In a nutshell:
California 4, Stanford 3
California (31-15-2, 10-9): 100 010 010 1
10-6): 000 100 002 0
Allowing just four hits in seven
innings, junior righty Austin Yount allowed no more than one run in an inning
and pitched better than his three earned runs would indicate. On a cold night on
which Stanford’s batters needed nine innings to warm up, Yount, and his five
strikeouts, kept the Cardinal in contention.
In the pitchers’ duel, Brett
Milleville knocked in a solo-shot homer in the fourth to put the Card on the
board. Second baseman Colin Walsh and Randy Molina had two big hits in the ninth
as Stanford mounted its comeback.
Tough day at the ballpark:
The top of the
order didn’t exactly shroud itself in glory, with the one through five hitters a
fairly standard 5-for-18. But Stanford’s batters in the six through nine slots –
Sean Ratliff, Brendan Domaracki, Zach Jones, Jake Schlander and Toby Gerhart –
again struggled. Today, they were a combined 1-of-15. There’s your ballgame, and
there’s your biggest red flag as the postseason looms on the horizon.
Trailing 3-1, Stanford was on
life support entering the bottom of the ninth. But then Walsh’s curling double
touched down just inside the leftfield line and Joey August drew a walk to start
off the inning. Fast-forward to a Milleville sac fly and Molina’s single,
and the game was knotted at three and the stage set for extra innings.
the top of the tenth, Cal’s Michael Brady was on second after a walk and a steal
as Charlie Cutler stepped to the plate with two outs. Cutler leashed a smart
one-hopper that took an abnormally high bounce, deflected off Walsh’s left
shoulder and squirted into the outfield to bring home Brady. A groundout got
relief pitcher Drew Storen out of the inning, but the damage had been
Brendan Domaracki led off the bottom of the tenth with a single,
and Wande Olabisi pinch ran for him as freshman third baseman Zach Jones worked
the count full against Cal righty Matt Gorgen.
On the full count, Olabisi
took off running and was about to steal second easily as Jones struck out
swinging. But Jones leaned back into catcher Dylan Tonneson as he fired to
second, and home plate umpire Dan Mascorro called interference. Normally, Jones
would have been out and Olabisi allowed to stay on first on the call (the steal
would have been negated), but since Jones had already struck out, the
interference out was applied to Olabisi. Thus, with one swing and one lean,
Stanford went from no outs and a man on first to two out and none on – a de
facto double play.
Toby Gerhart, mired in a slump, struck out swinging to
end the contest.
3,670 turned out on a cool
Friday evening, easily the biggest and loudest crowd of the season. (In a lament
that will surprise no one, Cal’s 670 were nearly as loud as Stanford’s 3,000.)
Add in the natural rivalry, the Pac-10 implications and the closeness of the
game, and perhaps it’s no surprise fans witnessed plenty of fireworks before the
The top of the seventh alone justified the price of
admission. After Blake Smith struck out looking on a questionable pitch to end
the inning, Cal assistant coach Jon Zuber got into the umpire’s face. For a long
Finally, head coach David Esquer came out to rescue Zuber from a
likely ejection, but another official cut Esquer off at the pass. Esquer simply
borrowed from the Reggie Bush YouTube highlight video, juking right but darting
left around the official to get to his assistant coach.
The fans could
not believe the jitterbug, and neither could the officials, who tossed Esquer.
Still, we hope Toby Gerhart noted the footwork.
The less said the better
tonight. The bottom of the lineup struggled most, but Cal ace Tyson Ross
frustrated every Stanford batter at one point or another. Until its rally in the
ninth, when Ross had visibly tired, the Cardinal had multi-inning stretches
without hitting it out of the infield.
Plate discipline was again a
culprit, with two walks to eight Ks for the Card.
Cal and Stanford will face off
at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and TheBootleg.com will continue to provide full
coverage. Stay tuned for all the latest.
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