No. 1 Stanford Tops Rikkyo University In Exhibition Game, 9-4

Cardinal resumes regular season action with three-game non-conference series at California this Friday-Sunday, February 27-29.

Ben Summerhays (2-5, HR, RBI) hit a solo homer in Stanford's key five-run sixth inning in a 9-4 exhibition win over Rikkyo University of Japan on Tuesday

Ben Summerhays (2-5, HR, RBI) hit a solo homer in Stanford's key five-run sixth inning in a 9-4 exhibition win over Rikkyo University of Japan on Tuesday

Feb. 24, 2004

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    Stanford, Calif. - No. 1 Stanford picked up a 9-4 victory over Rikkyo University of Japan in an exhibition game at Sunken Diamond on Tuesday. John Hester (4-4, 2 2B) had four of the team's 11 hits, including a pair of doubles. Chris Minaker, Chris Carter and Ben Summerhays all homered for the Cardinal with Summerhays (2-5, HR, RBI) and Ryan Seawell (2-4, 2B, RBI) also picking up multiple-hit games. Minaker drove in three runs with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, while Carter had a pair of RBI on his solo shot in the sixth and a bases loaded walk later in the inning. Matt Leva was credited with the victory, allowing just an unearned run on three hits in 2.0 innings of relief as the fifth of seven Stanford pitchers that limited Rikkyo to six hits.

    "This was a fun day for everyone," said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess about the international exhibition. "It's nice to play a team from another part of the world and see how they do things on their end. They were an excellent team and very well coached. On our end, it gave us a chance to play some people that may not normally be in the lineup."

    Kei Fujimori (2-4) was the only Rikkyo player with more than one hit.

    Rikkyo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of a pair of Cardinal errors for two unearned runs in the frame. Hiroyuki Kato and Yasufumi Takahashi drew back-to-back walks off Stanford starter Drew Ehrlich to begin the game. Kato moved to third when Yuichi Tabata grounded into a fielders choice and scored on a sacrifice fly by Taichi Higa. Masashi Hamadi then singled to put runners on first and second base and the visitors scored a pair of runs when the Cardinal made two errors on the next play. Fujimori beat out an infield single bounced in front of the plate and Ehrlich threw the ball away in an attempt to retire him at first, allowing Tabata to score from second base. Seawell's errant throw back to the plate from right field then bounced off Hester as Hamada came all the way around from first to score.

    Rikkyo held onto its 3-0 lead until Minaker's mammoth three-run shot beyond the trees over the left field wall in the bottom of the fourth that also plated Summerhays and Hester, who had singled and doubled respectively earlier in the inning.

    Rikkyo regained a short-lived 4-3 lead with an unearned run in the top of the sixth. Three consecutive one-out singles by Daichi Tomonaga, Hiroki Aridome and pinch-hitter Takuro Okada loaded the bases. Leva retired Kato on a short fly ball to center field and seemed to be out of the inning when he induced Takahashi into a ground ball to Lewis at third base but Summerhays dropped Lewis' throw to first for Stanford's third error of the game, allowing Tomonaga to score.

    Stanford came right back with five runs in the bottom of the sixth frame to take a commanding 8-4 advantage. Carter and Summerhays started the inning with back-to-back homers to give Stanford a 5-4 lead. Hester singled and moved to second on a wild pitch before he was thrown out at third base on a fielders choice by Minaker for the first out of the inning. Chris Lewis then stroked an RBI triple off the glove of an outstretched Kato on a sprint in deep rightcenter field to score Minaker. Seawell followed with an RBI double to plate Lewis and the Cardinal finished its scoring with Carter's bases loaded free pass.

    The Cardinal finished off the game's scoring with an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth when Hester led off with a double and scored three batters later when a hard-hit ground ball hit by Seawell bounced off reserve third baseman Masato Fukushima.

    Kyohei Mimura, the third of six Rikkyo pitchers, suffered the loss by allowing five runs and five hits in 1.2 innings of work. Rikkyo starter Yasuaki Hino had the team's most effective stint, tossing a pair of scoreless one-hit innings with three strikeouts.

    Rikkyo left nine runners on base, while the Cardinal stranded seven.

    Stanford will resume regular season action by traveling to local rival California for a three-game non-conference series this Friday-Sunday, February 27-29 (2 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT) to begin a stretch where Stanford is scheduled to play 15 of its next 18 contests on the road. Stanford has won 10 straight games versus the Golden Bears, including a six-game season sweep in 2003. Stanford does not return to Sunken Diamond until hosting Cal Poly March 26-28 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT). Tickets are available for all 2004 regular season Stanford Baseball home games online at or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

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