No. 2 Stanford Clinches Co-Pac-10 Title With 5-0 Win Over No. 16 Arizona State
May 28, 2004
Stanford, Calif. - No. 2 Stanford (43-11, 15-7 Pac-10) clinched a co-Pac-10 title with a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 16 Arizona State (39-15, 12-10 Pac-10) in the opener of a three-game Pac-10 series at Sunken Diamond on Friday. Danny Putnam (2-3, HR, 4 RBI) hit his second career grandslam in the bottom of the first inning and extended his career-high hit streak to 14 games, while Mark Romanczuk (7.0 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 5 SO) and David O'Hagan (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) combined on a three-hit shutout of the Sun Devils. The game was played in front of a season-high crowd of 4089 that was treated to the 6th Annual Town & Country Village Fireworks Show after the game.
Stanford has now won 20 conference titles in school history (includes shared titles and Pac-10 Southern Division) with 12 in the last 22 seasons and two in a row.
Stanford will conclude its regular season and current three-game series versus Arizona State with single contests on Saturday and Sunday with starts scheduled both days at 1 pm, PDT. Stanford can wrap-up its second outright conference title and the Pac-10's automatic berth to the 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships with one more victory.
'It's good to secure at least the co-title,' said Marquess. 'If we can win one more then we can take the league championship outright.'
Putnam's home run was his 15th of the season and moved him within one of team and Pac-10 leader Jed Lowrie (.408, 16 HR, 65 RBI), who was named a First Team Sports Weekly All-American on Thursday. Putnam has now hit safely in 26 of his last 27 games and raised his season batting average to .393.
Sam Fuld, who played in his 247th consecutive game and made his 164th straight start for the Cardinal, got Stanford's bottom of the first going when he drew a leadoff walk before back-to-back singles by Jonny Ash and Lowrie set up Putnam's bases-clearing blast.
'It was important to get ahead early in the game against an explosive team like Arizona State,' added Putnam, who posted his 29th multiple-hit contest of the campaign. 'I thought I hit it pretty well and at least enough to score a run, but I didn't think it was going to get out.'
Mayberry drove in Stanford's other run with a two-out RBI single in the fourth to score Ash, who had walked with one out to start the rally and moved to second on a two-out single by Putnam that kept the inning alive.
Tuffy Gosewisch (2-4, 2B) had two of Arizona State's three hits as the Sun Devils were shutout for only the second time in the school's last 555 contests dating back to 1995.
Romanczuk faced the minimum number of batters in four of his seven innings of work and never allowed a runner as far as third base. Sun Devil runners reached as far as second base only in the second and fifth frames.
'Mark Romanczuk had good stuff tonight and really competed,' added Marquess.
Romanczuk is now tied for the Pac-10 lead with 11 victories and improved his career record at Stanford to 23-4 (.852) to rank seventh on the school's all-time won-loss percentage list and move within two wins of the all-time Top 10 list in victories.
The combined shutout was Stanford's second of the season, while the three hits allowed by the Cardinal were its second lowest of the year.
Arizona State starter Jeff Mousser (6-4) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks with one strikeout over the first 4.0 innings. Quentin Andes (4.0 IP, 2 1 BB, 2 SO) held the Cardinal scoreless over the final four frames.
Putnam's grandslam snapped a string of five consecutive games without a homer for the Cardinal, its longest dry spell of the season. Stanford now has 85 home runs on the campaign, moving to within 17 long balls of the school record (102) set by the 1981 club.
Stanford left 10 runners on base, while the Sun Devils stranded seven.
Stanford was errorless for the 22nd time this season to improve its fielding percentage to .975, which is just two percentage points shy of the school record .977 mark set by the 2001 club.
Stanford's pitching staff held an opponent to five runs or less for the 38th time this season.
Stanford improved to 26-2 at Sunken Diamond this season with the victory and won for the 35th time in its last 37 home games overall dating back to last year. Stanford needs just one win in the final two games of the series to extend its regular season three-game home series win streak to 10. Stanford has won 24 of its last 27 series overall.
The Cardinal also needs just one win in the final two games of the series to run its season series win streak over Arizona State to four dating back to the last time Arizona State took a series from the Cardinal with two-of-three wins in Tempe in 2000.
Arizona State is scheduled to send RHP Jason Urquidez (11-2, 2.90) to the mound on Saturday versus Stanford RHP Jeff Gilmore (8-2, 4.61). Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for Sunday, which will serve as Senior/Fan Appreciation Day.
Tickets are available for the final two games of the Arizona State series at the Sunken Diamond Will Call window.
The 16 regional sites for the 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships will be announced live on ESPN on Sunday, May 30 (12:10 pm, PDT). The entire field for the 64-team event will be announced live on ESPN2 on Monday, May 31 (9:00 am, PDT). The Regionals will take place Friday-Sunday, June 4-6. Eight NCAA Super Regional sites will be announced live on ESPN during a SportsCenter broadcast on Sunday, June 6 (8 pm, PDT). The Super Regionals will be conducted from Friday-Monday, June 11-14. The games times for the 2004 College World Series will be announced on Monday, June 14 (5 pm, PDT). The College World Series takes place from Friday-Sunday, June 18-28, in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stanford has qualified for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships on 24 occasions and made 15 trips to the College World Series, including a current school record string of five straight CWS appearances.
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