Card Win 13-6 To Take Game Two

Home runs from Ryan Garko and Scott Dragicevich in a seven-run sixth inning propelled Stanford to a 13-6 victory over the California Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal offense which had struggled scoring runs for 2 1/2 weeks before this weekend, have now scored 21 runs in taking the first two games of this series. Read on for a complete recap.

It took Stanford two times through the batting order, but they finally got to Cal ace Trevor Hutchinson en route to a 13-6 victory on a warm Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  Hutchinson had tossed five shutout innings giving up only four hits in the process as the Bears held a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.  But the Cardinal (31-13, 8-6) exploded for seven runs in the sixth and then tacked on six more runs in the bottom of the eighth off a trio of Cal relievers to take their second consecutive game over the reeling Golden Bears.

Stanford starting pitcher Tim Cunningham looked good on the mound through the first three frames has he had given up just two hits and no runs.  But in the top of the fourth, Cal second baseman Carson White led off with a home run to right-center field giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.  Then things started to fall apart for Cunningham in the fifth.  The inning began with a walk to Chris Grossman who then moved over to third on a double off the bat of the next hitter, Justin Nelson.  Up stepped Matt Einspahr and the Cal third baseman delivered with a single scoring Grossman and moving Nelson to third.  Jeff Dragicevich then came through with the big hit as he doubled scoring Nelson for a 3-0 lead and that would end Cunningham's afternoon as he did not retire a hitter in the top of the fifth.  Ryan McCally came on and the junior righthander put out the fire with only one more run coming across (on a groundout), but the Bears had increased their lead to 4-0.

Hutchinson continued to deal for the Bears through the fourth and fifth innings as the senior righthander had thrown just 56 pitches through five frames.  But then in the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinal finally broke through.  Chris O'Riordan led off with a walk and then moved over to third on a single to left field by Sam Fuld.  Catcher Ryan Garko was the next hitter and Garko promptly crushed a ball to deep left field over the fence cutting the lead to 4-3.  But Stanford wasn't done there as Jason Cooper then walked and then advanced to second on a single off the bat of Carlos Quentin.  After Danny Putnam sacrificed both runners to second and third with a bunt, Brian Hall was intentionally walked to load the bases for Scott Dragicevich.  Dragicevich, who entered the game with no home runs on the season, picked a good time for his first with a grand slam home run to left-center field putting Stanford ahead 7-4.

The Bears would not go away thanks in large part to some wildness on the part of the Cardinal bullpen.  In the top of the seventh, McCally walked the first two batters he faced and was pulled from the game in favor of the lefty Dan Rich.  Rich retired the first batter he faced on a fielder's choice groundout (an attempted bunt), but then walked Carson White to load the bases for the Pac-10's leading home run hitter Conor Jackson.  Rich though kept Jackson in the ballpark as the Cal first baseman flew out to right field, but it was deep enough to score the run from third cutting the Stanford lead to 7-5.  Rich then walked John Baker to re-load the bases and then walked the next hitter, Brian Horwitz, on four pitches forcing home another run.  Finally Rich got out of the jam when Chris Grossman flew out to right field with the tying run at third base, but Cal had done some damage scoring two runs on no hits and five Stanford walks.

Hutchinson set down the Card hitters easily in the seventh inning and then Rich came back out in the eighth and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning striking out two.  Then in the bottom of the eighth, with Hutchinson out of the game, Stanford put the game out of reach with six runs this time with some help from some wildness from the Cal bullpen.  Putnam led off the inning by getting hit by the pitch and then consecutive walks to Hall and Dragicevich loaded the bases for Andy Topham.  Topham flew out to right field scoring Putnam from third for an 8-6 Stanford lead and then O'Riordan reached on an infield single scoring Hall for a 9-6 Cardinal advantage.  Sam Fuld was the next hitter and the Stanford centerfielder singled up the middle scoring Dragicevich and moving O'Riordan to third.  Cal relief pitcher Matt Swanson then uncorked a wild pitch allowing O'Riordan to score and Fuld was able to move all the way over to third base.  He would then score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ryan Garko increasing the Cardinal lead to 12-6.  So with nobody on base and two outs, Jason Cooper doubled to the left-center field gap and then scored on a Carlos Quentin single capping the inning off.  Rich worked an easy ninth inning facing only four batters and Stanford had their second consecutive victory over the Bears this weekend.

Game Notes :
* Top offensive games for the Cardinal came from Garko (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI), Dragicevich (1-for-3, HR, 4 RBI), Fuld (2-for-5, RBI), and Hall (2-for-2, 2B).

* With two more hits today, Sam Fuld has now recorded multiple-hit games in six consecutive contests and 11 out of the last 12 games.

* Ryan McCally (4-2) picked-up the win out of the bullpen while Dan Rich (3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K) recorded his second save of the season.

* The grand slam by Dragicevich was Stanford's second slam of the year.  The first one came from Chris O'Riordan with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Texas back on March 28th to tie the game.

California    0 0 0  1 3 0  2 0 0   -   6   7   1
Stanford      0 0 0  0 0 7  0 6 x   -  13  13   0

The Cardinal will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at Sunken Diamond with first pitch scheduled for 1pm.  John Hudgins (7-0, 4.01) will be on the mound for Stanford while the Bears are expected to start Matt Brown (5-2, 3.13 ERA).


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