Stanford's 11-3 Win Over Washington State Keeps Hope Of Pac-10 Title Alive

May 25, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - No. 8 Stanford (39-16, 15-8 Pac-10) kept its hopes of a share of the Pac-10 regular season title alive with an 11-3 win over Washington State (21-32, 6-17 Pac-10) at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. First place USC (16-7 Pac-10) wrapped up a share of the Pac-10 title with a 16-10 victory at UCLA on Saturday, while Washington remained in a second place tie with the Cardinal after an 8-3 victory over Arizona. Fourth place Arizona State (13-9 Pac-10) was eliminated from title contention with the USC win. The Sun Devils host Oregon State on Saturday evening (6 pm, MST). The Pac-10 schedule and regular season conclude on Sunday with starts in all four conference games scheduled for 1:00 pm.

'It was a good win for us today,' said Stanford head coach Marquess. 'The big inning was obviously the key. We've had a lot of big innings all season, hopefully it will continue.'

Stanford scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie as Sam Fuld put the Cardinal ahead to stay with an RBI double to score Chris Carter. Fuld (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) raised his season batting average two points to .392 in his attempt to become just the sixth player in Stanford history to hit .400 and the first since current Kansas City Royals player David McCarty batted .420 for the Cardinal in 1991. Fuld's multiple-hit game was his 20th in the last 23 contests as he is hitting .515 (51-99) during the extended hot streak.

'Sam Fuld has really come into his own this year,' said Marquess. 'He is really maturing as a player, both offensively and defensively. Offensively, he's tough to defend because he can do so many things with his excellent speed, bunting skills and the ability to hit for power.'

Chris O'Riordan (2-3, 2B), Andy Topham (2-3, 2 SB) and Carlos Quentin (2-4) added two hits each for the Cardinal, who reached double figures in runs for the 19th time this season and double figures in hits (13) for the 36th time. Arik VanZandt hit his sixth homer of the season and drove in a pair of runs, while Brian Hall picked up three RBI and Scott Dragicevich knocked in two.

Carter started Stanford's six-run seventh inning with a leadoff single and scored on a double by Fuld to deep left field to give the Cardinal a 4-3 lead. Sacrifice flies by Jason Cooper and Dragicevich scored the next two Cardinal runs. Hall then doubled home a pair of runs to make the score 8-3 and the Cardinal finished its rally on an RBI single by Topham. The inning marked the 24th time this season that Stanford has scored five or more runs in an inning.

Washington State held a 1-0 lead through four and a half innings as the Cougars made a solo homer by Jeff LaRue in the top of the second inning stand up until the Cardinal tied the score at 1-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Topham started the rally when he was hit by a pitch with two outs and moved to second on a walk to Carter. Washington State starter and losing pitcher Brandon Hundt (6-7) then got Fuld to hit a pop-up in foul territory between home plate and third base that was dropped by Washington State catcher Jon Baeder. Fuld made the Cougars pay for the error with an RBI single later in the at bat to tie the game, 1-1.

Stanford took its first lead of the contest with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cooper started the rally with a walk and moved to third on a double by O'Riordan. Brandt retired Quentin on a foul out to first baseman Bruce Jacobsen for the first out before an RBI single by Dragicevich and a sacrifice fly from Hall scored Cooper and O'Riordan to give the Cardinal a 3-1 lead.

Washington State tied the score at 3-3 in the top half of the seventh inning when Tyson Boston greeted Dan Rich with a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from the Cardinal reliever.

Rich (2-2) settled down to hold the Cougars scoreless on just one more hit with three strikeouts over the next 2.0 innings to earn the victory. Drew Ehrlich pitched a perfect ninth inning.

Boston (2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and LaRue (2-4, HR, RBI) combined for four of Washington State's seven hits.

Stanford starter John Hudgins pitched 6.0 effective innings in a no-decision effort, scattering five hits and two runs.

Stanford has now won 13 straight games over Washington State dating back to 1978 and has won all 11 meetings since the Cougars joined the expanded Pac-10 prior to the 1999 season.

The Cardinal also improved to 23-4 at home this season as Stanford wrapped up its 22nd straight series victory at Sunken Diamond dating back to 1999. The victory also marked the 18th time the Cardinal has come from behind to win this season and left the team one victory shy of its eighth consecutive 40-win season. Stanford will be attempting to finish either first or second in the Pac-10 for the 21st time in the last 23 seasons on Sunday.

Stanford stranded eight runners, while Washington State left six on base.

Stanford and Washington State will conclude the regular season with Fan Appreciation/Stanford Senior Day on Sunday (1 pm, PDT).

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