No. 1 Stanford Loses Heartbreaker At Washington, 3-2 In 10 Innings
May 7, 2004
Seattle, Wash. - Nick Batkoski's one-out bloop single into shallow right field with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th inning scored Brent Lillibridge with the winning run to lift No. 21 Washington (27-14-1, 11-5 Pac-10) to a 3-2 upset victory over No. 1 Stanford (36-7, 10-3 Pac-10) in the opener of a key three-game series at Husky Ballpark on Friday night. Washington cut Stanford's lead to just one-half game with a victory that also snapped Stanford's five-game win streak. Washington's Kyle Larsen hit a key one-out solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Batkoski (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI) and John Otness (2-4) had two hits each for the Huskies, while Danny Putnam (2-3) was the only Stanford player with more than one hit and also walked twice.
Washington reliever Tim Lincecum, who had been announced as the probable starter for the Huskies in Sunday's series finale earlier in the week, pitched the final 2.0 scoreless innings to earn the victory and improve to 6-1. Lincecum scattered a pair of hits and one walk with two strikeouts in his outing after coming on to start the ninth inning in relief of Husky starter Kyle Parker (8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO), who retired the Cardinal in order in the second, third and fifth frames.
Stanford reliever Jeff Stimpson (1-2) took the loss after coming on in relief of Cardinal starter Mark Romanczuk to start the bottom of the 10th. Stimpson hit Lillibridge before Greg Isaacson's sacrifice bunt moved Lillibridge to second base. Zach Clem then hit a hard groundball that Cardinal third baseman Adam Sorgi came up with on a diving play but through wide to first, allowing Clem to reach safely and Lillibridge to move to third. Blake Holler then came on in relief of Stimpson and hit Larsen to load the bases, setting up Batkoski's game-winner that fell just in front of a diving Jim Rapoport in right field.
The one-run loss was Stanford's fourth of the season as the Cardinal has lost each of the last four one-run games it has played in. The extra-inning defeat was Stanford's first in three extra-inning contests this season.
Romanczuk (9-1) missed an opportunity to become the Pac-10's first 10-game winner despite throwing a career-high-tying 9.0 innings and allowing just two runs on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in a no-decision outing.
A Stanford win would have given the 2004 Cardinal the best record in school history after 43 games but the mark still stands with the 1967 team that finished its season with a 36-6-1 record and a third-place showing at the College World Series.
Stanford started the scoring with a run in the first inning on an RBI single by John Mayberry, Jr. Chris Minaker singled with one out to start the rally and stole second base with two outs before Putnam drew a walk to set the stage for Mayberry.
Washington answered with a run in the bottom of the first frame. Clem started the rally with a two-out double and Batkoski followed two batters later with an RBI double to score Clem, but Stanford escaped any further damage when Romanczuk got Otness to pop out to Mayberry at first base with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Stanford took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Putnam led off with single and Mayberry walked before Donny Lucy moved them to second and third base with a sacrifice bunt and Brian Hall brought Putnam home with an RBI groundout.
Stanford put the leadoff runner on base in the sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th innings but failed to score each time and left eight stranded for the game, including five in scoring position.
Romanczuk worked out of a one-out bases loaded jam in the seventh by striking out Isaacson and retiring Clem on a groundout to Sorgi at third as Washington left three of the 10 runners it stranded in the contest during the frame.
Despite the loss, Stanford has still won 12 of its last 14 games overall but is just 3-4 in its last seven road contests. Stanford has dropped three of its last four games at Washington dating back to the Huskies two-of-three series victory over the Cardinal in Seattle during the 2002 season.
Stanford did not homer to end a string of five straight games with at least one long ball. Stanford has 74 homers on the season and is threatening to break the school record of 102 set by the 1997 club. Stanford has homered at least once in 33 of its 43 games this season.
Stanford had just seven hits in the contest, marking only the second time in the last 19 games and the ninth time this season that the Cardinal has not had 10 or more hits in a game. The Cardinal went without an extra-base hit for only the fourth time this year.
Stanford committed the only error of the game but maintained its .975 fielding percentage that is just two percentage points shy of the school record .977 mark set by the 2001 club. Stanford's batting average dropped three points to .333, which is four percentage points behind the school record .337 mark posted by the 1981 team. Stanford improved its team ERA to 3.88. The Cardinal leads the Pac-10 in all three categories.
In the top of the first inning, Sam Fuld (1-5, RBI) became only the second player in Stanford history to reach 1,000 at bats. His single in the tenth inning moved his career hit total to 337 and within 31 of all-time Stanford and Pac-10 record holder John Gall (368, 1997-2000). He also now has 1004 career at bats, just 23 shy of Gall's school record of 1027. Fuld is already Stanford's all-time leader for runs scored (254), while also ranking among the school's all-time lists in triples (16, #3T), doubles (58, #6T) and games played (243, #7). He has played in 236 consecutive Stanford games with 153 straight starts.
Stanford and Washington continue their three-game series on Saturday (1 pm, PDT) and Sunday (1 pm, PDT). Stanford RHP Jeff Gilmore (7-2, 4.46) is scheduled to face Washington RHP Matt Kasser (2-0, 7.86) in Saturday's contest to be televised live by FOX Sports Northwest. The right-handed Lincecum (6-1, 3.64) is still scheduled to start Sunday for the Huskies, while the Cardinal has not announced a starter. Stanford needs to win both games to extend its regular season three-game series win streak to 16. The Cardinal has not lost a three-game regular season series since Arizona took two-of-three at Stanford (April 25-27, 2003).
Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.