California 5, Stanford
California 001 000 310 5 7
Stanford 001 010 000 2 9 1
No. 6 Stanford lost its third straight game as visiting Cal used a three-run
seventh to down the Cardinal 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Klein Field. Stanford
(28-12-7, 10-7 Pac-10) dropped to 0-3-1 against the archrival Bears (32-15-2,
11-9) and clinched its first lost weekend series of the year.
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Bennigson (4-3) earned the win, while Stanford’s Erik Davis (7-2) chalked up
only his second loss.
“He gave us a chance to win,” Coach Mark Marquess
said of his lanky senior righthander.
Marquess added that the offense,
which has scored just five runs two games into the series, needs a boost if
Stanford hopes to bounce back in the finale, 1 p.m. Sunday. Stanford’s two
through four hitters were 0-for-10 Saturday, just a day after its six through
nine batters hit a combined 1-for-15 in the series opener.
meanwhile, were outhit 9-7, but did the little things right, bunting when they
had to and making smart decisions on the base paths.
looked in control with a 2-1 lead after six innings. But then Erik Davis started
the seventh by hitting second baseman Josh Satin in the helmet.
Satin was unfazed from the hit, the same could not be said for Davis. Forced to
work from the stretch rather than the windup, Davis then walked the go-ahead
run, centerfielder Brett Jackson, Cal’s cleanup hitter. Davis regrouped to force
catcher Dylan Tonneson into a flyout, but after another walk, Jeff Kobernus gave
Cal a 3-2 lead with a one-out two-RBI single.
Then, shortstop Michael
Brady, Cal’s No. 9 hitter, attempted a suicide squeeze. Davis fielded the
dribbler down the first base line and decided to try for the risky out at the
plate. But his throw was wide of catcher Jason Castro, allowing for the run to
score and all runners to advance a base on the error.
The Cardinal found
a way out of the inning without further damage, courtesy rightfielder Jeff Whitlow’s well-timed defensive gem. He caught DH Mark Canha’s foul fly, then
turned and fired a strike to Jason Castro, who tagged out Kobernus, trying to
score from third.
But Cal was not finished. In the eighth, Davis showed
signs of tire and saw a potential fifth complete game of the season draw to a
close. Freshman standout Alex Pracher took the mound, but after Tonneson hit a
seeing-eye single through the left side, the score was 5-2 and Pracher’s
afternoon was also done. Freshman lefty Michael De Groot took the reins for
Stanford, and retired Cal’s last four batters in order.
the Card, Cal’s bullpen was just as strong. Blake Smith pitched a scoreless
seventh and a flawless eighth, when he struck out Stanford’s first three
hitters, second baseman Colin Walsh, pinch-hitter Brendan Domaracki, and catcher
Jason Castro, swinging. Closer Matt Gorgen preserved Bennigson’s win in the
ninth, though a two-out rally did bring the tying run to the plate.
blood came in the third inning, when Cal’s Charlie Cutler knocked a sharp line
drive into centerfield, scoring Smith from second base.
But the Cardinal
responded that same inning. Whitlow poked a dribbler back to the mound, but Cal
starter Craig Bennigson overthrew first base. As the ball trickled towards the
Stanford dugout, Whitlow sped to third after the ruled single. Jake Schlander’s
rightfield single easily brought home Whitlow, retying the game at 1-1.
Walsh followed Schlander with a line drive deep into the recesses of
right-centerfield. But Cal centerfielder Jackson threw a lace to Tonneson, who
tagged Schlander, trying to score from first on the play. A Toby Gerhart
groundout to short ended the inning.
The southpaw Bennigson had yet to
give up an earned run through four innings. But in the fifth, it was again
Whitlow who started the action, this time with a leftfield single. Whitlow
reached second on a groundout, then scored the go-ahead run for the Cardinal
when second baseman Walsh knocked a line-drive single into the right-center gap.
Walsh, however, was thrown out for greed when Bennigson cut off a throw to the
plate, and fired to second before Walsh could arrive.
looked dominant in the sixth. Davis retired the first three hitters of the Cal
lineup in order. Not to be outdone, Bennigson forced Stanford’s three most
productive hitters, Jason Castro, Brent Milleville, and Sean Ratliff, into a