No. 2 Stanford Rallies From Early Deficit For 11-9 Win At Arizona

May 15, 2004

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    Tucson, Ariz. - No. 2 Stanford (39-8, 12-4 Pac-10) gave up five runs in the bottom of the first inning but rallied for an 11-9 victory over Arizona (25-21-1, 7-9 Pac-10) in a Pac-10 conference game at Kindall Field. The victory kept the first-place Cardinal percentage points ahead of Washington (32-15-1, 14-6 Pac-10) in the Pac-10 standings. Brian Hall (2-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, SB) drove in three runs with a key third inning bases loaded triple, while Danny Putnam (3-5, RBI) continued his hot stretch by hitting safely for the 19th time in his last 20 games. Chris Lewis hit the game's only home run and drove in a pair of runs, while Jed Lowrie (2-5, RBI) had a multiple-hit game and Chris Carter picked up a pair of RBI.

    Mark Romanczuk (10-1) picked up the victory to become one of two Pac-10 pitchers to reach the 10-win mark on Saturday, while David O'Hagan pitched the final 2.0 innings to earn his sixth save of the season. Romanczuk struck out eight batters, while allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks over the first 5.0 innings. O'Hagan scattered two runs and two hits with one walk. Blake Holler (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) also pitched in relief for the Cardinal as the three Stanford hurlers combined for 13 strikeouts.

    The comeback win was the 17th of the season for Stanford, who scored in each of the first six innings.

    Putnam's seventh consecutive multiple-hit game and ninth in his last 10 contests raised his team-high batting average to .398. He also has a team-high 26 multiple-hit games this season, including a team-best nine efforts with three or more hits. Putnam and Sam Fuld both extended their overall hit streaks to seven games.

    Richard Mercado (3-3, 2B, RBI), Jason Donald (2-5, 3 RBI) and Jeff Van Houten (2-5, 3B) had multiple-hit contests for the Wildcats, while Trevor Crowe doubled and drove in three runs.

    Arizona starter Koley Kolberg (7-5) took the loss, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and five walks with three strikeouts over the first 4.2 innings.

    Stanford came up with an unearned run in the top of the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Chris Minaker started the rally with a one-out walk and moved all the way to third base on an errant pickoff attempt by Kolberg. Putnam came through two batters later with a clutch two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Minaker.

    Van Houten started Arizona's five-run bottom of the first with a one-out single. Romanczuk then hit Jordan Brown and walked Moises Duran to load the bases before Donald came through with a two-RBI single to score Van Houten and Brown. Mercado followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate Duran and Crowe grounded out to Minaker at short to bring in Donald. Hundley then reached on a fielding error on a groundball to Lewis at third to bring Mercado home and finish the rally.

    Stanford began its comeback with a pair of runs in the second. Donny Lucy drew a leadoff walk before Hall banged a double off the right field wall to give the Cardinal runners at second and third with no outs. Carter then brought home Lucy with a sacrifice fly and Hall scored on an RBI groundout by Lewis.

    Arizona added a run in the second when Van Houten tripled off the outstretched glove of a retreating Fuld in center field and Brown fouled out to Hall deep down the right field line to bring home Van Houten.

    Stanford took the lead for good with a four-run fourth frame as Hall came up with his key three-RBI bases loaded triple in the inning to tie the contest before coming home on a two-out RBI single by Carter. Lowrie singled up the middle with one out to start the inning before a two-out single by John Mayberry, Jr. and a walk to Lucy kept the rally alive for the heroics of Hall and Carter.

    Romanczuk settled in during the third, fourth and fifth innings as he recorded five of the nine outs via strikeout, while allowing only a single by Mercado in the third and a pair of walks in the fifth. He was replaced by Holler after walking Hundley to lead off the sixth.

    Stanford added to its 7-6 advantage with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

    In the fourth, Fuld drew a leadoff walk and stole second before moving to third on a single by Minaker and coming home on an RBI single from Lowrie. The Wildcats were able to get out of inning without any further damage when Kolberg got Lucy to hit an infield fly and Hall was robbed of a possible bases clearing extra-base hit when Duran stopped a hard grounder down the third base line and tagged the bag for a fielders choice.

