No. 1 Baseball Completes Sweep Of USC With 5-4 Victory

March 24, 2002

Los Angeles, Calif. - No. 1 Stanford (17-5) completed its first three-game sweep at USC (12-13) since 1997 with a 5-3 victory over the Trojans in a non-conference game at Dedeaux Field on Sunday. Jason Cooper, Chris O'Riordan and Ryan Garko hit solo homers, while John Hudgins picked up his third victory in as many starts to improve to 4-0 overall. Drew Ehrlich held the Trojans scoreless on one hit over the final 2.1 innings and struck out three to record his second save of the season. Stanford has now won nine of its last 10 games, while USC has dropped four in a row. The Cardinal has swept USC in two of the last three series between the teams, including a three-game non-conference sweep of the Trojans at Sunken Diamond in 2001. Chris O'Riordan led the Cardinal offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, homer and RBI.

'Anytime you can sweep on the road that's a good thing, especially against a quality team like USC,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess.

USC opened the game's scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Bill Peavey doubled home Alberto Concepcion with two outs.

Stanford tied the score at 1-1 on a mammoth home run blast to right field by Cooper to lead off the top of the second inning. The homer was Cooper's fifth of the season, fourth in the last six games and extended his career-high hit streak to 14 games. The Cardinal took a 2-1 lead later in the inning. Carlos Quentin reached second base when he hustled out a groundball that Trojan shortstop Dale Legaspi misplayed for an error, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Donny Lucy's sacrifice fly.

Chris O'Riordan homered to left center to lead off the third, extending the Cardinal advantage to 3-1.

Stanford picked up another run in the top of the fourth inning to increase its lead to 4-1 when Lucy led off the inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Arik VanZandt.

USC answered back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Cardinal lead to 4-3. Peavey led off the frame with a line drive solo homer down the right field line and Matt Chico had an RBI single to score David Gordon with two outs.

Garko gave the Cardinal an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning with his team-leading sixth homer of the year, a twisting solo shot just inside the left field foul pole.

The Cardinal would need the insurance run when USC scored again in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out RBI double by Concepcion.

Sam Fuld (2-5, 2B) added a pair of hits for the Cardinal.

USC had two hits each from Concepcion (2-3, 2B, RBI) and Peavey (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI).Hudgins had his longest outing of the season with 6.2 innings of work, scattering five hits and four runs with two strikeouts.

Brett Bannister (1-2) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits in the first 4.0 innings. Trojan reliever J.P. Howell held the Cardinal to one run and two hits with five strikeouts over the final 5.0 innings.

Stanford will next be in action when it hosts Texas in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond next Thursday-Saturday, March 28-30 (6 pm, 6 pm, 1 pm, PT).

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