Cardinal Roll To Easy Victory Over UCLA

The Stanford Cardinal played a near-perfect game on Friday night in defeating the UCLA Bruins by a 9-1 score at Sunken Diamond. On the mound, John Hudgins fired a complete-game, four-hitter while striking out ten. At the plate, Stanford rapped out 15 hits on the evening with every starter contributing. Read on for all the details.

The Stanford Cardinal had no trouble putting away the UCLA Bruins on Friday night posting a 9-1 victory in front of 2,498 fans at Sunken Diamond.  John Hudgins tossed his fifth complete game of the season while every player in the lineup recorded at least one hit.  With the win, Stanford reduces their magic number to 2 over ASU for the outright conference title.

John Hudgins was coming off a pair of sub-par outings, but got out of the gate quickly tonight in what ended being a sign of things to come.  A weak pop out and two strikeouts in the top of the first on just ten pitches set the tone for the game.  In the bottom of the first, Stanford struck for one run against UCLA starter Casey Janssen.  Back-to-back singles by Sam Fuld and Jonny Ash to start the inning off put runners on the corners.  After Carlos Quentin struck out, Ryan Garko brought home Fuld with a ground out to second.

After Hudgins shut the door in the top of the second without allowing a hit, the Cardinal added to their lead in the bottom half of the inning.  With one out, sophomore DH Chris Carter smoked a line drive home run to right center field to make the score 2-0.  The only question was if the ball was high enough to get over the wall and it did for Carter's second home run of the season (and in as many weeks).

Stanford opened the game up with three scores in the bottom of the third to extend their lead to 5-0.  With one out, Ash singled and then Quentin doubled him home.  Garko then blooped a single into left, but was thrown at second trying to take the extra base when the throw went into third (Quentin was safe).  Danny Putnam's double down the right field line scored Quentin while Jed Lowrie's single brought home Putnam with Stanford's third run of the frame.

Meanwhile, Hudgins was in cruise control as the junior righthander did not allow a hit through the first four innings while walking just one and striking out four.  Stanford pushed across another run in the bottom of the fourth when Tobin Swope led off with a double, moved to third on a Fuld sac bunt, and scored on a Quentin two-out single.

Hudgins finally gave up a hit with two outs in the fifth, but got out of a runner on first and second, two out jam when he induced #9 hitter Matt Thayer to pop out to short.  In the bottom of the inning, Carter walked with one out, moved to third on a Mayberry, Jr. double and scored on Swope's fly out to right.

Hudgins worked a perfect 1-2-3 sixth inning before giving up his lone run of the game in the seventh.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs, but Hudgins escaped major damage with a double play ground out (which scored a run) and a strike out.

The Cardinal scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the eighth.  Mayberry, Jr. led off with a line drive double down the left field line and scored two batters later when Fuld singled him home.  After Ash singled, Quentin flied out to center to score Fuld to make the score 9-1.

In the ninth, Hudgins easily set down the Bruins with two strikeouts and a ground out.  He struck out Warren Trott on three pitches to end the game.

Game Notes:
* A fabulous bounce back game tonight from Hudgins as he went the distance yielding one run on four hits.  He walked three and struck out ten.  His record now stands at 8-3 on the year with a 3.30 ERA and 108 K's compared to just 25 walks in 117 1/3 innings pitched.

* Every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit tonight.  Jonny Ash (3-for-5), Sam Fuld (2-for-4, RBI), Carlos Quentin (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Ryan Garko (2-for-5, RBI), and John Mayberry, Jr. (2-for-4, 2 2B) all recorded multi-hit games.

* Garko now has 73 RBI on the season which is tied for 10th on the Stanford single-season list (the record is 92).

* Quentin hit his 23rd double of the campaign tonight which is good for a tie for 3rd all-time at Stanford in a season (record is 29).

* The win was Stanford's ninth in a row overall and their seventh straight in Pac-10 play.

* Both Arizona State and Arizona had the night off.  The Sun Devils and the Wildcats both get their weekend series' underway tomorrow.  Stanford's magic number over ASU is 2 while it's 1 over Arizona.

UCLA         0 0 0  0 0 0  1 0 0   -   1   4   0
Stanford     1 1 3  1 1 0  0 2 x   -   9  15   1

WP: John Hudgins (8-3)
LP: Casey Janssen (5-6)

HR: Stanford - Chris Carter (2)

Records: UCLA (25-29, 8-11), #7 Stanford (37-14, 17-5)

* These two teams will continue their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm.  Mark Romanczuk (9-0, 3.63) will be on the hill for the Cardinal while UCLA is expected to throw lefty Wes Whisler (3-6, 5.22).


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