Card Collapse in USC opener

The Cardinal Baseball team had to feel great coming into this weekend's series against USC after taking two of three from Texas last weekend. In Austin, Stanford came up with clutch hits and played tremendous defense. Plus, the staff pitched well enough to win. Today, the Cardinal didn't pitch well, and played some of its poorest defense in years: things you cannot do against the USC Trojans.

USC 13, Stanford 4
February 28, 2003

Chalk it up to an out of the ordinary, hopefully once-in-a season performance by the Stanford Cardinal. Mistakes, like walks and errors, come back to haunt you in a college baseball. Especially against USC. When you make six errors in a game, including 3 in one inning, don't expect to win against good, even mediocre teams. Stanford tonight got hit hard and hurt themselves in this 13-4 drubbing.

John Hudgins started for the Cardinal against Brian Bannister for the Trojans, who entered the game 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. In the first inning, Hudgins set down USC in order and the Cardinal only managed a hit by Carlos Quentin. USC struck first in the second. With one out, back to back doubles by Joey Metropoulos and Michael Moon gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead. With Moon on 2nd, Hudgins would get David Gordon to pop up and struck out Spencer Gordon to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, John Mayberry Jr. singled to right, extending his hit streak to 9 games, but he would be stranded when the inning ended, with USC leading 1-0.

With one out in the 3rd, USC leadoff hitter Travis McAndrews homered to RF to give USC a 2-0 lead. Prior to the homer, Hudgins had given up only one homer this year in 145 AB. Jon Brewster singled to center following the dinger, and advanced to third on Stanford's first error, a Sam Fuld fielding error. Anthony Lunetta drove the next pitch over the left field wall to give USC a 4-0 lead, the second homer that Hudgins allowed in the inning.

Trailing 4-0, Stanford sparked a nice rally in the 3rd. With a run across on a Lewis double, a balk, and a Fuld Sac Fly, Carlos Quentin walked with 2 outs. Garko ripped a double down the left field line, scoring Quentin and giving Garko his team leading 16th RBI. Putnam followed by doubling down the right field line, scoring Garko and bringing the Cardinal within one. The inning ended with Stanford trailing only 4-3.

However, USC came right back, as they did all night. Michael Moon singled to lead off the inning and David Gordon hit the Trojans' 3rd homer of the day, a blast to left. USC led 6-3 and then never looked back.

The Cardinal would score again in the 6th on an RBI single by Mayberry, and the Trojans took a 6-4 lead into the 7th facing Hudgins. Leading off the inning, Matt Bonovich grounded to third, but Jed Lowrie booted it and Bonovich stood on first. Hudgins threw a wild pitch, pushing Bonovich to second, and he moved to third on Travis McAndrews third hit of the day. Hudgins was pulled in favor of Mark Jecmen, who immediately threw a wild pitch, scoring Bonovich. Jecmen walked Brewster and went 3-0 to Lunetta before he was yanked by Marquess in favor of Drew Ehrlich. Ehrlich threw ball four to Lunetta (Jecmen's walk) to load the bases. Still, with nobody out, Ehrlich got star freshman Jeff Clement to pop out, holding the runners on base. Metropoulos grounded out weakly, and while a run scored to make it 8-4, Ehrlich deserved credit for getting two quick outs against the 4-5 hitters. However, Moon singled home two more runners and USC lead 10-4 at the end of the inning. Symbolic of how Stanford played all night, Moon caught Stanford sleeping, and while the Cardinal talked it over Moon moved up to 2nd base. The inning ended with the Cardinal trailing 10-4 to the Men of Troy.

The ninth inning proved to be disastrous, with Jeff Gilmore on the mound, Stanford committed three errors leading to three unearned runs as the Trojans would go out to win 13-4.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

USC

0

1

3

2

0

0

4

0

3

13

11

1

Stanford

0

0

3

0

0

1

0

0

0

4

8

6

WP: Brian Bannister (3-1)
LP: John Hudgins (3-1)

Records: Stanford (9-7), USC (7-6)

Notes:

  • Stanford's six errors are the most since 1999. Both Jed Lowrie and John Mayberry committed two.
  • Mayberry went 2-4, extending his hit streak to nine.
  • USC hit three homers, only the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th all year off Hudgins, who lost his first game since May 11th last season.
  • Brian Bannister pitched well, going 7.0 innings and giving up four runs en route to his 3rd victory for USC.
  • Michael Moon for the Trojans went 3-5 with a double and 3 RBI.
  • Danny Putnam had two doubles for Stanford, tying him for the team lead with 6 (Quentin).
  • Top of Stanford's lineup (Fuld and Hall), a combined 0-8. Hall is 5 for his last 41.
  • Stanford tries to get back on track tomorrow against the Trojans at 1:00 PM. Ryan McCally (1-1) for Stanford faces off against USC lefty Frasier Dizard. KZSU will carry the game live on air (90.1 FM) until 1:45, when the game will be on the internet only on KZSU2 (kzsulive.stanford.edu) the rest of the way because of a conflict with Stanford Women's Basketball. Chad Goldberg and Nick Kapur have the call.

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