Quentin's Home Run Lifts Stanford To Victory

Carlos Quentin's two-run, ninth inning home run gave Stanford a dramatic 12-11 victory over the Washington Huskies on Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. It was a back-and-forth affair, but thanks to Quentin's heroics the Cardinal were the last team standing. Read on for a complete recap of this thrilling Stanford victory.

It was a game for the ages on Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  The Washington Huskies and the Stanford Cardinal traded punches all afternoon and the Cardinal was the last team standing thanks to a Carlos Quentin two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.  The teams combined for 23 runs and 28 hits on the afternoon as Stanford won their sixth consecutive series with a 12-11 victory.

The 24th ranked Huskies jumped all over Stanford starter Mark Romanczuk scoring four runs in the first inning.  Tila Reynolds led off the game with a single and was then sacrificed to second.  The next hitter was Aaron Hathaway and the Husky catcher promptly singled home Reynolds for a 1-0 UW lead.  After Chad Boudon singled to put two runners on, Mike Wagner crushed a deep home run to left field and all of a sudden, it was 4-0 game.

The Cardinal responded though in the bottom of the first against Washington starter Trevor Gibson.  Sam Fuld got things started with a single and after Brian Hall flied out, Carlos Quentin was hit by the pitch to put two runners on base.  Ryan Garko was up next and Garko singled through the right side to load the bases for Danny Putnam.  Putnam worked the count full and then drew a walk forcing home Fuld to make the score 4-1.  Gibson then hit John Mayberry, Jr. with a pitch bringing home Quentin to cut the lead to 4-2.  Jonny Ash then stepped up and grounded a ball to the left side.  Shortstop Tila Reynolds did a great job just to get to the ball, but is throw to second base in an attempt to force out Mayberry, Jr. was not in time which made the score 4-3.  Tobin Swope capped the inning off with a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Putnam to tie the game at 4-4.

The Huskies continued to hit Romanczuk as they scored single runs in the second and third innings to move back in front.  In the second, Greg Issacson led off with a single and scored when Hathaway singled three batters later.  In the third, Mike Wagner connected on his second homer of the game, a solo shot, to put UW ahead 6-4.  Romanczuk was pulled after three innings as he gave up six runs on eight hits.

Matt Manship came on in the fourth inning and worked around an error and two walks to set down the Huskies.  Washington starter Trevor Gibson was also pulled after three innings.  The junior righthander after giving up four runs in the first inning, threw scoreless second and third innings but had to work in-and-out of trouble.  In his three innings pitched, Gibson gave up three hits, walked three batters, and hit four.  Freshman Matt Kasser came on to pitch in the bottom of the fourth and struggled mightily.  He walked Hall to lead off the inning and then gave up a single to Quentin.  Ryan Garko was up next and the senior catcher smoked a deep home run to left field, his sixth of the season, to put Stanford in the lead at 7-6.

The Huskies tied the ballgame up with a run in the top of the fifth against Manship.  With one out, John Otness tripled when he hit a line drive to right field and Carlos Quentin was unsuccessful on his dive attempt.  The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Otness easily made it into third base.  Brent Lillibridge was up next and the UW center fielder singled to right field to score Otness which tied the game at 7-7.

Kasser went back out to the mound in the bottom of the fifth and continued to struggle.  He walked Swope to start the inning and then Jed Lowrie singled to put two runners on base.  The hot hitting Sam Fuld then stepped up and ripped a triple off the wall in right center field scoring both runners.  Fuld would later score on a Ryan Garko ground out to give Stanford a 10-7 lead.  The Cardinal easily could have had more that inning as with runners at the corners and two outs, John Mayberry, Jr. crushed a ball to center field only to have Lillibridge make an outstanding leaping catch right in front of the warning track.

Neither team scored in the sixth inning and then the Huskies went back in front with a four-spot in the top of the seventh.  With one out, Manship hit Mike Wagner with a pitch and then gave up consecutive singles to Kyle Larsen and John Otness to load the bases.  That brought Brent Lillibridge to the plate and the UW #8 hitter came through in a big way hitting a grand slam home run over the fence in left center field to put the Huskies back in front at 11-10.  Manship finished the inning, but the damage had already been done.

Stanford had a great opportunity to score in the bottom of the seventh, but came up empty-handed.  With runners on first and second and one out, Coach Marquess sent Donny Lucy to the plate to pinch hit for Danny Putnam.  Lucy crushed a ball to deep center field, seemingly over the head of Lillibridge in center.  But once again, the Washington centerfielder make a spectacular play as he leapt and made a great catch on a ball directly over his head robbing Lucy of extra bases.  John Mayberry, Jr. then grounded out to end the inning.

Kodiak Quick relieved Manship to start the eighth and walked two batters, but got out of the inning unscored upon.  Stanford got a leadoff single from Jonny Ash in the bottom of the inning, but could do nothing with it.  The Huskies had a chance to pad their lead in the top of the ninth as they put runners on second and third with just one out against Quick.  But the freshman righthander got two ground ball outs without any runs coming across to score.

So that set the stage for a dramatic bottom of the ninth.  With David Dowling on the hill, Brian Hall worked a walk to lead off the inning.  Carlos Quentin was up next and on a 1-and-2 pitch, the junior rightfielder hit a no-doubt-about-it home run to left field to give Stanford a dramatic 12-11 win.

Game Notes :
* The home run for Quentin was just second of the season, but with his 3-for-4 performance today, he's now hitting a team-leading .392.  His hitting streak is also now at 15 games.

* Sam Fuld extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 3-for-6 afternoon.  Other multi-hit games today came from Ryan Garko (3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI), Jonny Ash (2-for-5, RBI), and Jed Lowrie (2-for-4).

* After a 7-6 month of February, the Cardinal went 9-2 in the month of March.  Stanford recorded double digit hit totals in all 11 of those games and have now won six straight series'.

* Kodiak Quick picked up the win, his first ever at Stanford, with two scoreless innings of relief work.

* For Washington today, Mike Wagner had an outstanding day at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with two homers and four RBI.  Brent Lillibridge also had a great game with the grand slam homer in the seventh inning and numerous great plays in center field.

Washington     4 1 1  0 1 0  4 0 0   -   11  14   0
Stanford       4 0 0  3 3 0  0 0 2   -   12  14   1

WP: Kodiak Quick (1-0)
LP: David Dowling (5-2)

HR: Washington - Mike Wagner 2 (7, 8), Brent Lillibridge (2) ; Stanford - Ryan Garko (6), Carlos Quentin (2)

Records: #24 Washington (19-9, 1-2), #8 Stanford (18-9, 4-2)

* Stanford will next be in action on Tuesday night with a single non-conference game against the USF Dons at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm.  The Cardinal will travel to Pullman this weekend for a three-game set with the Washington State Cougars.

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