No. 3 Stanford Takes Season Opener At Santa Clara, 7-2

Jan. 25, 2003

Santa Clara, Calif. - No. 3 Stanford (1-0) opened its 2003 season and began its quest for a fifth straight trip to the College World Series with an impressive 7-2 victory over Santa Clara (0-1) at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, winning its season-opener for the sixth time in the last seven years. Stanford pounded out 15 hits and eight of its nine starters had at least one hit, led by three-hit games from Danny Putnam (3-5, HR, 2 RBI) and Ryan Garko (3-5, 2 RBI). John Hudgins (1-0) picked up the victory by scattering five hits and two runs with six strikeouts over the first 6.0 innings. Ryan McCally pitched 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit to pick up his first save of the season and the 12th of his career, moving him into a tie for seventh on Stanford's all-time save list.

'Both teams played very well for a season opener,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess after the errorless game. 'It's a nice way to get started and was a good win for us, but it's just the first of many games we have to play this season.'

'Our team played incredible defense today,' added Hudgins.

Brian Hall (2-5, HR, RBI, SB) also homered for the Cardinal, while Carlos Quentin (2-2, 2B, SB, 2 BB, HBP) reached base in all five at bats and Tobin Swope (2-5, SB) had a two-hit day. John Mayberry, Jr., a first round draft pick in the 2002 MLB First Year Player Draft and the son of former major league baseball player John Mayberry, made his Cardinal debut by starting at first base. Mayberry was 1-for-5 with a key RBI triple in Stanford's two-run third inning.Stanford took an early 1-0 lead by scoring a single run in the top of the first inning when Quentin singled with two outs, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Garko.

'We were all really excited to try to go out and prove that we are one of the top teams in the country,' said Garko about Stanford's fast start. 'This team really has a lot of confidence that we are going to be able to go out and swing the bats.'

Quentin also started Stanford's third-inning rally by doubling with two outs. Garko then picked up his second RBI in as many at bats with a soft line drive single to center to score Quentin before coming around to score on Mayberry's triple to give the Cardinal a 3-0 lead.Stanford extended its margin to 4-0 in the top of the fourth on a one-out solo homer over the left field fence from Hall.

Santa Clara closed Stanford's margin to 4-2 with single runs off Hudgins in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Jim Wallace started the Bronco rally with a one-out single before eventually scoring on Shawn Epidendio's two-out RBI single. The Broncos scored their sixth inning run when A.J. LaBarbera, who had doubled to lead off the inning, scored on an RBI groundout by David Mandley.

McCally relieved Hudgins to begin the bottom of the seventh and held the Broncos to only a two-out seventh inning single by Jason Matteucci over the final three frames.

Stanford added an insurance run in the top of the eighth when Danny Putnam greeted Santa Clara reliever Chad Fillinger with a solo homer over the right field fence.

'It feels great to have a good day both as a team and as an individual,' said Putnam, a part-time starter last year.

The Cardinal added two more runs in the ninth. Donny Lucy doubled with one out before being scoring on an RBI single by Putnam. Jonny Ash gave Stanford's its final run when he drove home Putnam with a deep sacrifice fly to left field.

Wallace (2-3) was the only Santa Clara player with more than one hit.

Santa Clara starter Joe Diefenderfer (0-1), the first of four Santa Clara pitchers, suffered the loss by allowing four runs and nine hits over the first 3.2 innings.

Stanford has now beaten Santa Clara in 23 of the last 24 meetings between the clubs.

Stanford will host Santa Clara at Sunken Diamond tomorrow on Super Bowl Sunday (1 pm, PST) to complete the abbreviated two-game series.

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