Card Crush Santa Clara 13-2

The Stanford offense seems to be picking things up once again as the Cardinal easily defeated the host Santa Clara Broncos 13-2 on Tuesday night. Ryan Garko clubbed two home runs while Sam Fuld added a homer of his own as Stanford pounded out 16 hits on the evening. Darin Naatjes got the call on the mound and was very successful as well in his first career start. Read on for a recap.

The Stanford offense seems to be getting back on track and just in time for the stretch run of the Pac-10 season.  This evening at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, the 7th ranked Cardinal pounded the Broncos 13-2 to win their fourth consecutive game.  Ryan Garko clubbed two homers pushing him past Jason Cooper for the team-lead with 11 while centerfielder Sam Fuld continued his torrid hitting with another home run and yet another multi-hit game.

The scoring began for the Cardinal (33-13) in the top of the first inning when Garko homered with two outs and nobody on base.  Jason Cooper followed the home run with a single and then stole second.  After Carlos Quentin singled moving Cooper to third, Brian Hall reached on an infield single scoring Cooper for a 2-0 Stanford lead.  On the mound, Darin Naatjes got the first start of his Stanford career and he was impressive.  The junior righthander went three innings giving up just one hit and no runs.  He walked two and struck out five and would get credit for his fourth win of the year.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal hitters went back to work in the top of the third inning.  Fuld started things off with a single and then Garko walked to put two runners on base.  After each runner moved up on a wild pitch, consecutive sacrifice flies off the bats of Cooper and Quentin brought home two more runs extending the lead to 4-0.  Then in the fourth frame, the Cardinal played some long-ball.  With one out, Arik VanZandt doubled and then two batters later, Fuld homered to right-center field pushing the lead up to 6-0.  But Stanford wasn't done there as Garko promptly followed Fuld's blast with another home run of his own giving Stanford a seven-run advantage.

In the top of the fifth inning, Stanford put the game out of reach with six runs extending the lead all the way up to 13-0.  Carlos Quentin led off with a single and then Brian Hall walked putting another run on base.  Scott Dragicevich then laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line but SCU pitcher Thom Van Buskirk fired the ball past Bronco first baseman Joe Diefenderfer allowing Quentin to score while moving Hall and Dragicevich to third and second base respectively.  Andy Topham brought home Stanford's ninth run of the evening with a sacrifice fly and then Arik VanZandt singled home Dragicevich for a 10-0 lead.  After a Chris O'Riordan walk and a Sam Fuld fly out, Ryan Garko grounded a ball that was mis-handled at third base for another run.  Jason Cooper then capped the inning off with a triple down the right field line scoring O'Riordan and Garko for runs #12 and #13.

After Naatjes threw his three scoreless innings, freshman Mark Jecmen was summoned from the bullpen.  Jecmen put up zeros in the fourth and fifth innings, but then ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth.  With two outs, he hit two straight batters and then gave up a double to Joey Gomes allowing a run to score which cut the lead to 13-1.  Jecmen finished the inning without further damage and all in all, it was a successful outing.  The 6'9" righthander gave up three hits and one run in his three innings of work while walking none and striking out two.  It was Drew Ehrlich's turn in the seventh and eighth innings and the sophomore righthander pitched two scoreless frames.  Dan Rich then came on in the ninth and gave up a single run, but the game had long ago been decided as Stanford had taken the season series from the Broncos, 3-1.

Game Notes :
* The story recently of the Stanford offense continues to be Sam Fuld.  The sophomore centerfielder hit another home run tonight, his fourth in the last six games and his sixth overall this season.  He also now has seven consecutive multi-hit games and 13 multi-hit contests in the last 14 games.

* Every starting Stanford player had at least one hit with the exception of Chris O'Riordan.  Barko (2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI), Cooper (2-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI), Fuld (2-for-6, HR, 2 RBI), and VanZandt (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) led the 16-hit Stanford offense attack.

* After struggling for about 2 1/2 weeks to score runs, the Cardinal have now pushed across 42 runs in this current four-game winning streak.

* Stanford wore the Cardinal uniforms this evening and after tonight's win, they are now a perfect 5-0 in those uniforms.  They've lost six consecutive games when wearing their traditional road gray uniforms.

Stanford      2 0 2  3 6 0  0 0 0   -   13   16    2
Santa Clara   0 0 0  0 0 1  0 0 1   -    2    8    2

The Cardinal will return to conference action when they host the Arizona State Sun Devils in a three-game series.  First pitch is scheduled for 6pm on Friday and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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