Apparently all the Stanford hitters needed was one trip through the lineup. After shutting out the Cardinal over the first two innings, Fullerton starter Jeff Housman and two relievers were lit up for 15 runs over the next three frames en route to a 17-1 pasting this afternoon at Sunken Diamond. Ryan Garko and Jason Cooper each went 4-for-4 while Brian Hall knocked in a career-high six runs in the 21-hit Stanford offensive attack.
The Titans got on the board first off Stanford starter Tim Cunningham in the top of the first inning. Consecutive singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases with none out, but Cunningham escaped with minimal damage yielding only a sacrifice fly and then inducing Geoff Comfort to hit into an inning-ending double play. This was probably the turning point in the game as the Titans had a golden opportunity to take an early big lead, but were only able to put across one run. Cunningham then settled down tossing five shutout innings after his struggles in the first frame. His final line had him giving up five hits, one run, one walk, and three strikeouts. Drew Ehrlich closed the game out tossing the final three innings without giving up a run while striking out five.
As for the Stanford offense. It all started in the bottom of third inning with a three spot with the help of some shady Fullerton defense. Andy Topham began the inning with a single and then the Cardinal were given a gift one batter later on an error by the pitcher Housman. Sam Fuld was at the plate and he hit a roller up the middle to which Housman came up too early on the ball and squirted threw his legs and everybody was safe. Stanford would take advantage of this miscue as after Ryan Garko was hit by the pitch, Jason Cooper drove home two runs with a single which was followed by a sacrifice fly to deep left field by Carlos Quentin. The Cardinal put the game out of reach in the fourth inning when they put across nine runs. Every player reached base as 14 hitters came to the plate in the nine run, nine hit inning. The big hits were a two-run single by Chris O'Riordan, another two-run single by Cooper, a three-run bases clearing double by Brian Hall, and an RBI double from Scott Dragicevich. When the dust had settled, the scoreboard showed the Cardinal ahead 12-1.
But Stanford wasn't done. In the bottom of the fifth, Garko doubled and Cooper singled and with two out, Brian Hall lofted a very high fly ball that just cleared the fence in left for a three-run homer which increased Stanford's lead to 15-1. Ryan Garko accounted for the Cardinal's 16th run of the game when he belted one over the fence in the sixth inning while Stanford's final run came in the eighth on a Garko RBI single bringing home Jonny Ash.
Other offensive stars this afternoon included Arik VanZandt (3-for-4, 2 doubles), Scott Dragicevich (2-for-4, double), and Andy Topham (2-for-4). Three players made their Stanford debut this afternoon. Chris Carter, Donny Lucy, and Danny Putnam all entered the game late with neither getting a hit.
Game Notes :
* The 16 run loss by the Titans was their worst in school history.
* Over the first two games, Stanford pitchers have combined to strike out 22 Fullerton hitters while only walking two.
* It got so bad today for Fullerton that they brought in reserve infielder Mike Martinez to pitch the final inning. Martinez gave up two hits and one run. It should be noted though that Martinez was not without any experience as he was a successful pitcher in high school.
Cal State Fullerton 1 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
Stanford 0 0 3 9 3 1 0 1 x - 17 21 0
The series concludes tomorrow at 1pm at Sunken Diamond. Stanford has not announced a starting pitcher while the Titans are scheduled to start Darric Merrell (8-4, 2.95 ERA in 2001).