#10 Stanford Baseball Explodes Offensively In 15-3 Win Over #4 USC

March 10, 2001

Stanford, Calif. - #10 Stanford's offense exploded for a season-high 15 runs in the Cardinal's 15-3 win over #4 USC in a non-conference NCAA baseball game on Saturday at Sunken Diamond. Stanford (17-5) has now won 15 of its last 17 games and is 9-1 at Sunken Diamond this season, while USC (12-7) dropped its third straight contest. The Cardinal, who posted a 2-0 victory over USC in Friday night's series opener, clinched its 13th consecutive regular season series dating back to last season with today's win. Jeff Bruksch (4-0) picked up the victory on the mound as Stanford's regular rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (5-0, 0.94), Bruksch (4-0, 3.12) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 1.53) is now a combined 13-0 with a 1.93 ERA this year. Bruksch scattered eight hits and one run over the first 8.0 innings. Stanford's pitching staff had held opponents scoreless for 20.0 consecutive innings before Bruksch gave up a homer to USC's Anthony Lunetta to lead off the Trojans' eighth inning.

'I just tried to go out there like I do every day and pitch my game,' said Bruksch. 'I got off to a good start and tried to stay focused and put up zeros for as long as I could.'

Scott Dragicevich (3-4) had three of Stanford's season-high-tying 15 hits to pace the Cardinal offense as he extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying seven games. Sam Fuld (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI), Carlos Quentin (2-4, 2 RBI) and Arik VanZandt (2-5, 2B) had two hits each. Chris O'Riordan hit his fifth homer of the season, a three-run shot to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning, and stole his team-leading eighth base. Darin Naatjes and Tobin Swope both recorded the first hits of their collegiate careers.

'We hit the ball well against a quality pitcher in Rik Currier,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'It was a good offensive day for us and Jeff Bruksch had a nice performance on the mound.'

'USC is deservedly ranked #4 in the nation,' added Marquess. 'They'll come back and play well tomorrow. They are a quality team.'

Stanford scored three times in the bottom of the second inning off losing pitcher Rik Currier (4-1) to start the fireworks. Fuld doubled home Quentin and Dragicevich, who had singled-back-to-back to lead off the inning, for the Cardinal's first two runs and later came around to score on an RBI single to center field by Naatjes.

Stanford added three more runs in the bottom of the third inning on RBI singles by Quentin and Fuld. Stanford also took advantage of an error by Trojan first baseman Bill Peavey and a wild pitch by Currier.

Currier, the 2000 Co-Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, was knocked out of the game in the fifth inning after Dragicevich scored on a throwing error by Trojan catcher Alberto Concepcion and Ken Tirpack drove home Andy Topham with a sacrifice fly. Currier, who entered the game with a 4-0 record and a 1.82 ERA, was touched for nine hits and eight runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings.

'You really don't even think about the fact that your hitting the ball well against a pitcher like Currier during the game,' said Fuld, who posted his first multiple-hit game at Stanford. 'After the game, you realize it's pretty cool.'

Stanford continued its barrage on USC's relief corps, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the sixth frame and three more in the bottom of the seventh to take a 13-0 lead. O'Riordan led off the sixth inning with a walk and moved to third on Arik VanZandt's double before scoring on an RBI groundout by Jason VanMeetren. VanZandt scored on a sacrifice fly by Quentin.

O'Riordan's three-run homer, his fifth of the season, accounted for all three Cardinal runs in the seventh inning.

USC finally picked up a run on Lunetta's home run in the top of the eighth inning but the Cardinal added two more in the bottom of the frame on an RBI triple by Brian Hall and a sacrifice fly from Ryan Garko. The Trojans scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning on a two-out, two-RBI single by Lunetta against Cardinal reliever Ryan Gloger.

Lunetta (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) was the only Trojan player with more than one hit.

The Cardinal continued its dominance on the basepaths, tying a season-best with five stolen bases. Topham had a pair of thefts, while O'Riordan, Dragicevich and Naatjes picked up one each. The Cardinal has now stolen 43 bases in 53 attempts through its first 22 games. Stanford opponents are just 9-for-16.

The game was played in front of a season-high crowd of 2,464.

Stanford and USC will conclude their three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond on Sunday (1:00 p.m.). Following Sunday's game, the Cardinal will break for 11 days before opening the Pac-10 schedule with a three-game series versus Washington at Sunken Diamond (Friday-Sunday, March 23-25, 6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm).

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