Wildcats Defeat Cardinal 11-6 To Win Series

Over the last four years, the Cardinal have been a very difficult team to beat at Sunken Diamond. In fact, before today, the last time Stanford lost a Pac-10 series at home was in April of 1999 to the USC Trojans. The key phrase in the last sentence: until today. The Cardinal fell behind early and could not match the offensive firepower of Arizona, losing the game and the series to the Wildcats.

Arizona 11, Stanford 6

The last time the Cardinal dropped the season series to the Arizona Wildcats was back in 1993. However, today the Wildcats snapped a nine-year drought by defeating the Cardinal by a final of 11-6, taking two of three from Stanford this weekend. For a team that has a reputation for good pitching, the Cardinal did not throw well this weekend and it burned them in the end.

Things got off to a bad start in the first. Ryan McCally looked sharp in relief on Tuesday at Sac. St., just a few days removed from a short, 1.2 inning start against Oregon St. He retired the first two batters  of the game, but Derek Decater hit a double down the line and Bryan Anderson followed it up with a single up the middle. It was Anderson's 6th hit and 7 RBI of the series, and U of A had a 1-0 lead.

Joe Little started for ASU and kept the Cardinal off balance, allowing just a two out double in the first to Carlos Quentin but no more, preserving the Arizona lead. In the second, Trevor Crowe led off with a well-struck double to left and after a 4-3 groundout, Jordan Brown roped a Sac Fly to right, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead. However, they were not through, as Brian Boyer doubled to right, just fair inside the first base line. He stole third on a 3-2 pitch to Moises Duran that was low, putting runners at the corners. Decater bounced a ball through the right side past Jed Lowrie, scoring Boyer and keeping runners at the corners. That would do it for McCally who lasted just an inning and two thirds. Matt Manship came on in long relief and committed a controversial balk that scored the fourth Arizona run of the inning, and the inning ended with Arizona leading 5-0.

Stanford would score a run in the second on a Tobin Swope RBI 1B (his second hit in 16 AB) and tied it up in the third. Joe Little walked Hall and gave up a bloop single to Quentin to lead off the inning. After a Garko fielders' choice to keep runners at first and second, Danny Putnam walked to load the bases. Donny Lucy singled through the left side to score one, but with Garko being momentarily held at third, Decater playing LF let the ball go under his glove, and Garko and Putnam raced home. It was a costly error, as Lucy ended up on third, to be later singled home by John Mayberry. The Cardinal drove Little from the game and looked much better, tied 5-5 after three.

Manship cruised along, allowing just one hit in the fourth. The hit was the first Manship has given up since April 5th against WSU, a time span in which he has made four outings. In the fifth, Stanford took the lead for the only time today, as Jed Lowrie doubled home Danny Putnam with two outs. Lowrie missed his first career homer by just inches, and Stanford had a 6-5 lead.

The lead would not last long. John Hardy rapped a one out single in the 6th, his third hit of the day. After a lineout by Boyer to left for the second out, a wild pitch and a Duran double scored Hardy to tie the game. Decater followed with a single up the middle, scoring Duran and giving U of A a 7-6 lead after 6.

The scoring continued in the 7th, to the chagrin of Manship and the Cardinal. Anderson grounded to third to lead off the inning, but Hall overthrew Mayberry at first and Anderson went to second. Jeff Van Houten hit a ball the other way, about a foot fair down the right field line, scoring Anderson while Van Houten ended up on third with a triple. Manship was relieved by David O'Hagan, who once again came into the game with a runner on third, no outs, and a 2-ball count. However, O'Hagan retired Crowe and Nick Hundley with the runner holding at third. He looked to be out of the jam, but Pat Reilly lined a ball of O'Hagan's knee for an infield single, giving Arizona a 9-6 lead.

Arizona added two more runs in the 8th on a John Hardy homer and a Derek Decater Sac fly, and went on the hold the Cardinal scoreless over the last 4.1 innings to gain the victory today and the series victory this weekend.

Arizona       1 4 0  0 0 2  2 2 0   -   11  17   1
Stanford      0 1 4  0 1 0  0 0 0   -    6  10   1

WP: Kevin Guyette (3-3)
LP: Matt Manship (1-3)

Arizona (30-16, 9-6 Pac-10), Stanford (28-13, 10-5 Pac-10)

-Stanford loses its first Pac-10 series at home since April 1999.
-Arizona defeats the Cardinal in a three-game series for the first time since 1993.
-The bullpen for Arizona allowed just 1 run over the last 6.1 innings.
-John Hardy went 4-4 with a HR for Arizona while Derek Decater went 3-4 with 3 RBI.
-Fuld and Hall for the Cardinal went a combined 0-9 in the top two lineup spots.
-Tobin Swope broke out of an 0-11 slump with an RBI single in the second.
-Manship took the hard luck loss despite allowing just 2 earned runs in long relief. McCally gets a no-decision, but his final line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R.
-Mark Jecmen pitched for the first time since February 28th and did a good job, pitching a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one and allowing one hit.
-The Cardinal are still in first place in the Pac-10 with a 10-5 conference record, tied with ASU who also is 10-5 after a 25-0 victory today. Arizona and USC are both 9-6, just a game back in this very competitive conference.
-Stanford gets a chance to get back on the winning track on Tuesday against Santa Clara, who Stanford has beat three times this year. First pitch in 6:00 PM. The Cardinal travel to Los Angeles next weekend to play the USC Trojans in a huge Pac-10 series at Dedeaux Field. Stanford took two of three from USC earlier in the season in non conference play.

Chad Goldberg is the voice of Stanford Baseball on KZSU, 90.1 FM.

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