnam led off the third Stanford's five-run third with the first of two back-to-back homers on the day for the Cardinal to chase Washington State starter and losing pitcher Garrett Alwert (4-2), who allowed six runs and eight hits with one strikeout in 2.0 innings. Lucy greeted Brandon Hundt, the first of three Cougar relievers, with a single to get the Cardinal going again and Hall drew a walk before Carter brought them both home with a two-RBI double.
Stanford kept the pressure on in the fourth with another five-spot. Mayberry started the rally again, singling and getting all the way to third when the ball got past Miller in right field. Putnam then drew a walk before Lucy doubled home Mayberry and moved Putnam to third. Hall followed with a two-RBI double to score Putnam and Lucy before a two-run homer by Lewis over the scoreboard in left field capped the inning.
Putnam gave the Cardinal another run with his two-out solo homer in the fifth and back-to-back solo shots from Hall and Carter to lead off the sixth finished Stanford's scoring.
'Our approach the whole time is to put the pressure on all game and score as many runs as we can each inning and not sit on a lead because you never know what's going to happen,' explained Putnam, who is now second on the team with 12 homers and fourth with 42 RBI.
Washington State scored all three of its runs in the fifth. The Cougars loaded the bases with one out when walks to Jeremy Farrar and Brandon Reddinger sandwiched a single by Zach McAngus. Justin McClure then singled to right field to score Farrar with the first Cougar run and Reynolds walked Kaeo Rubin to force in McAngus with another score. The Cougars scored their final run of the frame when Jason Freeman reached on an RBI fielders choice to score Reddinger but Mayberry threw across the field to catch McClure rounding the bag at third base for the final out of the inning.
Stanford left five runners on base, while the Cougars stranded four.
Washington State committed the only error of the game as the Cardinal played errorless baseball for the 17th time this season and retained its .975 fielding percentage that is just two percentage points shy of the school record .977 mark set by the 2001 club. Stanford also improved its team batting average to a season-high-tying .336, which is just one percentage point behind the school record .337 mark posted by the 1981 team. In addition, Stanford maintained its ERA at 3.98. The Cardinal leads the Pac-10 in all three categories.
Stanford is averaging 9.3 runs per game and has more than doubled the run total of its opponents (383-179).
Fuld moved his career hit total to 335 with hits in his final two official at bats to snap an 0-for-20 stretch and moved to within 33 hits of all-time Stanford and Pac-10 record holder John Gall (368, 1997-2000). Fuld is already Stanford's all-time leader for runs scored (254), while also ranking among on the school's all-time lists in at bats (994, #2), triples (16, #3T), doubles (58, #6T) and games played (241, #7). Fuld has played in 234 consecutive Stanford games with 151 straight starts.
Sunday's contest was the shortest played by the Cardinal this season, lasting just one hour and 57 minutes.
The sweep extended Stanford's lead in the Pac-10 standings to 1.5 games over second-place Washington (10-5 Pac-10), winners of two-of-three games at Oregon State during a three-game series in Corvallis Friday-Sunday. The Cardinal will host San Jose State in a non-conference game on Tuesday, May 4 (6 pm, PDT) before traveling to Washington for a key Pac-10 showdown next Friday-Sunday, May 7-9 (6:30 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PDT). Saturday's game against the Huskies will be televised on FOX Sports Northwest.
Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.