Stanford Reduces Magic Number To One With 9-1 Win Over UCLA

May 16, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford (37-14, 17-5 Pac-10) reduced its magic number for at least a share of the Pac-10 title to one and extended its season-best win streak to nine games with a convincing 9-1 victory over UCLA (25-29, 8-11 Pac-10) in the opener of a three-game series at Sunken Diamond on Friday. John Hudgins (8-3) tossed his Pac-10 leading fifth complete game of the season to give the Cardinal its seventh straight conference win, allowing just one run and four hits with 10 strikeouts. Jonny Ash (3-5) tied a career-high with three hits, while Carlos Quentin (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI) drove in three runs to lead a Cardinal offense that pounded out 15 hits with all nine starters picking up at least one hit.

'This was a real big win for us,' said Hudgins, the Pac-10's leader in innings pitched (117.1) and strikeouts (108), after winning for the first time in his last four starts. 'Personally, my mentality was to come into tonight's game just to have fun playing baseball and be a little looser.'

'We got a great pitching performance from John Hudgins,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'Offensively, this was also one of our better games of the season. We got some timely hitting and a lot of different guys produced.'

'We've really found ways to win during our (win) streak,' added Marquess. 'Our guys have done a good job playing together both offensively and defensively. We're playing well right now, and hopefully it will continue.'

Hudgins had a no-hitter going until a two-out single by Brandon Averill in the top of the fifth. In the seventh, UCLA loaded the bases with no outs before Ryan McCarthy grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that scored Wes Whisler with the Bruins' only run of the game but thwarted the rally. UCLA's Preston Griffin hit into the Bruins' second double play in the top of the eighth inning after Matt Thayer had started off the inning with a single.

Sam Fuld (2-4, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (2-4, 2 2B) and Ryan Garko (2-5, RBI) added two hits each for the Cardinal, while Chris Carter hit his second homer of the season in the bottom of the second inning. Fuld and Jed Lowrie extended their hit streaks to nine games.

'We have a lot of people up and down our lineup that are capable of producing runs,' commented Quentin, a Golden Spikes finalist and Rotary Smith Award semifinalist, who raised his batting average to .403 and extended his hit streak to eight games while hitting safely in 36 of his last 38 contests.

UCLA starter Casey Janssen (5-6) suffered the loss, allowing six runs and a career-high 11 hits over the first 3.2 innings. UCLA reliever Mike Kunes finished the game with 4.1 innings of work, limiting the Cardinal to three runs and four hits.

UCLA did not have a player with more than one hit.

Stanford scored in its first five trips to the plate and six of eight overall.

Fuld and Ash led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles before Garko brought home Fuld with an RBI groundout for his 73rd RBI of the season, tied for 10th on the school's all-time single season list.

Carter's solo shot over the wall in rightcenter field with one out in the bottom of the second inning gave the Cardinal a 2-0 advantage.

Stanford scored three times in the bottom of the third to take a 5-0 lead. Ash started the rally with a one out single and scored on an RBI double by Quentin, his 23rd of the season that moved him into a tie for third place on Stanford's all-time single season list. Danny Putnam followed with an RBI double two batters later to plate Quentin before he came around to score on an RBI single from Lowrie.

In the fourth, Tobin Swope led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Fuld and scored on a two-out RBI single from Quentin.

Stanford made the score 7-0 with another run in the bottom of the fifth when Carter walked with one out, moved to third on a double by Mayberry and scored on a sacrifice fly by Swope.UCLA picked up its only run in the top of the seventh when Whisler and Chris Jensen singled to lead off the inning before Hudgins walked Warren Trott to load the bases with no outs. McCarthy's double play allowed Whisler to score but killed the rally.

Stanford scored the final two runs of the game in the bottom of the eighth when Mayberry led off with a double and scored on a one-out RBI single by Fuld who eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Quentin.

Stanford left seven runners on the base while the Bruins stranded five in a game that had just one Stanford error and lasted only two hours and 26 minutes.

Stanford improved its record at Sunken Diamond this season to 20-9 and is now within three victories overall of its ninth consecutive 40-win season.

Stanford will continue its final Pac-10 series of the season versus UCLA this Saturday and Sunday (May 17-18) with start times scheduled each day for 1 pm. Stanford is scheduled to start LHP Mark Romanczuk (9-0, 3.63) versus UCLA LHP Wes Whisler (3-6, 5.22) on Saturday. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for Sunday. Stanford needs just one victory in the final two games versus UCLA to take a series for the 11th time in its last 12 series. The Cardinal will celebrate its annual Little League Day on Sunday.

Second place Arizona State (12-6 Pac-10) begins a three-game series at Washington (10-8 Pac-10) on Saturday (1 pm, PT). One Stanford win or an Arizona State loss guarantees the Cardinal of at least a share of its first Pac-10 title since 2000 when Stanford finished in a three-way tie for the conference championship with Arizona State and UCLA. A combination of two Stanford wins and Arizona State losses would give the Cardinal its first outright league championship since 1999. Stanford also needs one more win or a loss by third place Arizona (11-7 Pac-10) to mathematically eliminate the Wildcats from the Pac-10 championship race. Arizona hosts Oregon State (6-15 Pac-10) in a three-game series beginning Saturday.

'It would mean a lot to us to win the conference,' added Marquess. 'It really helps with NCAA Tournament seeding and would give us a better chance to host a (NCAA) Regional.'

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