Andy Topham's Walk-Off Grandslam Home Run In The Bottom Of The 10th Inning Lifts #10 Stanford Baseball To Dramatic 9-5 Win Over #4 USC
March 11, 2001
Stanford, Calif. - Andy Topham capped a dramatic Stanford comeback with a one-out walk-off grandslam home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Cardinal to a thrilling 9-5 victory over USC in a non-conference NCAA collegiate baseball game on Sunday at Sunken Diamond. Sunday's win, played before a season-high paid crowd of 2973 spectators, completed a three-game Stanford sweep over the Trojans for the first time since the Cardinal won all six games played between the teams in 1997. Topham collected career-highs of four hits and six RBI in a 4-for-5 (2B, HR, SB) performance. The grandslam was his first home run of the season. #10 Stanford (18-5) remained red hot with its 16th win in the last 18 games and has a 10-1 record at Sunken Diamond this season, while #4 USC (12-8) lost its fourth in a row.
'It's nice to get some big hits and win,' said Topham, who broke out of a season-long slump by going 7-for-14 in the series. 'The biggest thing is that we are winning. It says a lot about our team to come back and win a game like this. We haven't had to come from behind this year. This comeback shows a lot about what we are made of, especially to do it against a team like USC.'
Topham's grandslam was the second of his career and the first by a Cardinal player in 2001. The junior third baseman also hit one against Louisiana-Lafayette in the 2000 College World Series. The walk-off home run was the second of the week for the Cardinal. Chris O'Riordan gave Stanford a 3-2 victory over California last Wednesday when he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Stanford loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning on a hit batsmen, a double by Carlos Quentin and an intentional walk to Sam Fuld. Topham then sent an 0-1 fastball over the left field fence off losing pitcher Brian Bannister (1-3), who surrendered six runs and five hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
'We'll take it,' said a happy and relieved Stanford head coach Mark Marquess following the game. 'We kept battling today. Topham's home run was no cheapy, either. That one was way out of here.'
'Andy's been starting to break out (of his slump) the last four or five games,' continued Marquess in reference to Topham's rough start in 2001.
Stanford had trailed 5-0 before beginning to edge back in the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Topham scored the first Cardinal run of the game on an RBI single by Ken Tirpack with one out in the fifth. Quentin's RBI single in the sixth scored Jonny Ash, who had doubled to lead off the inning, cutting the Trojan lead to 5-2.
USC held onto its 5-2 lead until Topham keyed a three-run Cardinal eighth with a two-out, two-RBI single that pulled Stanford to within 5-4. Brian Hall then beat out a ground ball to second base for a infield that scored Fuld to tie the score at 5-5 but Topham was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on the play.
USC had opened up an early 5-0 lead with four runs in the third inning and one more in the fifth. Brian Barre's two-RBI single keyed the third frame as the Trojans added two more tallies on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Josh Persell. Anthony Lunetta's solo homer in the top of the fifth extended USC's lead to 5-0.
J.D. Willcox (2-0) earned the win for the Cardinal, holding the Trojans scoreless on one hit over the final 1.2 innings. Mike Gosling had his second effective appearance of the week, limiting USC to one hit and no runs in 3.1 innings of middle relief. Starter Tim Cunningham was touched for five hits and five runs over the first 5.0 innings and received a no-decision. The Cardinal comeback kept the undefeated 13-0 record of Stanford's regular starting rotation (Jeremy Guthrie - 5-0, 0.94, Jeff Bruksch - 4-0, 3.12, Tim Cunningham (4-0, 2.45) in tact.
'You never know when the opportunity is going to come up,' said Willcox, who has earned two victories and a save in his three appearances this season after having not pitched in the team's first 16 games and throwing only 3.0 innings a year ago. 'I just stayed ready. That's an important thing for everyone on our staff to do.'
Quentin (3-4, 2B, RBI) picked up a career-high three hits and was the only other Cardinal with a multiple-hit game. Scott Dragicevich set a new career-best by extending his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the eighth inning.
Seven different players collected USC's seven hits.
The Cardinal continued its dominance on the base paths by adding a pair of stolen bases, one each by Chris O'Riordan and Topham. The Cardinal has now stolen 45 bases in 55 attempts through its first 23 games. Stanford opponents are just 9-for-16.
The Cardinal also continued its stellar defense with its 10th errorless game of the season as its fielding percentage improved to .978.
USC starter Anthony Reyes was effective, limiting the Cardinal to seven hits and three runs over the first 7.2 innings.
Stanford will now break for 11 days before opening its Pac-10 schedule with a three-game series versus Washington at Sunken Diamond (Friday-Sunday, March 23-25, 6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm).