Cardinal Rally For 10-9 Win Over Arizona

Sam Fuld's two-run double in the bottom of the eighth highlighted a four-run inning as the Stanford Cardinal rallied for a 10-9 victory over the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal trailed 9-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but with four runs Stanford went ahead and held on for a key Pac-10 victory. Read on for a complete recap.

It was a wild one out at Sunken Diamond this afternoon as the Stanford Cardinal evened up their series with the Arizona Wildcats with a 10-9 victory.  The Cardinal trailed 9-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but with four runs scored highlighted by Sam Fuld's two-run double, Stanford took the lead and held it for the win.

The Cardinal jumped out ahead early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning on a Carlos Quentin home run.  Brian Hall singled with one out, and then Quentin belted a home run to left center field to put Stanford in front, 2-0.  Quentin saw his 26-game hitting streak come to an end last night when we went 0-for-3, but wasted no time today in getting back into the hit column.

Stanford starter Mark Romanczuk worked through the first two frames with relative ease.  The freshman fired a perfect 1-2-3 first inning and worked himself out of a jam in the second thanks to some shoddy Arizona base running.  With runners on the corners and two outs, David Decater, who was the runner at first, broke for second in an attempt to steal the bag.  Catcher Ryan Garko pump faked to second which fooled the runner at third base, Jeff Van Houten, as he started to come home.  Garko saw Van Houten coming and got him into a rundown as third baseman Brian Hall eventually tagged him out.

The Wildcats finally got to Romanczuk in the third inning on an inside-the-park grand slam off the bat of Brian Anderson.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and with two outs, Anderson smoked a ball to deep left center field.  Center fielder Sam Fuld raced back for the ball and tried to make a spectacular catch as he was crashing into the wall, but was unable to come up with it cleanly.  The ball bounced back toward the infield as left fielder Danny Putnam went after it.  Putnam had trouble picking up the ball in the outfield as the runners raced around the bases.  By the time Putnam got the ball back into the infield, it wasn't in-time as Tobin Swope's relay throw was late and Arizona had moved out ahead, 4-2.

The Cardinal would quickly respond though with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third to tie the game.  With two outs, Quentin singled and then Garko blasted his team-leading tenth home run of the season to even the score at 4-4.

The fourth and fifth innings went by fairly quickly as Romanczuk and UA starter Sean Rierson settled down.  Romanczuk gave up a two-out single in the fourth, but got out of the inning.  He also worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning.  Meanwhile, Rierson set down the Cardinal hitters in order in the fourth and fifth frames.

The top of the sixth was full of excitement as Arizona mounted a serious threat.  Brian Anderson led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball.  Romanczuk walked the next hitter, Van Houten, to put two runners on.  Richard Mercado then stepped up and was trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but Romanczuk fired four straight pitches out of the strike zone and the Wildcats had the bases loaded.  After Romanczuk fell behind the next batter, Derek Decater, 2-and-0, he was removed from the game in favor or David O'Hagan.  O'Hagan came on and worked wonders as he came back to get Decater to pop out on a 3-and-1 pitch.  John Hardy then flied out to shallow right field and on a 2-and-0 pitch, #9 hitter Jordan Brown flied out to left to end the inning.

Stanford once again went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, and then the Arizona hitters went back to work in the seventh.  O'Hagan struck out the first batter of the inning, but a double and a walk put two runners on.  Cleanup hitter Brian Anderson stepped up and singled home a run to put the Wildcats back ahead at 5-4.  O'Hagan then walked Van Houten to load the bases.  That ended O'Hagan's afternoon as Kodiak Quick was summoned from the bullpen.  Like O'Hagan in the previous inning, Quick came on and did a great job to put out the fire.  Mercado was the first batter he faced and he was retired on a check swing ground out to second.  That did score a run though to make it 6-4.  Quick then got Decater on a fly out to end the inning.

The Cardinal hitters, after struggling in the middle innings, finally got to Rierson in the bottom of the seventh.  John Mayberry, Jr. got things started with a single to center field.  He moved to second on a Swope ground out, and then Sam Fuld came through with a home run to deep center field to tie the game at 6-6.

The excitement was far from over though as Arizona struck for three runs in the top of the eighth to go back ahead.  Quick quickly retired the first two hitters of the inning, but a walk and a single put runners on the corners.  With Moises Duran at the plate, Quick uncorked a wild pitch to score the runner from third and then Duran crushed a no-doubt-about-it home run to left and all of a sudden, it was a 9-6 Arizona lead.

Stanford though wouldn't give up.  Ryan Garko led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk.  Danny Putnam was up next and he chopped a ball back to the pitcher Wes Zlotoff.  Zlotoff threw to second in an attempt to get the lead runner, but his throw was low and bounced into center field.  Everyone was safe.  Jed Lowrie followed the error with a hard hit single to right field to score Garko to cut the lead to 9-7.  Arizona coach Andy Lopez then brought into a lefty, Brian Pemble, to face left handed hitting Jonny Ash.  Coach Marquess countered with Donny Lucy, and the move paid off.  Lucy hit a hard ground ball to third and it took a bad hop right before reaching third baseman Brad Boyer.  Lucy reached first safely on what was officially scored a base hit and Putnam scored on the play to make it 9-8.  Pinch-hitter Chris Minaker then sacrificed the runners up to second and third for Tobin Swope.  Coach Lopez, with the lefty on the mound, elected to intentionally walk Swope to get a lefty vs. lefty matchup with Sam Fuld.  That move would not pay off as Fuld ripped a double over the center fielder Brian Anderson's head to score two runs which gave Stanford the lead at 10-9.  

Matt Manship came on in the ninth and worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning getting a fly out and two pop outs to secure the victory.

Game Notes:
* Sam Fuld was the offensive star today as he finished 2-for-4 with a double and a homer.  He also drove home four.

* Carlos Quentin also had a good day at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.  Jed Lowrie (2-for-4) was the only other Stanford player with a multi-hit game.

* Garko's home run was his team-leading tenth of the year.  Danny Putnam remains second on the club with nine while Carlos Quentin is third with now six longballs.

* Jonny Dyer picked up the win today, his second of the year.  Dyer came on in relief of Quick with two outs in the eighth and faced just one batter as he retired him on a pop out.

* Matt Manship recorded his team-leading fifth save of the year.

* Mark Romanczuk's final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO.  

* Stanford (10-4) is now 1 1/2 games ahead of Arizona State (8-5) in the Pac-10 standings.  Arizona State hosts Washington State tonight.  Arizona (8-6) falls to two games back.

Arizona       0 0 4  0 0 0  2 3 0   -   9  11   1
Stanford      2 0 2  0 0 0  2 4 x   -  10  12   0

WP: Jonny Dyer (2-1)
LP: Brian Pemble (2-3)
S: Matt Manship (5)

HR: Arizona - Moises Duran (11), Brian Anderson (12) ; Stanford - Sam Fuld (2), Carlos Quentin (6), Ryan Garko (10).

Records: Arizona (29-16, 8-6), #4 Stanford (28-12, 10-4)

* These teams will play the rubber game of this series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm.  Presumably, the Cardinal will start Ryan McCally (3-2, 4.96) while Arizona has yet to announce a starting pitcher.  A possible starter for the Wildcats is lefty Joe Little (4-3, 4.55) who has been in-and-out of the Arizona weekend rotation all year.

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