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Cardinal use late surge to avoid Bear sweep

By David Stanton Daily Planet Correspondent
Monday April 30, 2001

A capacity crowd of 2413 fans filled Evans Diamond on Sunday to watch the Golden Bears (26-22, 11-10) play the Stanford Cardinal (34-12, 12-6). The Bears, having taken the first two games from Stanford, were looking for a sweep to further their chances at making the post-season.  

For a while, it looked as if Cal would have a chance at a sweep, but after scoring only five runs in the first 24 innings of the series, the Cardinal bats got hot in the seventh inning. Stanford scored six runs, all with two outs, and added another in the eighth. The late hitting, combined with an outstanding pitching performance from Mike Gosling, propelled Stanford to an 8-0 victory. 

Gosling improved his record to a perfect 5-0, pitching a complete game, and scattering four hits and a walk, while striking out 10 Cal batters. 

For the first six innings it looked like a pitching duel between Gosling and David Cash (8-3), starting in place of usual third starter Ryan Atkinson, who was out with a tender shoulder. But Cash ran into trouble in the seventh and never made it out of the inning.  

Cal’s best chance to score - and take an early lead - was in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, Ben Conley reached on a dropped third strike that got away from Stanford catcher Ryan Garko and Connor Jackson followed with a single, bringing up freshmen outfielder Brian Horowitz with a runner in scoring position. Horowitz worked the count to 3-0 before hitting a two-hopper down the third base line which Andy Topham backhanded and threw to first, beating Horowitz by a step.  

Stanford scored in the top of the of the fourth when back-to-back doubles scored Carlos Quentin. The game remained 1-0 until the top of the seventh. Quentin led off with a single and Stanford coach Mark Marquess put the hit and run on, which Stanford executed to perfection as designated hitter Jonny Ash hit a ball into the hole vacated by shortstop Jeff Dragicevich. 

Dragicevich missed a change in the defensive coverage assignment sent in by the Cal bench, costing Cal the opportunity at a double play, and leading to a big inning for the Cardinal. After a sacrifice bunt moved Quentin and Ash into scoring position, Cash intentionally walked Brian Hall to load the bases, setting up a possible force at home or a double play. Cash struck out Topham on three pitches, bringing up leadoff hitter Sam Fuld. Fuld hit a single up the middle, driving in both Ash and Quentin. After giving up a RBI single to Chris O’Riordan, Cash was pulled.  

The Cal bullpen gave up two more hits, leading to Stanford’s sixth and seventh runs of the game. After the top of the seventh the Cal the fans began slowly leaving for the exits. All they missed was Stanford scoring the final run of the game on a Topham sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.