    Lewis accounted for Stanford's fifth inning run with a long one-out homer over the left field wall

    Arizona committed two of its three errors in the sixth to give the Cardinal an unearned run. Putnam singled with one out and moved to second on a balk by Arizona reliever Mark Melancon (4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) before scoring on back-to-back miscues when Lucy reached on a throwing error by Wildcat second baseman John Hardy and Bies failed to catch a pickoff attempt by Melancon.

    Arizona made some noise with a run in the eighth but O'Hagan fought through one of his most challenging performances to squelch the rally. Mercado drew a leadoff walk before an RBI double by Crowe scored Mercado and chased Holler. O'Hagan came in but uncorked a wild pitch and hit pinch-hitter Brad Boyer before finally recording the first out of the inning by getting Derek Decater to pop out to Minaker at short. O'Hagan loaded the bases when he hit Hardy but got two more pop-outs from Van Houten and pinch-hitter Bill Rhinehart to get out of the jam.

    Stanford came up with an insurance run in the ninth when Hall walked with one out, stole his team-leading 12th base of the season and scored on a clutch two-out RBI single by Adam Sorgi.

    O'Hagan was touched for two rare runs in the ninth inning but again worked his way out of a potentially disastrous situation to preserve the Cardinal lead. O'Hagan walked Duran to lead off the inning before a passed ball by Lucy allowed him to move to second. Donald then came through with an RBI single up the middle and Mercado hit a ground rule double to put runners on second and third with no outs and allow the tying run to come to the plate. Crowe took another run off the Cardinal lead on an RBI groundout that score Donald but O'Hagan settled down to strike out Boyer and force Decater into a game-ending fly out to left.

    Both teams left nine runners on base

    Stanford committed just one error to maintain its .975 fielding percentage, which is just two percentage points shy of the school record .977 mark set by the 2001 club. The Cardinal also leads the Pac-10 with a .329 batting average and a 3.95 ERA.

    There were no double plays in game.

    Fuld's ninth inning single that extended his hit streak to seven games also increased his career hit total to 342, while his five official at bats give him 1020 for his career. Fuld moved to within 26 hits and just 10 at bats of all-time Stanford and Pac-10 record holder John Gall (368 hits/1027 at bats, 1997-2000). Fuld is already Stanford's all-time leader for runs scored (256), while also ranking among the school's all-time leaders in triples (16, #3T), games played (247, #4T) and doubles (58, #6T). He has played in 240 consecutive Stanford games with 157 straight starts.

    Hall's two-hit game continued his torrid hitting in conference play as he has an updated .557 batting average in 16 Pac-10 contests.

    The 11 runs scored by the Cardinal helped the club snap out of a five-game stretch in which it had averaged just 4.2 runs per contest, well below its current season average of 8.8 that ranks ninth in the country. Stanford has more than doubled the run total of its opponents this season (415-205) and has scored in double digits on 21 occasions. Stanford also had 13 hits in the contest to give the Cardinal its 36th double-digit hit game of the campaign but only its second in the last five games.

    Stanford and Arizona will continue the three-game series on Sunday (7 pm, MST) and Monday (1 pm, MST). Stanford is scheduled to start RHP Jeff Gilmore (8-2, 4.30) versus Arizona RHP Kevin Guyette (6-5, 6.24) on Sunday. Arizona has announced RHP John Meloan as its probable starter for Monday's series finale, while Stanford has not announced its probable pitcher.

    Stanford needs just one more victory to extend its school record string of 40-win seasons to 10 in a row.

    The Cardinal will return home for four home games next week, hosting San Francisco in its final regular season non-conference game of the season on Tuesday, May 18 (6 pm, PDT) before welcoming USC for a three-game Pac-10 series Friday-Sunday, May 21-23 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PDT). The Cardinal will finish its 2004 regular season by hosting Arizona in a three-game conference series Friday-Sunday, May 28-30 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). Stanford will host its annual Youth Baseball Day on Sunday versus the Trojans, while the Sixth Annual Town & Country Village Fireworks Show will take place after the series-opener against Arizona State.

    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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