Card Cruise To 9-1 Victory

John Hudgins fired eight scoreless innings while the Cardinal offense pounded out 13 hits in a 9-1 win over the Sacramento State Hornets Friday night at Sunken Diamond. Hudgins gave up just two hits the entire evening while recording a career-high 11 strikeouts. Read on for all the details ...

The Stanford Cardinal opened up a two-game, home-and-home series with the Sacramento State Hornets on Friday night at Sunken Diamond with a 9-1 victory.  John Hudgins was brilliant on the mound tossing eight shutout innings yielding only two hits.  He struck out a career-high 11.  The Cardinal offense pounded out 13 hits led by Ryan Garko's 3-for-4, 2 RBI performance.

The Cardinal took the early lead with a single run against Sac State starter Steve Cuckovich in the bottom of the first.  Fuld drew a walk to start the inning and then stole second.  Brian Hall sacrificed Fuld to third and after Carlos Quentin struck out, Ryan Garko singled to left to bring home Fuld for a 1-0 lead.

The Hornets got a leadoff single in the top of the first from Tim Reimer, but he was stranded when Hudgins retired the next three batters in order.  Jesse Schmidt singled to lead off the second, but Hudgins struck out the next two hitters and then got Bret LeVier to pop out to end the inning.

After Stanford went down quietly without recording a hit in the second and third innings, the Cardinal extended their lead with three scores in the bottom of the fourth.  Left fielder Danny Putnam led off the fourth with an opposite field home run to left, his sixth bomb of the year.  Cuckovich then walked Jed Lowrie to put a runner on.  Lowrie promptly stole second and was sacrificed to third by Tobin Swope.  Donny Lucy then stepped up and grounded out to third, but with the infield playing back, Lowrie easily scored to extend the lead to 3-0.  #9 hitter Chris Carter then drew a walk.  Carter advanced to second on a Sam Fuld single and scored when the next hitter, Brian Hall, singled.  

The Cardinal added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to push their lead to 6-0.  Three consecutive singles by Quentin, Garko, and Putnam produced a run.  Stanford scored their sixth run of the game on a Donny Lucy RBI single three batters later.

Stanford finished their scoring with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Sam Fuld was hit by a pitch to start the inning and then advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Brian Hall singled to left to move Fuld to third and then Fuld scored when the left fielder bobbled the ball.  Hall would later score on a Ryan Garko single and Garko would score on a Tobin Swope infield single.

Meanwhile, John Hudgins was having his way with the Sac State hitters.  Hudgins worked perfect 1-2-3 third, fourth, sixth, and seventh innings.  Sac State got a two-out base runner in the fifth on a Brian Hall throwing error at third while Hudgins walked a batter with one out in the eighth.  The junior righthander was pulled after eight innings as he gave up just two hits and no runs.  Hudgins walked only one while picking up a career high 11 strikeouts.  Kodiak Quick came on in the ninth and walked the first two hitters he faced, one of which scored.

Game Notes:
* Carlos Quentin extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a single in the fifth inning.  The Stanford rightfielder finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk.

* Hudgins' record now stands at 6-2 while his ERA sits at an even 3.00.

* Multi-hit games today came from Ryan Garko (3-for-4, 2 RBI), Sam Fuld (2-for-3, 2B, SB), Brian Hall (2-for-4, RBI), Danny Putnam (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), and Tobin Swope (2-for-3, RBI).  Stanford finished the game with 13 hits.

* Donny Lucy made his second straight start at first base in place of John Mayberry, Jr. and went 1-for-4 with a single and two RBI.  His hit was against a left handed pitcher as Lucy has been torching lefties of late.

* Stanford has now won five consecutive games.

* Other Pac-10 action tonight : Arizona State 11, at California 3 ... at USC 7, UCLA 6 ... Washington 4, at Arizona 3 ... Washington State 10, at Oregon State 6 ... Stanford (7-2) is now 1 1/2 games ahead of Cal and 2 games ahead of ASU (4-3) and Washington (4-3).

Sacramento State    0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 1   -   1   3   1
Stanford            1 0 0  3 2 3  0 0 x   -   9  13   1

WP: John Hudgins (6-2)
LP: Steve Cuckovich (5-2)

HR: Stanford - Danny Putnam (6)

Records: Sacramento State (20-16), #4 Stanford (23-10)

* Weather permitting, these two teams will wrap-up this two-game series tomorrow afternoon at Hornet Field at 2:00pm.  Marshall Plouffe (5-2, 2.92) is scheduled to start for Sac State while Stanford has yet to announce a starting pitcher.

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