Stanford Takes Series From Fresno State

The offensive machine that is the Stanford Cardinal baseball team rolled to another win this afternoon, an 8-3 victory over Fresno State. Carlos Quentin, Andy Topham, and Donny Lucy each clubbed home runs while Tim Cunnningham was solid on the mound. Read on for the full recap.

Andy Topham, Donny Lucy, and Carlos Quentin each homered while Tim Cunningham tossed 7 2/3 quality innings to lead the top ranked Stanford Cardinal to an 8-3 victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs this afternoon at Beiden Field.  The Stanford offense continued to roll as they pounded out 12 more hits today led by Quentin's 3-for-5 performance.  It was more than enough for Tim Cunningham who improved his record to a perfect 3-0 on the season.

The scoring began in the top of the second inning when the Cardinal put together a two-out rally.  With two down, Scott Dragicevich doubled to left and then the freshman Lucy continued his torrid RBI pace with a single up the middle, scoring Dragicevich and giving Stanford the early 1-0 lead.  The Cardinal put some breathing room between them and the Bulldogs in the third inning with four more runs.  Chris Carter, who was making his second consecutive start for Brian Hall in left field, led off with a single.  The next hitter, Andy Topham, then crushed a deep home run to straight away center field, his first bomb of the year.  The Cardinal wouldn't stop there though as Chris O'Riordan followed up Topham's blast with a triple and after Sam Fuld was retired on a groundout, O'Riordan came across on a single by Quentin.  That would be the end of the afternoon for FSU starting pitcher Francisco Nieves as Bulldog skipper Bob Bennett brought in Mike Hernandez who had come on for the save in Saturday's contest.  But unlike on Saturday, the Cardinal bats got to Hernandez as Garko singled moving Quentin over to third and then Quentin eventually scored on Jason Cooper's RBI fielder's choice.

Meanwhile, Tim Cunningham was mowing down the Fresno State hitters.  The junior lefthander rolled through the first five innings throwing only 56 pitches while scattering four singles.  The Cardinal got back on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when Cooper singled and then came home on Lucy's second home run of the season, a blast to deep left-center field.  Stanford put across their eighth and final run of the afternoon in the seventh inning on a home run off the bat of Quentin, his team-leading third of the season.  Cunningham continued to dominate putting up two more zeros in the sixth and seventh innings keeping the score at 8-0.  Finally the Bulldog hitters got to him in the eighth inning with a little help from the Cardinal defense.  With runners on first and second and two out and FSU's #2 hitter Scott Beshears at the plate, Beshears hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to Dragicevich at short for the third and final out of the inning.  But the play was called back as Beshears had hit catcher Ryan Garko with his bat and therefore reached first base by way of catchers interference.  The Bulldogs would capitalize on the miscue as Cunningham walked the next hitter forcing a run home and ending his afternoon.  John Hudgins was then brought in and promptly gave up a two-run single and all of a sudden it was an 8-3 game.  But Hudgins settled down and retired the next hitter and worked a scoreless ninth inning securing the Stanford victory.

Top games offensively for the Cardinal came from Quentin (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), O'Riordan (2-for-5, 2B, 3B), Lucy (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI), and Topham (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI).  Cunningham's final line saw him go 7 2/3 innings while giving up only six hits and three runs (none earned).  He walked only two and struck out six.  Hudgins threw the final 1 1/3 innings without giving up a run.

Game Notes :
* Donny Lucy continues to impress with the bat.  He's started the last seven games and has gone 10-for-29 (.345) with two home runs and a whopping 15 RBI.

* Through the first ten games of the season, the Cardinal are hitting .345 as team while averaging 8.4 runs per game.  Individually, Carlos Quentin has put up the top numbers leading the team with a .485 average and three home runs.

* Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Cunningham have been a formidable 1-2 punch in the starting rotation through the first three weeks.  The duo has combined to go 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA.

* With John Hudgins' 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief today, the Stanford bullpen now has an ERA of 2.55 to go with three saves.

* All three polls were released today with Stanford remaining #1 in two of them.  Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball both still have the Cardinal ranked at the top.  The coaches poll has Stanford ranked #2 behind Florida State despite the fact the Cardinal just took a series from the Seminoles last weekend.

Stanford      0 1 4  0 0 2  1 0 0    -    8   12    1
Fresno State  0 0 0  0 0 0  0 3 0    -    3    7    1

Stanford will next be in action this weekend when they take on the Santa Clara Broncos in a three-game series.  Friday's game will be played at Sunken Diamond at 6pm.  Saturday's contest is scheduled to start at 4pm at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara while Sunday's series finale will be back at Sunken Diamond at 1pm.

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