Cardinal Trounce Trojans To Win Another Series

The 2nd ranked Stanford Cardinal won their tenth consecutive series to start the year when they crushed the USC Trojans 15-4 on a warm Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The game featured three more Stanford home runs, a John Hudgins win on the mound, and a near brawl. Read on for a complete recap of today's action.

The 2nd ranked Stanford Cardinal won their 10th consecutive series to start the year this afternoon when they crushed the USC Trojans 15-4 in front of a season-high 3,348 fans at Sunken Diamond.  The Stanford power surge continued as Jason Cooper, Arik VanZandt, and Brian Hall each homered while John Hudgins recorded the win on mound to improve to 6-0 on the season.  The game also featured a bench-clearing incident that nearly turned into a brawl.

The scoring began in the bottom of the second inning when Stanford (25-8, 4-2) put across two runs.  VanZandt led off with a single and then advanced to second on a one out single off the bat of Andy Topham.  Chris O'Riordan then walked loading the bases and Danny Putnam drove home the first Cardinal run of the afternoon with a bloop single to center field.  The second score of the inning came across when the next hitter, Ryan Garko, hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Topham.

The Trojans (20-16, 6-3) answered back with a single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game at 2-2.  Brian Barre hit a solo home run in the third while third baseman Alberto Concepcion blasted a solo homer of his own in the top of the fourth off Hudgins to tie the game.  In the bottom of the fifth, the Cardinal responded with four runs to take the lead for good.  Garko reached on an error by the second baseman Anthony Lunetta and then advanced to second when Jason Cooper walked.  After a fly out by Carlos Quentin to deep center field moved the runners up to second and third base, Sam Fuld came through with a single to left field scoring Garko.  Stanford wasn't done there though as Arik VanZandt then stepped to the plate and homered to left field increasing the lead to 6-2.

The Cardinal went back to work in the bottom of the sixth inning as they put across three more runs.  With runners on at first and second with one out, Fuld lined a single into right field easily scoring Cooper who had been at second.  But when Trojan rightfielder David Gordon misplayed the ball and allowed it to roll all the way to the wall, the second run of the inning also scored and Fuld advanced all the way to third base.  Fuld would later score on a sacrifice fly by Brian Hall pushing the lead up to 9-2 Stanford.

With the score still 9-2 Cardinal heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, things then got very interesting.  With O'Riordan on at second base and one out, Ryan Garko crushed a Chad Clark offering to deep left field way over the fence, but foul.  The next pitch drilled Garko on the side and he stared out at Clark as he walked over to first base.  The next hitter was Cooper and the junior DH promptly blasted a deep home run to right field that may still not have landed.  It was Cooper's 10th homer of the year and it increased Stanford's lead to 12-2.  After Quentin struck out for the second out of the inning, Fuld was then hit by the pitch and he took exception.  The Stanford centerfielder walked about 1/3 of the way out to the mound and both benches cleared.  But the umpires and the coaches did a good job of stopping a possible brawl as they turned the players back to their respective dugouts.  So after Fuld and Clark shared some words and the players went back to the dugout, the game resumed.  Arik VanZandt was the next hitter and he singled and then Brian Hall homered to left-center field scoring three runs and giving Stanford a commanding 15-2 lead.

John Hudgins went back out to the mound in the top of the eighth and gave up two singles and a walk to lead off the inning and was removed from the game in favor of Ryan McCally.  Two of those runners eventually came across to score, but McCally got out of the jam and pitched a scoreless ninth to secure Stanford's 15-4 victory.

Game Notes :
* This game was probably the most well-played defensively for the Stanford Cardinal this season.  Both Andy Topham at shortstop and Chris O'Riordan at second base made numerous spectacular plays on the infield today.

* Hudgins went seven innings on the mound and gave up four runs on nine hits.  He walked only one batter and struck out five.

* VanZandt (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI), Fuld (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Hall (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI), and Cooper (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) all had big days at the plate for the Cardinal this afternoon.  Cooper is now hitting .400 with ten homers and 39 RBI.

* Stanford hit 11 homers in this three-game series.  They now have 46 on the year.

USC        0 0 1  1 0 0  0 2 0   -    4   11   2
Stanford   0 2 0  0 4 3  6 0 x   -   15   14   0

The Stanford Cardinal will next be in action this Tuesday night when they host the Saint Mary's Gaels in a single non-conference game.  First pitch is scheduled for 6pm.

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