Cardinal Baseball Opens Season With a Win

The Stanford Cardinal baseball squad began the 2003 campaign on Saturday with an impressive 7-2 victory over the host Santa Clara Broncos. John Hudgins and Ryan McCally combined on a six-hitter while the Cardinal offense contributed 15 hits. Read on for a complete recap.

The 3rd ranked Stanford Cardinal opened their season with a convincing 7-2 victory over the host Santa Clara Broncos on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.  Stanford used a 15-hit attack and solid pitching and defense to knock-off the Broncos and improve their record to 1-0.

The scoring started right off the bat for the Cardinal as with two outs and nobody on in the first inning, Carlos Quentin singled, stole second, and then scored on a Ryan Garko single.  Stanford put up two more runs in the top of third inning when again with two outs and nobody on, Quentin doubled and then scored on a Garko single.  The Cardinal wasn't done though as freshman John Mayberry, Jr. clubbed a triple to the right-center field gap scoring Garko for a 3-0 Stanford lead.  The Cardinal added another run in the top of the fourth on a Brian Hall solo homer to left.

Meanwhile, John Hudgins was rolling along on the hill for Stanford.  The junior righty worked three scoreless innings to start the game giving up just one single in the process.  He ran into some trouble in the fourth frame as consecutive one-out singles by Jim Wallace and Michael Thompson put two runners on and then a two-out single by Shawn Epidendio brought home Wallace for SCU's first run of the game.  Hudgins worked a perfect 1-2-3 fifth inning throwing just eight pitches but struggled some in the bottom of the sixth.  With the score still 4-1 Cardinal, SCU managed to put across another tally in that bottom of the sixth inning.  A.J. LaBarbera led off with a double and would later score on a David Mandley ground out.  Hudgins though would get out of the inning without further damage.

The Stanford hitters were quieted in the middle part of the game after Santa Clara starter Joe Diefenderfer (3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO) was removed.  Local product Anthony Rea shut down the Stanford offense putting up zeros in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.  Rea though would be lifted from the game heading into the eighth in favor of Chad Fillinger and that's when the Cardinal offense woke back up.  Danny Putnam greeted Fillinger with a deep solo homer to right field increasing the lead to 5-2 and then the Cardinal added two more scores in the ninth to push the lead up to 7-2.  With one out, Donny Lucy doubled to right-center and would score on a Putnam single to right.  After a Brian Hall single moved Putnam to third, Jonny Ash delivered with a deep sacrifice fly to left for a 7-2 lead.

After Hudgins worked the first six innings (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO), Ryan McCally came in and slammed the door shut for his 12th career save.  The senior righthander worked the final three innings giving up just one hit while walking none and striking out one.

This easily could have been a blowout for Stanford as the Cardinal rapped out 15 hits but left 13 runners on base.  Stanford left the bases loaded in the third and eighth innings while they left two runners on in the seventh and ninth frames.  All in all, an impressive offensive performance.  Ryan Garko led the way with a 3-for-5 game which included two RBI early in the contest, both with two outs.  Danny Putnam (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Carlos Quentin (2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB), Tobin Swope (2-for-5, SB), and Brian Hall (2-for-5, HR, RBI, SB) also had multi-hit games.  Frosh John Mayberry, Jr. went 1-for-5 with a triple in his Cardinal debut.  He just missed a home run in the seventh inning hitting a fly ball to the wall in left-center where it's 385 feet deep.  Sam Fuld was the only starter without a hit.  Stanford also showcased good speed on the bases with a perfect 3-for-3 afternoon (Quentin, Hall, Swope).  The pitching was outstanding as Hudgins and McCally combined on a six-hitter while walking only one.  And the defense was solid as they committed no errors.

A look at the starting lineup ... 1. Swope - SS, 2. Fuld - CF, 3. Quentin - RF, 4. Garko - C, 5. Mayberry, Jr. - 1B, 6. Lucy - DH, 7. Putnam - LF, 8. Hall - 3B, 9. - Ash - 2B.  A little surprising to see Hall drop to the eighth spot, but with the day he had today (a home run plus a deep flyout to left that would have been a homer at Sunken) he won't be hitting there for long.

Stanford       1 0 2  1 0 0  0 1 2  -  7  15   0
Santa Clara    0 0 0  1 0 1  0 0 0  -  2   6   0

WP : John Hudgins (1-0)
LP : Joe Diefenderfer (0-1)
S : Ryan McCally (1)

Records : Stanford 1-0, Santa Clara 0-1

* These teams will wrap-up this two-game series tomorrow afternoon at Sunken Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 1pm.  Tim Cunningham (10-3, 4.26 in 2002) will be on the mound for Stanford while Santa Clara is expected to counter with senior lefty Matt Travis (5-4, 4.35 in 2002).

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