Stanford Offense Explodes Again In Fifth Straight Win, 20-13 Win Over USC
May 26, 2007
Los Angeles, Calif. - Stanford (27-28, 8-15 Pac-10) scored 13 of its season-high 20 runs in the top of the fourth inning of a 20-13 win over USC (27-28, 8-15 Pac-10) to extend its win streak to five and claim victory for the eighth time in its last nine games overall at Dedeaux Field on Saturday. Michael Taylor (3-6, 2 HR, 6 RBI) had the first two-homer game of his career and drove in a career-high six runs.
Taylor hit both of his homers and drove in all six of his runs in the Cardinal fourth, taking a two-run shot off the scoreboard over the right field fence in his first at bat of the frame before capping the rally when he blasted his first career grand slam high off the foul pole down the left field line in his second at bat of the inning.
'Anytime you can put together the type of output we did in the fourth inning in a game, let alone one inning, it's something special,' said Taylor. 'There are a lot of guys on the team that are swinging the bats really well. In that inning, nobody wanted to be the last out.'
Brendan Domaracki (3-6, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI) added career-highs with both three hits and four RBI, while Brian Juhl (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) homered and tied a career-high with his three hits. Sean Ratliff (3-5, RBI, SB) had a three-hit game as well and three other Stanford players - Randy Molina (2-3, RBI), Ryan Seawell (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) and Cord Phelps (2-6, 3B, RBI) - picked up two hits each as eight of nine Cardinal starters had at least one hit and all nine scored at least once.
Stanford extended its string of double digit hit games to 10 in a row and has double digit hit games in 19 of its last 21 contests to raise its team batting average to a season-high .302.
'We have just really been swinging the bats well lately, and today's performance is another example of that,' explained Stanford's head coach Mark Marquess. 'Our bats have been carrying us, but we also got another great pitching performance out of the bullpen from David Stringer today.'
Stringer (3-2) picked up the victory by scattering two runs and seven hits without walking a batter and striking out three over his 4.2 inning outing. Stringer came in with the bases loaded and the Cardinal leading 15-8 in the bottom of the fifth and gave up a three-run double to Matt Cusick that allowed all three runners he inherited to score and closed the gap to 15-11 but settled down after that. Stringer's 15.1 inning stretch without giving up an earned run came to an end when he gave up an earned run in the bottom of the seventh.
'I was pretty upset about that because my job was to try to get us out of that jam,' admitted Stringer about Cusick's shot down the right field line that cleared the bases. 'But, I just tried to push it out of my mind and not dwell on it too much. Our bullpen is worn a little thin this series and every appearance each of us makes might have to be a little more extended. I was just trying to get as much out of myself today, so we could save some arms left for tomorrow.'
Hector Estrella (4-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI) had four hits and scored four runs for USC, while Cusick (2-3, 2B, 5 RBI, SB) drove in five. Anthony Vasquez (2-4, 2 RBI) and Mike O'Neill (2-4, 2B) added two hits each, while all nine Trojan starters had at least one hit. J.J. Owen doubled and drove in a pair.
USC starter Ryan Cook (7-4) took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits without walking or striking out a batter in a short 3.1 inning start.
Stanford can still finish the 2007 campaign with an even .500 record and run its string of consecutive non-losing campaigns to 14 if the Cardinal can defeat USC in the series and season finale for both teams on Sunday (1 pm, PT). Stanford can also get out of the Pac-10 cellar and move ahead of USC in the league standings with a win on Sunday. Stanford has not announced a probable starting pitcher for Sunday's contest yet, while the Trojans are slated to go with LHP Tommy Malone (3-6, 5.85).
A full recap will follow.