No. 2 Stanford Wins 14th Straight Over California, 7-4

April 16, 2004

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    Stanford, Calif. - Brian Hall (4-4, 2B, RBI) extended his career-high hit streak to 17 games and tied a career-high with four hits to lead No. 2 Stanford (27-5, 5-2 Pac-10) to its 14th straight victory over California (20-21, 6-7 Pac-10) in the first conference home game of the season for the Cardinal on Friday at Sunken Diamond before a crowd of 2234. Mark Romanczuk (7-1) picked up his seventh victory of the season on the mound by allowing just five hits and four runs over the first 7.0 innings, while Jeff Stimpson came on to pitch 2.0 hitless innings of relief with two strikeouts to earn his first collegiate save.

    'I was trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark more early in the year,' said Hall, who raised his batting average to .368. 'Now, I'm just trying to use the whole field now and trust my swing.'

    'Brian Hall has really been playing very well and swinging the bat for us,' added Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'He's worked very hard at it and is more comfortable.'

    'Mark Romanczuk was very effective tonight even though he didn't have his best stuff,' added Marquess. 'He gives us a chance to win and that's what you want from your Friday starter.'

    California scored all four of its runs by hitting three home runs. Jeff Dragicevich and Brian Horwitz had solo shots in the third and fourth innings for the first two Golden Bear runs, while a two-run homer by David Weiner with no outs in the eighth chased Romanczuk.

    Danny Putnam (2-3, 3B, RBI) and Chris Carter (2-3, RBI) had two hits each for the Cardinal, while Chris Minaker drove in a pair of runs.

    California starter Adam Gold (5.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 6-4. Cameron Johnson (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB) and Matt Swanson (2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) also pitched in relief for the Golden Bears.

    Weiner was the only California player with more than one RBI, while no Golden Bear had a multiple-hit contest.

    Stanford jumped ahead 2-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Putnam led off with a walk and stole second base before a two-out single by Hall brought him home with Hall advancing to second on attempt by Horwitz in right field to throw Putnam out at the plate. Chris Carter then singled off Gold's foot to move Hall to third and Chris Minaker came through with a two-out RBI single to plate Hall.

    Dragicevich's solo homer to lead off the third cut the Cardinal lead to 2-1 and Horwitz' one-out solo shot in the fourth tied the contest.

    Stanford went ahead for good by answering with three runs in its half of the fourth. Donny Lucy led off the inning with a single to extend his career-high hit streak to nine games and Hall followed with a double to put Cardinal runners on second and third with no outs. Carter then brought home Lucy with an RBI single and Hall scored on Minaker's fielders choice. Sam Fuld moved Minaker to third with a single that extended his season-high hit streak to eight games and Minaker on a sacrifice fly by Jonny Ash.

    Stanford added two more runs in the sixth when Hall led off with a single to chase Gold. Carter drew a walk from Johnson and Minaker moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Fuld then walked to load the bases but Ash popped out to David Nicholson for the second out of the inning before Johnson issued a free pass to Jed Lowrie to force home Hall and Putnam's infield single that rolled down the third base line brought home Carter and put Johnson out of the game.

    California cut the gap to 7-4 in the top of the eighth when Nicholson drew a leadoff walk and Weiner followed with a homer but Stimpson came on in relief of Romanczuk to retire six of the seven batters he faced, allowing only a two-out walk to Matt Einspahr in the top of the ninth inning before inducing Allen Craig into a game-ending fielders choice.

    'It was a tough situation to come into because they had just hit a home run to get some momentum,' said Stimpson. 'I just wanted to throw strikes and see what they could do with it.'

    Stimpson's save was the 11th of the season for the Cardinal as the team neared the halfway point of the school record of 23 recorded by the 2001 club.

    Stanford has won 21 of its last 22 games at home and is 12-1 this season at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal is 50-9 overall in its last 59 contests dating back to last year.

    Stanford stranded seven runners, while the Golden Bears left eight on base. Stanford made the only error of the game and neither team had a double play.

    Fuld did not score in the contest and remains tied for the school's all-time lead in runs scored (244) with Mark Davis (1983-86). Fuld is among several other Stanford's career lists as he is now ranked third in hits (325) and at bats (955), tied for third in triples (16), tied for sixth in doubles (58) and seventh in games played (232).

    John Mayberry, Jr. was 0-for-4 to snap a season-high nine-game hit streak.

    The Cardinal continued its domination of opponents this year, winning by three or more runs for the 23rd time. Stanford has more than doubled the run output of its opponents (290-141) and is averaging 9.1 runs per contest. Stanford outhit California, 11-5, to record its 25th double-digit hit game of the campaign and its eighth in a row, while maintaining its team batting average at a season-high .321. Stanford did not hit a home run in the contest, snapping a string of seven consecutive contests with at least one long ball.

    Stanford leads the Pac-10 by one full game over Arizona (4-3), USC (4-3) and Washington (4-3) after Friday's action. California, Oregon State (4-5), UCLA (3-4) and Washington State (3-4) are all one game under .500, while Arizona State is 4-6.

    Stanford and California continue their current series with single games on Saturday and Sunday (1 pm, PDT). The Cardinal concludes a six-game homestand next week versus Saint Mary's (Tuesday, April 20, 6 pm, PT) and Sacramento State (Friday, April 23, 6 pm, PT).

    The Cardinal needs just one win in the final two games of the series versus California to remain unbeaten in 10 regular season series this season and extend its overall series win streak to 14 dating back to last year. Stanford has also won 21 of its last 22 series overall and five in a row against California.

    Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

    Friday's game was televised by Fox Sports Net on a tape-delayed basis and will be shown on Saturday, April 17 (3 pm, PT).

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