May 12, 2002
STANFORD, Calif. -- The 19th-ranked Arizona State baseball team left 10 runners on base and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in a tough 3-1 loss to the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-10 series finale Sunday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal scored two runs in the sixth inning and added an important insurance run in the eighth, and held off a late Sun Devil really as ASU left the bases loaded when the game ended on a fly ball to center field.
With the win the Cardinal secured its 21st straight regular season series victory at Sunken Diamond and improved to 35-14 overall, 11-7 in Pac-10 play. Arizona State drops to 28-18 overall with its second straight Pac-10 series loss and stand alone in fourth place in the conference with a 10-8 record. The two teams split the previous two games in the series, with Stanford taking Friday's opener 5-3 and ASU dominating Saturday's game 10-2. The all-time series between the two college baseball powers is now tied 76-76.
Stanford starting pitcher Tim Cunningham picked up the win by throwing seven shutout innings. The 2001 Team USA member scattered seven hits and struck out two in his 15th start of the year to improve to 6-2. Phoenix native and graduate of Mountain Pointe High School Ryan McCally closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his seventh season of the year.
ASU starter Robbie McClellan was brilliant in his 11th start of the year, but was saddled with the loss to fall to 7-5 on the year. McClellan gave up six hits and three runs in seven and a third innings. He struck out four and walked four in his outing.
The Devils put runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings with no results, stranding seven runners on base. Sophomore left fielder Rod Allen flied out to the warning track in center field in the first inning and Steve Garrabrants grounded out sharply in the second to end the potential threats. Allen and Jeremy West also grounded out with a runner on second to end the third and fifth innings.
The Cardinal broke up the pitcher's duel with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to break the 0-0 tie. Sophomore center fielder Sam Fuld led off the inning with a triple to the right field gap and scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Brian Hall. All-American second baseman added to the Stanford lead with his eighth home run of the year to give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead.
ASU senior second baseman Sergio Garcia pulled the Sun Devils to within one run with his first home run of the year.
Stanford added an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning when preseason All-American right fielder and 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Carlos Quentin drew a bases loaded hit-by-pitch from ASU reliever Mark Sopko. Junior left-hander Bryce Kartler inherited the bases loaded and struck out the only batter he faced.
ASU made the game interesting by loading the bases in the ninth inning, but McCally got Steve Garrabrants to ground into a fielder's choice and Garcia to fly out to center field to end the game.
Garcia finished the game 3-for-5 for his first three-hit game as a Sun Devil. No other Sun Devil recorded more than one hit. Fuld led the Cardinal with three hits for his ninth multi-hit game in the last 10 contests.
Arizona State will return to action with a pair of midweek games against the University of Portland Tuesday and Wednesday at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz. ASU will host a crucial three-game conference series next weekend (May 17-19) against the Pac-10 leading USC Trojans.