Baseball: Texas takes two

March 9, 2011, 1:45 a.m.

Offensive struggles doomed Stanford baseball in two of three games in Austin this weekend, as the No. 9 Cardinal could only win once against No. 6 Texas.

The Cardinal is 6-5 on the year and is near the end of a tough nonconference stretch that has included 10 games against ranked teams. Though Stanford mounted impressive come-from-behind efforts on both Friday and Sunday, each fell short in 4-3 and 4-2 losses.

Texas starter Taylor Jungmann was as impressive as expected on Friday afternoon, taking a perfect game into the fifth frame before allowing his first run of the season after 22.2 innings pitched. Stanford sophomore Mark Appel, meanwhile, gave up four runs in 7.1 innings.

The Longhorn star seemed shakier in the ninth, allowing four hits against five batters to start the frame and giving up two runs before being pulled. The Cardinal was in position to steal the lead with two runners on and two outs, down 4-3, but a hard-knock comebacker sealed the deal for Texas and gave Appel his second close loss in a row.

Baseball: Texas takes two
Sophomore third baseman Stephen Piscotty, above, gave the Cardinal a huge boost out of the three-hole on Saturday with two hits and two RBI. (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily)

Stanford’s late momentum continued into Saturday’s matchup, as the Cardinal scored early and often to take a 3-0 lead going into a three-run fifth. Sophomore third baseman Stephen Piscotty’s second double of the game knocked in a run before the Longhorns’ third error on the afternoon made the score 5-0. Freshman Lonnie Kauppila came up with his second RBI single in as many games for another Stanford run.

Texas’s five errors–three of which were made by third baseman Erich Weiss–were too much for the Longhorns to overcome as sophomore Dean McArdle (2-0) allowed just one run in 7.2 innings and the Cardinal took the contest, 9-2.

But Texas made no errors on Sunday, and Stanford had trouble coming up with any offense until the final two innings of the series.

The Cardinal kept things close but still hadn’t scored by the bottom of the sixth, when sophomore outfielder Jake Stewart lost a ball in the sun, resulting in a Longhorn triple. A wild pitch by junior Scott Snodgress brought the runner in and made the score 4-0 for Texas.

Stanford rallied in the eighth, loading the bases on a walk and two consecutive hits to start the inning. Following an RBI single by freshman first baseman Brian Ragira, sophomore Eric Smith grounded into a double play, bringing in a run but costing the Cardinal two crucial outs. The next batter, freshman Brian Guymon, struck out to end the inning.

Senior Dave Giuliani singled to lead off the ninth, but the three top hitters in Stanford’s order–who would finish with just one hit in 13 at-bats on the day–couldn’t close the 4-2 gap. The matchup was also the Cardinal’s least impressive of the series from a pitching standpoint, as Stanford hurlers walked seven batters–that’s more bases on balls than in the two previous games combined.

Though Stewart hit safely in all three games, continuing his impressive run with hits in 10 of 11 games, he cooled off considerably over the weekend, batting just .200 in the series.

The Cardinal gets a week off for finals before it plays Michigan in a home series on March 18 and 19.

Joseph Beyda is the editor in chief of The Stanford Daily. Previously he has worked as the executive editor, webmaster, football editor, a sports desk editor, the paper's summer managing editor and a beat reporter for football, baseball and women's soccer. He co-authored The Daily's recent football book, "Rags to Roses," and covered the soccer team's national title run for the New York Times. Joseph is a senior from Cupertino, Calif. majoring in Electrical Engineering. To contact him, please email jbeyda "at"

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