#1 Stanford Baseball Extends Win Streak To 10 Games With 5-2 Victory At #6 Arizona State
March 31, 2001
Tempe, Ariz. - #1 Stanford (24-5, 5-0 Pac-10) extended its season-high win streak to 10 games with a 5-2 victory at #6 Arizona State (20-9-1, 3-5 Pac-10) in a Pac-10 game at Packard Stadium. The 10-game win streak is Stanford's longest since the Cardinal won 11 in a row from May 16 - June 14, 1999. Stanford has also won 15 consecutive regular season series dating back to last year. The Sun Devils were the last team to have taken a regular season series from the Cardinal, winning two-of-three in Tempe last season (March 31 - April 2, 2000). The Cardinal has also won 22 of its last 24 games overall.
Bruksch (6-0, 2.69) won for the sixth time in his last seven starts as he shut out the Sun Devils through 8.0 innings before surrendering a pair of ninth inning runs, snapping his string of 15.0 scoreless innings. Arizona State's two runs in the ninth also extended the club's string of games in which it has scored to 347, two shy of the current NCAA record of 349 held by Coastal Carolina. Mike Wodnicki, the second Stanford reliever in the ninth inning, retired all three batters he faced to record his fourth save of the year. Stanford's starting pitching rotation of Bruksch, Jeremy Guthrie (7-0, 1.31) and scheduled Sunday starter Tim Cunningham (4-0, 2.60) improved to 17-0 this season with a 2.17 ERA.
'This is the type of game that you dream of as a pitcher,' said Bruksch, who battled Arizona State starter Jon Switzer to a 1-0 lead after eight complete innings. 'The dream come true was to be on the winning side of it. Games like this are why I love the game of baseball.'
'That was one of the better performances of the year by Jeff Bruksch,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'Both Bruksch and Switzer pitched great. Both offenses were dominated by the pitchers for most of the game until the ninth inning.'
The Cardinal extended its 1-0 lead through eight innings with four runs in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jonny Ash connected on a two-RBI double over the head of Sun Devil left fielder Jonah Martin to put the Cardinal ahead 3-0. Sam Fuld followed Ash with a two-RBI single up the middle to give Stanford a 5-0 lead.
'I understand that I'm not a starter and I've accepted my role coming off the bench,' said Ash, who is 5-for-9 as a pinch-hitter this season. 'When the coaches call on me, my job is to go in there and help the team win.'
Arizona State led off the bottom of the ninth inning with back-to-back doubles by Jeff Phelps and Casey Myers to score its first run of the afternoon and knock Bruksch out of the game. Brooks Conrad connected on an RBI double off reliever Mike Gosling to score Myers. Wodnicki relieved Gosling after he walked Jeremy West and recorded a fly out and a pair of foul outs to secure Stanford's victory.
Stanford scored a run in the top of the third inning without the benefit of a hit. Brian Hall and Fuld opened the frame with back-to-back walks and moved to second and third base on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Garko. Chris O'Riordan then drove in Hall with an RBI groundout. O'Riordan has now driven in at least one run in six consecutive contests and nine of his last 10 games.
Bruksch retired the first 10 batters he faced before Dennis Wyrick broke up his brief perfect game by singling with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Arizona State's most serious chance to score prior to the ninth inning came in the bottom of the fourth when the Sun Devils loaded the bases with one out on Wyrick's single, followed by a hit batsmen and a walk from Bruksch. Stanford got out of the inning without a run when Bruksch induced Conrad into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Sun Devils also left runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.Switzer held Stanford hitless until Scott Dragicevich led off the top of the fifth inning with a single. Seven different Stanford players accounted for the team's seven hits, the Cardinal's lowest hit total in its last nine games.
Switzer (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season despite holding the Cardinal to one run and three hits through the first 8.0 innings before being charged with three runs and giving up two hits in the ninth.
Martin (2-3) was the only player for either club with more than one hit.
Stanford's defense was errorless for the fourth straight game and the 14th time in 29 contests this season. The Cardinal is fielding at a .980 clip, a full .008 percentage points ahead of the school record of .972 established three times in the 1990's.
Stanford is now 10-4 on the road this season.
Stanford and Arizona State conclude their three-game on Sunday, 1:00 p.m., MT.