It was a perfect day for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team this afternoon
as the Card easily defeated UCLA 17-4 while both Washington and USC lost to inch
Stanford closer to the top of the Pac-10 standings. The Cardinal (37-16,
13-8) used the long ball today in Los Angeles, smacking a season-high tying five
home runs while compiling 21 hits in all. Chris Carter, who was making his first
start since May 1st, led the offense with two homers while Jason Cooper, Ryan
Garko, and Scott Dragicevich also clubbed home runs in the winning effort.
The scoring began for Stanford in the top of the first inning with two runs scored against UCLA (26-30, 9-12) starting pitcher Doug Silva. With two outs, Garko reached on an error on the shortstop and then Cooper stepped to the plate and promptly homered to right-center field for a 2-0 lead. The Bruins though would be quick to respond as they pushed across two runs against Tim Cunningham in the bottom of the first inning. RBI singles by Casey Grzecka and Josh Arhart evened the game up at 2-2.
The Cardinal would quickly take back the lead in the top of the second as Chris Carter led off the inning with a home run to right field. Then after not scoring in the third inning, Carter led off the fourth frame with a massive home run well over the fence in right-center field extending the lead to 4-2. Scott Dragicevich was the next hitter and the Cardinal third baseman followed Carter's blast with a home run of his own pushing the lead up to 5-2. Then in the top of the sixth, Chris O'Riordan led off with a single and then scored when the next hitter, Ryan Garko, doubled.
Meanwhile, Tim Cunningham was doing a good job of keeping the Bruins off the scoreboard in the bottom halves of the innings. The junior lefty put up zeros in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings as Stanford took a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. In that sixth inning, Adam Berry hit a solo homer run to straight away center field cutting the lead to 6-3, but Stanford was quick to regain the momentum with four runs of their own in the top of the seventh.
Garko led off with a double and then Cooper singled moving the Cardinal catcher over to third. Carlos Quentin was the next hitter and he singled to left field scoring Garko for a 7-3 lead. After Carter was retired for the first out of the inning, Scott Dragicevich delievered the big hit with a triple off the top of the wall in center field scoring Cooper and Quentin which extended the lead up to 9-3. Dragicevich then came home to score the fourth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Andy Topham.
After Cunningham gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning, Stanford put the game well out of reach with seven runs over the final two frames. In the eighth inning, Garko scored the Cardinal's 11th run of the game with a home run to right-center field. Then Stanford exploded for six runs in the ninth inning pushing the Cardinal advantage all the way up to 17-4. The big hits in that inning were a two-run single by Arik VanZandt, a two-run single by Brian Hall, and an RBI single off the bat of Jonny Ash.
Game Notes :
* Every Stanford starter had at least one hit today with Garko (3-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Cooper (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Carter (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI), Dragicevich (3-for-6, 3B, HR, 3 RBI), and VanZandt (3-for-4, 2 RBI) all having multiple-hit games.
* Cooper moved back to his familiar #4 spot in the lineup today after hitting seventh in each of the first two games of the series. He finished the series 7-for-13 with two homers and five RBI.
* Cunningham pitched the first seven innings on the mound giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He walked five and struck out six as his record now stands at 7-2. Senior Dan Rich went the final two innings and retired all six batters he faced (four by strikeout).
* Washington lost to Oregon State 5-3 this afternoon while USC dropped a 17-8 decision to Arizona State. The top of the Pac-10 standings with just one weekend now remaining shows the Trojans still in first at 14-7 with the Cardinal and Huskies each a game back at 13-8.
Stanford 2 1 0 2 1 0 4 1 6
- 17 21 1
UCLA 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 - 4 8 1
The Cardinal will next be in action this Friday-Sunday when they host the last-place Washington State Cougars at Sunken Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 6pm on Friday and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. The NCAA Selection Show is on Monday the 27th at 9:30am (ESPN).