Guthrie, Fuld Lead Stanford To 8-4 Victory

Behind the right arm of Jeremy Guthrie and the bat of Sam Fuld, Stanford defeated the California Golden Bears 8-4 on Friday evening at Sunken Diamond. Guthrie went the distance giving up just six hits while recording a season-high ten strikeouts. Fuld, meanwhile, continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run and three runs scored. Read on for a complete recap.

The 9th ranked Stanford Cardinal took the opening game of their series with the California Golden Bears Friday evening with a 8-4 victory at Sunken Diamond.  Jeremy Guthrie tossed his second complete game of the season as he struck out a season-high ten batters to improve his record to 7-1.  Offensively, Sam Fuld (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), Carlos Quentin (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI), and Scott Dragicevich (3-for-4, 2 2B) led the way as Stanford pounded out 12 hits off four Bears pitchers.  The win improved the Card's record to 7-6 in Pac-10 play and 30-13 overall as they now trail the USC Trojans (who have the weekend off) by three games (two in the loss column) in the conference standings.

It was a slow start for Guthrie on the mound as the Bears put across a single run in the top of the first inning to take the early 1-0 lead.  With two outs, Carson White walked and then advanced to second a Guthrie wild pitch.  Conor Jackson then bounced a single up the middle scoring White from second with Cal's first run of the game.  Stanford answered back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Fuld hit his fourth home run of the season tying the game at 1-1.

The Bears though quickly went back ahead in the top of the second as David Nicholson reached on a one out single and then scored when the next hitter, Brian Horwitz, doubled to the right field corner.  After being held scoreless in the bottom half of the second, Stanford got to Cal starting pitcher Joe Todoroff in the third for three runs.  With one out, Fuld lined a single to center field and then scored when Ryan Garko doubled to the left-center field gap.  After a Jason Cooper line out to right field, Carlos Quentin crushed a deep home run over the fence in left field putting Stanford ahead 4-2.  The Bears responded though with two scores in the top of the fourth off Guthrie.  An error by Arik VanZandt at first allowed John Baker to reach first base with one out.  After Nicholson singled to put two runners on, Horwitz delivered his second run-scoring hit of the evening with a triple to deep center field which tied the game at 4-4.

The Bears took out Todoroff after just three innings and replaced him with senior righthander Matt Payne and Payne was unable to get the job done.  After pitching a 1-2-3 fourth inning, the Cardinal touched him up for two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good.  Fuld led off with a walk, stole second, and then scored on a Jason Cooper double down the right field line.  Cooper would then score when the following hitter, Carlos Quentin, singled to left field for a 6-4 Cardinal lead.  Stanford added another run off Payne in the sixth inning as Dragicevich led off with a single and eventually scored on a Fuld single.  Then in the bottom of the eighth, the Card scored their eighth and final run of the game when Dragicevich, who had earlier doubled, came home on a balk on relief pitcher Travis Talbott.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Guthrie began to dominate on the mound after the fourth inning.  After giving up the triple to Horwitz with one out in the fourth, he would not allow another hit until the ninth inning when Horwitz reached on a bunt single to third base.  It ended up being five no-hit innings for the junior righthander from Ashland, Oregon as he finished what he started getting Jeff Dragicevich to ground out to second base (on a spectacular diving play by O'Riordan) to end the game.

Game Notes :
* Sam Fuld continued his hot hitting with three more hits this evening.  The sophomore centerfielder is hitting  a staggering .578 (26-for-45) in his last 11 games.  He's also recorded 10 multi-hit contests in those 11 games.

* Scott Dragicevich got his second start in less than a week after not starting for more than two weeks.  In these two recent starts (tonight and last Sunday vs. OSU), the senior third baseman has gone 6-for-9 with two doubles.

* Guthrie finished his evening yielding six hits and four runs (three earned).  He walked three and struck out ten.  It was one strikeout off his career-high which he set last season.

* With two home runs tonight, Stanford has hit 17 bombs in their last seven home games.

* This was California's fifth consecutive loss.

California    1 1 0  2 0 0  0 0 0   -   4   6   1
Stanford      1 0 3  0 2 1  0 1 x   -   8  12   2

This series continues tomorrow afternoon at Sunken Diamond with a 1pm first pitch time.  Tim Cunningham (5-2, 4.08) will be on the mound for the Card while the Bears are scheduled to start their ace pitcher Trevor Hutchinson (7-4, 3.19).

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