No. 1 Stanford Drops Rubber Game Of Series At No. 21 Washington, 9-2

May 9, 2004

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    Seattle, Wash. - No. 1 Stanford (37-8, 11-4 Pac-10) dropped the rubber game of a key three-game series at No. 21 Washington (28-15-1, 12-6 Pac-10) by a score of 9-2 on Sunday at Husky Ballpark. Tim Lincecum (7-1) struck out 13 Stanford hitters in a season-high 8.0 innings of work to pick up his second win of the series, allowing Stanford's only two runs on solo homers by Chris Carter and Danny Putnam while spreading out seven hits and four walks.

    'Tim Lincecum pitched a great game and pretty much dominated us,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We really didn't much going at all the entire game.'

    Washington's series victory moved the Huskies to within one-half game of Stanford in the Pac-10 standings. Stanford's series loss was its first of the season as the Cardinal had a string of 15 consecutive regular season three-game series victories snapped. The last team to have won a series against the Cardinal was Arizona when the Wildcats took two-of-three at Sunken Diamond from April 25-27, 2003.

    John Otness (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) and Brent Lillibridge (1-4, HR, 2 RBI) both went deep for the Huskies, while Greg Isaacson (2-4, RBI) and Matt Lane (2-5) added two hits each to lead Washington's 12-hit offense.

    'Washington also got some timely hits especially with their two home runs early in the game and was able to build on that,' added Marquess.

    Putnam (2-4, HR, RBI) was the only Stanford player with more than one hit as the Cardinal was outhit, 12-8. Stanford finished with a season-high-tying 15 strikeouts.

    Stanford starter Greg Reynolds (3-1) suffered his first collegiate loss, lasting just 2.1 innings and allowing four runs on four hits and three walks without striking out a batter.

    Washington would score in each of its first five trips to the plate.

    Lillibridge set the tone for the day when he led off the bottom of the first inning with a long home run over the left field fence on the first pitch he saw from Reynolds for his ninth homer of the season, marking the sixth time this season he has homered to lead off either the top or bottom of the first inning.

    Otness hit a line drive two-run homer down the left field line in the second inning to increase the Husky lead to 3-0. Aaron Hathaway had walked in front of Otness and also scored on the play.

    Washington added another run in the third inning. Kyle Larsen singled with one out to start the rally and Nick Batkoski walked before Reynolds was removed from the game in favor of Matt Manship (1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO). Lane then singled to load the bases and Hathaway followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Larsen.

    Stanford seemed to have a big inning brewing in the top of the fourth but a key defensive play by Washington stopped the Cardinal momentum. Minaker, Lowrie and Putnam started Stanford's inning with three consecutive singles but Husky rightfielder Taylor Johnson threw a strike to Hathaway behind the plate on Putnam's single to cut down Minaker trying to score from second. Lincecum then settled down and struck out Donny Lucy before retiring Brian Hall on a fly out to Johnson to end the Cardinal threat and maintain a 4-0 Washington lead.

    The Huskies got another single run in the fourth. Manship struck out Johnson to start the inning but Washington then loaded the bases when Lillibridge walked, Isaacson singled and Clem was hit by a pitch before Larsen brought home Lillibridge with a sacrifice fly.

    Stanford scored its first run of the game when Carter led off the top of the fifth inning with a line drive home run over the right field wall for his sixth long ball of the campaign.

    Washington responded to Carter's blast by breaking the game open with four runs in its half of the fifth. Lane started the rally with a leadoff single before Cardinal third baseman Chris Lewis committed a costly error on a potential double play hit by Hathaway. Otness immediately made the Cardinal pay with an RBI single that scored Lane and chased Manship. Cardinal reliever Blake Holler (0.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB) entered the game and issued back-to-back walks to Johnson and Lillibridge to force in a run before a sacrifice fly by Isaacson scored Otness. Matt Leva (2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 SO) came into the contest and got the final two outs of the inning but the first was an RBI groundout by Clem that scored Johnson to cap the rally.

    Putnam finished the game's scoring with his 13th homer of the season, a one-out solo shot over the left field wall in the eighth inning.

    Will Fenton pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Huskies, striking out two and allowing one hit.

    Stanford has now posted just a 4-5 record in its last nine road games overall and has lost two-of-three games in each of the last two series the Cardinal has played versus Washington in Seattle.

    'It's good to have a challenge every year before the postseason,' reflected Putnam on Stanford's first series loss of the season. 'The key will be to see how we respond to that challenge.'

    Washington turned the only double play of the game, while Stanford committed the contest's only error but was able to maintain its Pac-10 leading .974 fielding percentage that is just three percentage points behind the school record .977 mark posted by the 2001 club.

    After not homering in the first two games of the series, the Cardinal did finally break through with the homers by Carter and Putnam. Stanford leads the Pac-10 with 76 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 34 of its 45 games this season.

    With only eight hits, Stanford's batting average dropped two points to .332, which is five percentage points behind the school record of .337 posted by the 1981 team that the Cardinal has been chasing all season. Stanford's team ERA jumped eight points to 3.92.

    The seven-run loss was the largest margin of deficit this season for the Cardinal and marked the first time the team has lost in the 23 games it has played this season that have been decided by five or more runs. Stanford's previous four losses had all been by one run. The Cardinal has been dominant this season, more than doubling the run total of its opponents (401-195) as 32 of its 37 wins have been by three or more runs while 22 have been by five or more runs.

    Sam Fuld (1-4) picked up the 340th hit of his career to move within 28 of all-time Stanford and Pac-10 record holder John Gall (368, 1997-2000). His four at bats also moved his career total to 1112, just 15 shy of Gall's school record of 1027. Fuld is already Stanford's all-time leader for runs scored (254), while ranking among the school's all-time lists in triples (16, #3T), doubles (58, #6T) and games played (245, #6T). He has played in 238 consecutive Stanford games with 155 straight starts.

    Stanford will host Santa Clara in a non-conference game on Tuesday, May 11 (6 pm, PDT) before going on the road again for a three-game Pac-10 series at Arizona next Saturday-Monday, May 15-17 (7 pm, 7 pm, 1 pm, MST).

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

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