After Stanford's 6-4 victory on Saturday, California was eliminated from any hope of playing in the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday, Cal easily could have laid down, and let Stanford sweep for the second time this season. However, Cal put up another strong fight, but the Cardinal emerged victorious again, in a game that had nearly everything, including Mark Marquess getting ejected in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Ryan Garko said, "Good teams find a way to win close games. The better team won all three."
Tim Cunningham got the start for Stanford and while he was wild from the start, he pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. So did Joe Todoroff for the Bears, who allowed just one hit in the first two innings, a single by Jed Lowrie in the second.
In the third, Sam Fuld doubled with one out, and Jonny Ash drove him home with a double to left. Ash would single later in the game, and had 11 hits against Cal this season, including six in this series. He has played very well against his hometown team, and his third inning double gave the Cardinal an early 1-0 lead.
Cal finally got to Cunningham in the fourth inning after stranding four on base in the first three innings, including three in the fourth, when Conor Jackson popped out with the bases loaded. Jeff Dragicevich got his first hit of the series with a one out double off Cunningham in the fourth. After a walk to James Holder, Cunningham gave up a hard hit double to Justin Nelson, and Cal scored their first run. After freshman DH Jeremy Burchett popped out for the second out of the inning, Ben Conley followed by slapping a ball in the hole between SS and 3B, which Tobin Swope fielded, saving a run, but not before Nelson crossed home, giving Cal a 2-1 lead.
The lead was short-lived and the last lead for Cal this weekend. Swope reached base with a one out walk in the fifth and after a Fuld flyout, Ash slapped another base hit to left. Carlos Quentin came up in a bit of a slump. He had just two hits all weekend before the at bat, but ripped a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall for a 3 run HR, his seventh blast of the season. It gave Stanford a 4-2 lead, which they held until the 8th.
Cunningham lasted six innings, giving up just six hits and two runs, walking four without a strikeout. While Cunningham didn't have an incredible outing, it will likely be enough to keep him in the rotation. He was replaced by Ryan McCally, who worked a scoreless 7th, aided by Ryan Garko's laser throw, which nailed Burchett trying to steal. However, in the 8th, McCally gave up a leadoff single to Brian Horwitz, bringing up Jackson as the tying run. Jackson, who homered in the first two games of the series, wasted no time, blasting a 1-0 changeup over the wall in left, tying to score at 4. McCally was replaced by Kodiak Quick, who promptly walked Chris Grossman on four pitches. After a sac bunt, Quick's wild pitch moved the go-ahead runner to third with just one out. Falling behind 2-1 to Holder, Marquess got Quick, bringing in David O'Hagan. On his first pitch, Holder popped out, failing to plate a run. O'Hagan got a flyout to end the inning, stranding a runner at 3rd.
In the ninth, Swope led off with a hit, but was stranded on second, as Ash and Quentin couldn't drive in the run. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, chaos erupted. O'Hagan hit Conley to put a runner on first, and Nicholson laid down a one-out bunt. Hall seemingly caught the ball, but umpire Dwayne Finley conferenced with Kevin Gillmore and Chuck Lyon, and the call was overruled. Instead of the winning run at 2nd with 2 outs, there were two runners on with 1 out. Mark Marquess ran out of the dugout, and he was ejected by Finley, and Lyon forced him to leave the park. Cal seemingly had the momentum, and Brian Horwitz faced O'Hagan, with Jackson on deck. Horwitz hit a bullet to the right side, but Hall made a great play, stretching to his right to catch the ball, and tagging Nicholson at first to end the inning, a double play. Hall spiked the ball into the mound, greeted by his uproarious teammates, as Stanford and Cal headed to extra innings.
In the 10th, Jesse Ingram gave up a one out walk to Putnam. He struck out Lowrie and Putnam remained at first. Ingram faced Carter, but with a 2-1 count, he picked over to first. Putnam was picked off and took off towards 2nd, but the ball bounced away from Holder at first and went into the right field corner. Putnam was waved around third by Dean Stotz, but the throw to the plate beat Putnam there. However, Putnam slid around the catcher, and the home plate umpire called him safe, giving the Cardinal a miraculous 5-4 lead. O'Hagan came out and retired the side in the tenth, giving the Cardinal a series sweep of the Bears.
Stanford 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 - 5 9 2
California 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 - 4 9 1
WP: David O'Hagan (6-1)
LP: Jesse Ingram (2-3)
California (27-27, 10-14), Stanford (35-14, 16-5 Pac-10)
-The victory was Stanford's 7th in a row, 14th in a row on the road, and 10th in a row over Cal.
-Jonny Ash went 6-11 on the weekend, and had 11 hits against Cal in 2003.
-O'Hagan was incredible in relief, retiring Conor Jackson to start the 10th (despite falling behind 2-0), going 2.2 innings, allowing 0 hits and 0 runs.
-The Cardinal now have a three game lead over Arizona St. (6 in the win column), and are on top of Arizona by 3.5 games. Both teams had the weekend off.
-Conor Jackson had just one hit in 2003 before this series, but had six hits this weekend, including 3 HR and 8 RBI.
-Jed Lowrie continued his hit streak (now at seven) with a hit today to left.
-Mark Marquess' ejection was his first since May 2000, when he was ejected in a NCAA Regional game against Alabama.
-Tobin Swope had a base hit to break an 0-14 streak.
-Stanford has their final Tuesday game of the year against St. Mary's at 6:00 PM Friday. Next weekend, Stanford plays its final three conference games against UCLA. Friday's game will be carried live on HDTV (DirectTV).
Chad Goldberg is the voice of Stanford Baseball on KZSU, 90.1 FM.