Cooper Powers Stanford To A 15-4 Victory

The Cardinal bats erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning and eight runs in the eighth inning to come-from-behind and defeat the California Golden Bears, 15-4. Jason Cooper led the way going 5-for-5 with two homers and four RBI while Ryan Garko and Carlos Quentin also homered. Read on for a complete recap.

Apparently all it took the Cardinal was two trips through the batting order.  California starting pitcher Trevor Hutchinson completely shutdown the powerful Stanford offense through the first six frames giving up only three singles and no walks while facing the minimum 18 hitters.  Then the Cardinal bats awoke.  Trailing 4-0 heading into the seventh inning, Stanford erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning and then eight more tallies in the eighth inning en route to a 15-4 rout over the California Golden Bears on a pleasant Friday afternoon at Evens Diamond.

The game began as expected with Jeremy Guthrie and Hutchinson locked into a pitcher's duel.  After three innings, neither team had scored while Stanford (13-4) had just two hits while the Bears mustered only one single.  Finally in the bottom of the fourth inning, California (12-8) got to Guthrie.  With one out, Guthrie plunked John Baker and then Brian Horwitz doubled to the left-center field gap to put runners at second and third.  A passed ball by Ryan Garko scored Baker for a 1-0 Cal lead and then a walk to Jeff Dragicevich again put two runners on base.  Ben Conley then stepped up to the plate and the .197 hitting left fielder belted a home run off the foul pole in left field for a 4-0 California lead.  At the time it appeared Stanford was in trouble, down four runs and not getting any offense off Hutchinson.

Hutchinson continued to dominate putting up zeros in the fifth and sixth innings including striking out the side in the sixth.  Finally in the seventh, Stanford got things going offensively.  Chris O'Riordan led off with a single to right field and then Sam Fuld grounded a ball to Cal second baseman Carson White.  White though bobbled the ball and although it may have not have been hit hard enough to turn the double play, an out still should have been made.  But nonetheless, the Cardinal finally had a rally going with runners at first and second and none out.  Ryan Garko then stepped up to the plate and promptly hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season, a blast to left-center field and the Cardinal were back in the game, down only 4-3.  They wouldn't stop there though as up stepped Jason Cooper and the junior DH crushed a deep home run to right field, his second bomb of the year, and all of a sudden the game was tied 4-4.  After Chris Carter struck out, Hutchinson walked Danny Putnam and then Carlos Quentin got in on the action with a two-run homer to left-center field and Stanford had moved ahead 6-4.  That would be the end of the afternoon for Hutchinson, but unfortunately for Cal, the bullpen would not fare any better.  Scott Dragicevich greeted the new pitcher, Jesse Ingram, with a single and would later score on a single off the bat of Sam Fuld.  When the Bears had finally gotten the last out of the inning, the scoreboard read: Stanford 7, California 4.

Looking for some insurance runs in the eighth, the Cardinal again exploded as they put the game out of reach.  Cooper led off the inning with a single and would score when the next hitter, Brian Hall, tripled down the right field line.  Putnam then brought home Hall with a double to deep center field increasing Stanford's lead to 9-4.  The hitting merry-go-round continued as Quentin stepped up and doubled scoring Putnam.  After a Dragicevich single, Arik VanZandt singled home Quentin for an 11-4 lead.  VanZandt's single marked the sixth consecutive hit to begin the inning for Stanford.  After a Chris O'Riordan sacrifice fly brought home run #12 for Stanford, Jason Cooper put an exclamation point on the afternoon with a three-run homer to deep right center field.  When the dust had settled, the Cardinal had scored eight runs and led 15-4.

Jeremy Guthrie meanwhile settled down after his rough fourth inning.  The junior righthander shutdown the Bears in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings and then handed the ball over to Ryan McCally in the eighth.  McCally pitched a scoreless eighth and then Darin Naatjes threw a scoreless ninth and the Cardinal had their fifth consecutive victory.

Offensive stars for Stanford this afternoon were Jason Cooper (5-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Ryan Garko (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI), Carlos Quentin (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI), and Sam Fuld (2-for-5, RBI).  The Cardinal finished the afternoon with 17 hits with 14 of those coming in the seventh and eighth innings.

Game Notes :
* It was by far, the best hitting performance of Jason Cooper's Stanford career.  The junior DH singled in the second inning, singled in the fifth, homered in the seventh, singled in the eighth, and then homered in his second at-bat of the eighth inning.  Cooper has a nine-game hitting streak and is now hitting .475 with three homers and 22 RBI.

* With Garko's 2-for-5 performance, the junior catcher now has a 10-game hitting streak.  He had Stanford's longest hitting streak of last season, hitting safely in 21 consecutive games.

* Jeremy Guthrie picked up another win to improve to 5-0 on the season.  Guthrie went seven inning giving up four runs on five hits.  He walked three and struck out six to win his tenth consecutive decision dating back to last season.

* This was Stanford's third consecutive game scoring in double figures.  They've also now scored eight or more runs in 11 of their 17 games.

Stanford      0 0 0  0 0 0  7 8 0   -   15   17   2
California    0 0 0  4 0 0  0 0 0   -    4    6   2

The Cardinal and Golden Bears will resume their three-game non-conference series tomorrow afternoon at 1pm.  Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.41) is scheduled to start on the hill for Stanford while California is expected to counter with Brian Montalbo (1-3, 4.67).

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