No. 1 Baseball Drops Into First Place Tie With USC With 8-0 Loss To Trojans

April 21, 2001

Los Angeles, Calif. - No. 8 USC (29-13, 10-4 Pac-10) pulled into a tie atop the Pac-10 standings with No. 1 Stanford (31-10, 10-4 Pac-10) by shutting out the Cardinal, 7-0, in a Pac-10 baseball game Saturday at Dedeaux Field. Stanford was shut out for the first time in 167 games since February 5, 1999 (at Cal State Fullerton, 8-0). The victory was USC's second in a row over the Cardinal in the series and snapped Stanford's regular season series winning streak at 17, marking the first time the Cardinal has been defeated in a regular season series in over a year. Stanford also dropped its third straight game for the first time since early in the 1999 season (January 30 - February 5, 1999). Stanford right-handed pitcher Jeff Bruksch (8-1, 2.76) lost for the first time this season, allowing nine hits and six runs in 4.0 innings.

'Jeff (Bruksch) normally gives us a chance to win but this was a tough outing for him,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'You have to give USC credit. They did a good job swinging the bat and got a couple of key hits early in the game. We didn't give Jeff much support. We just got shut down. It's tough to win when you only score one run in 18 innings (in the two games in the series). That's a credit to their pitching.'

USC's Rik Currier (8-1, 2.08) tossed 8.0 scoreless innings to pick up the victory and revenge his only loss of the season at Stanford on March 10. Currier scattered five hits and four walks, while striking out five. Fraser Dizard preserved the shutout with a scoreless ninth inning for the Trojans, allowing one walk.

Alberto Concepcion was USC's offensive hero for the second straight day as he hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to put the Trojans ahead 5-0. USC had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI ground out by Josh Persell and an RBI single from Bill Peavey.

The Trojans made the margin 6-0 on a solo homer by Brian Barre in the bottom of the fourth inning and scored their final run on Barre's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth frame.Stanford twice loaded the bases with no outs but failed to score.

In the Cardinal fourth, Ryan Garko was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Carlos Quentin then singled and Scott Dragicevich reached on an error by Currier to load the bases. Currier came back to record a 1-2-3 double play on Mario Garza. Andy Topham walked to load the bases again before Currier struck out Jason VanMeetren to end the inning.

Stanford loaded the bases again in the top of the eighth inning. Chris O'Riordan reached second base to lead off the inning when Persell dropped his fly ball in left field to lead off the inning. Garko then walked and Quentin loaded the bases with a single. Currier got out of the jam by striking out Dragicevich, retiring Jason Cooper on a soft liner to third base and forcing Jonny Ash into a fielders choice.

The Cardinal left 10 runners on base, while USC stranded only four. Both teams committed two errors.

Concepcion (1-1, HR, 3 RBI, HP, BB), Barre (2-4, HR, 2 RBI), Seth Davidson (2-4) and Anthony Lunetta (2-4, 2B) led USC's 10-hit attack.

Quentin (3-4) was the only Cardinal player with more than one hit and has five of the Stanford's 10 hits in the two games of the series.

Stanford and USC will conclude the three-game series on Sunday (1 pm) with the winner taking over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

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