#1 Stanford Baseball Tops #6 Arizona State, 6-2, For Ninth Straight Victory
March 30, 2001
Tempe, Ariz. - #1 Stanford (23-5, 4-0 Pac-10) extended its season-high win streak to nine games with a 6-2 victory over #6 Arizona State (20-8-1, 3-4 Pac-10) at Packard Stadium on Friday. Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (7-0, 1.31) won his seventh consecutive start as Stanford's regular starting pitching rotation improved to 16-0 with a 2.17 ERA. Jeff Bruksch (5-0, 2.75) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 2.60) are scheduled to start the final two games of the series at Arizona State. Stanford's nine-game win streak is the team's longest since late in the 1999 season and the Cardinal has also won 21 of its last 23 games. Stanford also snapped a two-game losing streak against the Sun Devils, the last team to beat the Cardinal in a regular season series (3/31/00 - 4/2/00). The Cardinal has won 14 consecutive regular season series. Arizona State has dropped three straight games.
'The road games that we played earlier in the year in non-conference games helped us tonight,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess about his club, which improved to 9-1 this season against nationally ranked opponents. 'They're very tough to beat here, but we were prepared for them.'
Stanford jumped ahead 3-0 with three runs in the top of the third inning off losing pitcher Mike Esposito (1-2). Jason VanMeetren's two-RBI triple keyed the inning. VanMeetren scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Quentin.The Sun Devils cut the score to 3-2 on a two-RBI single by Dennis Wyrick in the bottom of the third frame.
Stanford added insurance runs in the fifth, sixth and eight innings. The Cardinal increased its lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Andy Topham in the top of the fifth. Sam Fuld scored on an RBI fielders choice from Chris O'Riordan in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Brian Hall led off the eighth with a double, moved to third on Ken Tirpack's sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by O'Riordan.
Arizona State had rallies in the seventh and ninth innings thwarted by the Cardinal. Guthrie walked the first two batters he faced in the seventh inning before being relieved by J.D. Willcox, who recorded the final three outs of the inning as the Sun Devils left the bases loaded. The Sun Devils also started a rally with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Wyrick doubled and Willcox walked Mel Stocker before being relieved by Ryan McCally, who retired Rod Allen on a fielders choice to end the game and earn his second save of the season.
Guthrie scattered three hits and two runs, while striking out four in 6.0 innings.
Fuld (2-3, SB), VanMeetren (2-4, 3B, 2 RBI) and Topham (2-5, 2B, RBI, SB) had two hits each for the Cardinal. O'Riordan (1-3) had a pair of RBI for the Cardinal. Topham and Carlos Quentin both extended their career-high hitting streaks to eight games, while Scott Dragicevich's career-high streak ended at 12 games as he was 0-for-4.
Wyrick (2-4, 2B) collected two of Arizona State's five hits. Chris Duffy extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a double in the eighth inning.
Stanford added two more stolen bases and now has 56 thefts in 69 attempts this season.
The Cardinal also had another errorless defensive performance, the team's 13th in 28 games this season and sixth in the last nine contests. Stanford is now fielding at a .979 clip.
Stanford is now 9-4 on the road this season as the Cardinal returned to the road after playing 11 consecutive games at Sunken Diamond.
Stanford and Arizona State continue their three-game series with single games on Saturday and Sunday, both scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m., MT.
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