Stanford Completes Sweep With Another Rout

The top ranked Cardinal baseball squad scored nine runs in the first two innings and then cruised to an 11-3 victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs this afternoon. It was Stanford's first sweep of the season after taking 2-of-3 games in their first four series'. Probably the most important aspect of this game though is the emergence of a #3 starter. Read on for a full recap.

The top ranked Stanford Cardinal scored nine runs in the first two innings and then cruised to an 11-3 victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs on another beautiful afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  The Cardinal (12-4) recorded their first sweep of the season and have now won four games in a row and six out of their last seven.  John Hudgins in his first start of the year, threw brilliantly and at one point retired 13 consecutive hitters.

For the third consecutive game this weekend, Stanford jumped out on top of the Mustangs early.  In the bottom of the first inning Chris O'Riordan led off with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a wild pitch.  Sam Fuld then walked and eventually came across to score on a Jason Cooper sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Stanford lead.  The Cardinal then exploded in the second inning with seven runs on seven hits.  Carlos Quentin led off with a walk and then consecutive singles by Scott Dragicevich and Arik VanZandt loaded the bases for O'Riordan.  O'Riordan delievered with a single scoring Quentin and the floodgates had opened.  After a Fuld fly out, Ryan Garko doubled to left scoring two more and then Cooper doubled scoring Garko for a 7-0 Cardinal lead.  Stanford wasn't done there as two batters later Chris Carter singled to right scoring Cooper and then Quentin tripled to the left-center gap scoring Carter capping the inning.

So with a 9-0 lead after two innings, Stanford put it in cruise control.  John Hudgins was downright dominating through his first six innings.  He gave up a two-out single in the first inning, and then recorded 1-2-3 innings in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings.  Through five innings the sophomore righthander had given up only one hit, walked none, while recording eight strikeouts.  The Mustangs got a leadoff single in the top of the sixth inning, but the runner was quickly erased on a double play.  Finally in the seventh inning, Cal Poly started to string some hits off Hudgins.  With a runner at first base and one out, consecutive singles loaded the bases and knocked Hudgins out of the game.  Coach Marquess summoned Darin Naatjes out of the bullpen and the hard throwing junior righthander was unable to get the job done.  The first hitter Naatjes faced, Jason Barringer, doubled to left field scoring two runs and then the third Cal Poly run of the game came across on a groundout.  When the dust had settled the Cardinal had a 9-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Cardinal hitters, which had been shutdown in the middle innings, got back on the scoreboard with two more tallies in the bottom of the seventh.  With one out, Brian Hall singled, stole second, and then scored on a double off the bat of Scott Dragicevich.  Dragicevich then came home to score on a Arik VanZandt single and the Cardinal had pushed their lead back up to eight runs at 11-3.  Naatjes went back out in the eighth inning and allowed the first two runners to reach base on an HBP and a walk and was taken out of the game in favor of Drew Ehrlich.  Ehrlich rebounded from a difficult relief outing last weekend against Santa Clara to get out of the jam in the eighth inning without any runs scoring and then threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning to slam the door shut and give Stanford the sweep.

Top offensive games from the Cardinal came from O'Riordan (3-for-4, 2B, RBI), VanZandt (3-for-4, RBI), Cooper (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI), and Dragicevich (2-for-4, 2B, RBI).  Hudgins picked up the win tossing 6 1/3 innings while giving up four hits and three runs.  He walked one and struck out eight to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Game Notes :
* Arik VanZandt started in place of Andy Topham at third base this afternoon.  Topham appeared to hurt his hamstring while rounding first base on a home run in yesterday's game.  No word on how long he will be out.

* Donny Lucy's RBI streak finally came to an end.  The freshman first baseman, who had recorded at least one RBI in all 12 of his starts this season, went 1-for-5 today with no RBI.

* This was the first time this season that the Cardinal won a game not started by either Jeremy Guthrie or Tim Cunningham.  Stanford was previously 0-4 in those games before this afternoon.

* Stanford outscored Cal Poly 37-14 in the three-game series.

* The top series offensively for the Cardinal came from Jason Cooper.  The junior DH went 6-for-10 with a home run and eight RBI in the three games.  He now leads the team with a .426 batting average.

Cal Poly      0 0 0  0 0 0  3 0 0    -    3   5   1
Stanford      2 7 0  0 0 0  2 0 x    -   11  15   1

The Cardinal will be back in action next weekend when they travel across the bay to take on the California Golden Bears in a three-game series.  Game times are 2pm on Friday and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.  These games will not count in the conference standings.

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