Baseball Moves To Within One Game Of First-Place In Pac-10 With 19-3 Win At Washington State

May 19, 2001

Pullman, Wash. - No. 7 Stanford (41-14, 16-7 Pac-10) moved to within one game of first-place USC in the Pac-10 standings with a 19-3 victory over Washington State (15-38, 6-17 Pac-10) in a Pac-10 baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Field on Saturday. USC, which clinched a share of the conference title with a win at Oregon State on Friday, was a 6-0 loser to the Beavers on Saturday. Stanford and USC both close their 2001 regular season schedules on Sunday with Stanford at Washington State (1 pm, PDT) and USC at Oregon State (12 pm, PDT). Stanford needs a victory and a USC loss to earn a share of the 2001 Pac-10 title and extend its school record conference championship winning streak to five straight seasons (includes co-titles and Southern Division championships). Stanford has won eight of its last 10 games, while Washington State has dropped nine in a row and 14 of 15.

'Sure, it would be nice to be co-champions,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'But, it's more important that our team is playing well going into the NCAA Tournament next week.'

'The most important thing for us is getting on a roll going into the post-season,' added Chris O'Riordan. 'Obviously, it would be nice if we won tomorrow and USC lost because winning the Pac-10 title was one of our goals. But, the main thing for us is to be playing well.'

Stanford pounded out a season-high 24 hits and a scored a season-best 10 runs in the second inning to key Saturday's 19-3 victory. The Cardinal extended its season-high string of double-digit hit games to seven in a row. Four Stanford players collected four hits each. O'Riordan (4-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI), Andy Topham (4-6, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI) and Sam Fuld (4-6, 3 RBI) tied career-highs with four hits, while Jason Cooper (4-5, RBI) picked up the first four-hit game of his career. Arik VanZandt (2-3, 3 RBI) added a pair of hits, while Jason VanMeetren (1-2, HR, RBI) hit his seventh homer of the season in the ninth inning and Jonny Ash had a pair of RBI. Ryan Garko (1-5) had a second-inning single to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games.

'We've been a lot more aggressive offensively lately,' said O'Riordan. 'When we get pitches we like, we are doing something with them.'

O'Riordan is on a torrid seven-game hitting streak in which he is 19-for-30 (.633) and has raised his team-high overall batting average to .377. The All-American candidate has already posted career-highs in homers (10), RBI (62), stolen bases (15), hits (86) and runs scored (52).

Jeff Bruksch (9-3) limited the Cougars to one run and four hits in 7.0 innings as he snapped a three-game losing streak on the mound. Bruksch struck out six and allowed no bases on balls, retiring the final 11 batters he faced.

Stanford scored twice in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Cooper and a bases loaded walk to Ash.

Washington State picked up a run in the bottom of the first inning on a solo homer by Bookie Gates, his eighth of the season.

The Cardinal then exploded for 10 runs in the top of the second frame, sending 14 batters to the plate. Topham, O'Riordan and Fuld each had two hits in the inning. Topham singled to begin the inning and O'Riordan's two-RBI triple two batters later scored Topham and VanZandt with Stanford's first runs of the inning. Fuld then singled home O'Riordan to put Stanford ahead, 5-1. Carlos Quentin drove home Fuld with the Cardinal's next run and Ash hit a sacrifice fly to score Garko. Topham doubled home Cooper and Quentin in his second at bat of the inning, extending Stanford's lead to 9-1. VanZandt, O'Riordan and Fuld all followed with RBI singles before Washington State reliever Nick Kenyon came on to record the final out.

Stanford added four more runs in the top of the third inning with two outs. Topham doubled down the right field line to score Cooper with the first run of the inning. VanZandt followed with a two-RBI single and the final run scored on an error by Cougar first baseman Stefan Bailie.

The Cardinal finished its scoring with single runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. Fuld had an RBI single to score O'Riordan in the sixth, while Topham and VanMeetren hit solo homers in the seventh and ninth innings, respectively.

Washington State scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off Cardinal reliever Tim Cunningham. Pinch-hitter Tanner Kahler doubled down the left field line to open the inning and scored on an RBI single by Evan Hecker. Cunningham walked Gates with the bases loaded to give the Cougars their final tally.

Gates (2-3, HR, 2 RBI) and Hecker (2-4, RBI) combined for four of the Cougars' six hits.Cougar starter Jamin Svendsen (2-3) was tagged with the loss as he was touched for four runs on three hits and four walks before he could record an out in the second inning. Kenyon, the Cougars' fourth pitcher in the 10-run Cardinal second, finished the game with 7.1 innings of work. Kenyon allowed 12 hits and seven runs (five earned), striking out seven and walking two.The Cardinal will begin post-season play as one of 16 regional hosts for the 2001 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships. The NCAA Regional at Sunken Diamond runs next Friday-Sunday, May 25-27. The entire 64-team field for the 2001 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships, including regional pairings, will be announced live on ESPN on Monday, May 21 (12 pm, PDT).

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