On Friday in Pullman, the Cardinal arrived at Bailey-Brayton Field with a hint of snow in the air. While the flurries held off for the game, the Cardinal chilled the Washington St. hitters, as John Hudgins would shut down the Cougs over nine innings to pick up his fifth win of the year.
Hudgins matched up against Tony Banaszak, a lefty with a deceptive 1-6 record, as he posted a 3.99 ERA coming into the game, and WSU had given him only 18 runs to work with in his first 8 starts. Banaszak rolled early, setting down the Cardinal six up, six down on fourteen pitches in the first two innings.
Hudgins had an easy first and ran into trouble in the second, when Wes Falkenborg hit a one out double and Jon Baeder walked. However, Hudgins got Derek Bruce on a nice snag of a liner caught by Jed Lowrie at 2B, and retired Dustin Realini on a pop out to end the inning.
Stanford struck first in the third. Tobin Swope led off the inning with a double, smoking a ball to left center. After Jonny Ash's sac bunt, Lowrie ripped a fly to left, deep enough to score Swope and make it 1-0 Stanford.
Hudgins walked the #9 hitter in the order in the 3rd inning, but was helped out by Ryan Garko's perfect throw which nailed Justin Hart trying to steal, and the Cougs were done in the third, having only batted one over the minimum. Stanford scored quickly in the fourth. Sam Fuld singled in the infield and Carlos Quentin doubled high off the wall in left, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Both Fuld and Quentin extended their hit streaks to 13 and 17 respectively. Garko singled up the middle, scoring Fuld while Quentin stopped at 3rd. However, that would be all for Stanford, as with 0 outs the Cardinal failed to score again. Two pop-ups (Mayberry and Lucy) and a Swope groundout killed the rally, but Stanford led 3-0.
As John Hudgins remained on cruise control, Stanford broke it open in the 6th. Through five, Banaszak had thrown just 48 pitches, going to a 2-ball count just once, and not going to a 3-ball count. But in the sixth with one out, he walked Quentin on four pitches and hit Ryan Garko. After a Mayberry groundout, Donny Lucy walked to load the bases. The walk was just Donny's second walk in his Stanford career (about 150 AB). With the bases loaded, Banaszak again lost control, hitting Tobin Swope to score Stanford's fourth run. However, the Cardinal weren't through. Still with the bases loaded, Jonny Ash got ahead in the count 3-1. He popped a ball up behind the plate, and while catcher Jon Baeder looked to measure it up correctly, he dropped it in foul ground giving Ash new life. He took advantage on 3-2, driving home 2 more runs to make it 5-0. Lowrie added an RBI single and Stanford held a 6-0 advantage.
Washington St. would score their only run in the sixth on a Jeremy Farrar home run. Other than that, Hudgins was nearly flawless. His final line: 9.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 129 pitches. The final score: Stanford 6, Washington St. 1.
Stanford 0 0 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 - 6 7 0
Washington State 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 1 7 0
WP: John Hudgins (5-2)
LP: Tony Banaszak (1-7)
-Hudgins CG was his fifth of his career, second of 2003.
-Hit streaks continue: Fuld's goes to 13, Quentin's to 17, and Garko's to 6.
-Brian Hall and John Mayberry continue to struggle. Hall went 0-5 and is now 1 for his last 29 and 0 for his last 12. Mayberry went 0-4 and is now 3 for his last 24.
-Jonny Ash the was only player in the lineup with more than one hit as he finished 2-3. Ash and Lowrie each had 2 RBI apiece.
-Shortest game in at least 2 years at 2:01.
-No errors today for only the second time since March 2, a span of 11 games.
-Temperature in Pullman at game time: a balmy 46 degrees.
Tomorrow will pit Stanford's Ryan McCally (3-1, 4.27 ERA) against righty Bryce Chamberlin (3-2, 5.73 ERA). Start time is 1:00 PM, not 12:00 PM as initially indicated. The game can be heard live on KZSU, 90.1 FM.