No. 1 Stanford Loses Second Straight At Arizona, 11-2

May 17, 2004

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    Tucson, Ariz. - No. 1 Stanford (39-10, 12-6 Pac-10) lost its second straight game for the first time this season with an 11-2 loss at Arizona (27-21-1, 9-9 Pac-10) in the rubber match of a three-game Pac-10 series at Jerry Kindall Field. Arizona's two-of-three series victory over the Cardinal dropped Stanford into second-place in the Pac-10, one-half game behind idle Washington (32-16-1, 14-7 Pac-10). Stanford's six losses are still one fewer than the Huskies and two less than third-place Arizona State and UCLA (both 10-8 in the Pac-10). Arizona moved into fifth place with its 9-9 conference mark.

    Stanford had moved up one spot to become the nation's top-ranked team earlier Monday as the Cardinal won two of its three games last week, while former No. 1 Texas lost both of the contests it played.

    Arizona starter John Meloan (6-0) earned the victory to remain unbeaten this season, allowing just two runs while spreading out 10 hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 8.0 innings before being removed from the game after allowing a leadoff single to Chris Carter in the ninth. Brad Mills (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO) came on to get the final three outs for the Wildcats.

    Carter (4-4, RBI) picked up the first four-hit game of his career to raise his season batting average to .311, the highest it has been since he was 1-for-2 in the first contest of the campaign. Chris Minaker (2-5, RBI) and Sam Fuld (2-4) also had multiple-hit contests for the Cardinal.

    Fuld broke the all-time Stanford and Pac-10 records for at bats during the contest. Fuld now has 1029 career at bats, moving past former record holder John Gall (1027 at bats/1997-2000). Fuld also extended his hit streak to nine games and raised his career hit total to 345 to move within 23 hits of Gall's Stanford and Pac-10 record total of 368. Fuld is already Stanford's all-time leader for runs scored (258), while also ranking among the school's all-time leaders in games played (249, #3), triples (16, #3T) and doubles (58, #6T). He has played in 242 consecutive Stanford games with 159 straight starts.

    Danny Putnam also extended his hit streak to nine games with an eighth inning bunt single.

    Jason Donald (3-4, RBI), Bill Rhinehart (3-5, 2B) and Nick Hundley (3-5, 2 RBI) three hits each for the Wildcats, while Trevor Crowe (2-3, HR, 3 RBI) had the only home run of the game and drove in three runs. Moises Duran added a pair of RBI.

    Stanford starter Matt Leva (4-1) suffered the first loss of his collegiate career while making his first Pac-10 start, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in a career-high 4.0 innings. Blake Holler (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER), Greg Reynolds (0.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER) and Jeff Stimpson (3.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 SO) also pitched for the Cardinal.

    The series loss gave the Cardinal back-to-back series losses for the first time since being swept at Cal State Fullerton (January 31 - February 2, 2003) and dropping two-of-three to Florida State (February 7-9) in the first two three-game series of last season. Stanford has also lost two consecutive series to Arizona for the first time since losing both series to the Wildcats during the 1993 campaign.

    The nine-run margin of deficit was Stanford's largest of the season and the most runs the Cardinal has been defeated by since losing to Rice by a count of 14-2 in the third and deciding game of the last year's Championship Series on June 23, 2003.

    Stanford jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. Carter started Stanford's third inning rally with a one-out infield single and moved to second on a two-out single by Fuld before Minaker came through with a clutch two-out RBI single to score Carter.

    John Mayberry, Jr. doubled with one out in Stanford's fourth before moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Donny Lucy.

    Arizona would score then score 11 unanswered runs, beginning with a two-run fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Rhinehart started a two-out rally with the first of four consecutive singles. Donald then followed with another single to put runners at first and second before back-to-back RBI singles from Crowe and Hundley plated Rhinehart and Donald.

    The Wildcats broke the game open with a six-run fifth inning that was the largest single frame against the Cardinal this season to take an 8-2 advantage. Hardy led off the inning with a double before Leva walked Jeff Van Houten and was removed from the game in favor of Holler. Jordan Brown moved the runners over to second and third with a groundout to Mayberry at first before Duran brought both home with a two-run single. Rhinehart then singled to chase Holler and Reynolds came on to hit Donald and walk Crowe with the bases loaded to force Duran before being quickly removed. Stimpson came on and allowed an RBI infield single to Hundley and an RBI groundout to Decater before the Wildcats scored their final run of the frame when Hardy reached on a throwing error by Minaker after a groundball to the Cardinal shortstop.

    Arizona scored another run in the seventh when Crowe led off the inning with a solo homer over the left field wall for his fourth long ball of the season.

    The Wildcats finished the game's scoring with two more runs in the eighth when Rhinehart started another two-out rally with a double. Pinch-runner Terrence Taylor then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from Donald. Crowe singled Donald over to third and the final Wildcat run came on a throwing error when Cardinal catcher Donny Lucy tried to catch Donald off third base.

    Stanford did manage 11 hits in the contest to give the Cardinal its 38th double-digit hit game of the campaign as the team continues to lead the Pac-10 with a .331 batting average that is .006 percentage points short of the school record of .337 posted by the 1982 club.

    Stanford also continues to lead the Pac-10 with a 4.37 ERA despite allowing 36 earned runs in the three-game series at Arizona for a 12.96 series ERA.

    Stanford left 10 runners on base, while Arizona stranded nine.

    Stanford committed two errors in the contest but was still able to maintain its .975 fielding percentage, which is just two percentage points shy of the school record .977 mark set by the 2001 club. Arizona did not commit an error.

    Stanford has struggled to 5-7 record in its last 12 road contests.

    The Cardinal plays its final six Pac-10 games at home with three-game sets scheduled against USC (Friday-Sunday, May 21-23, 6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PDT) and Arizona State (Friday-Sunday, May 28-30, 6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PDT). Stanford has won 15 straight contests at home and is 22-1 at Sunken Diamond this season. Dating back to a nine-game home win streak to end the 2003 campaign, the Cardinal has won 31 of its last 32 games at home. Stanford will host San Francisco prior to its final two regular season Pac-10 series in its final non-conference game of the regular season on Tuesday, May 18 (6 pm, PDT).

    Stanford needs just one more victory to extend its school record string of consecutive 40-win seasons to ten.

    Stanford will host its annual Youth Baseball Day on Sunday versus USC, while the Sixth Annual Town & Country Village Fireworks Show is scheduled to 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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