Baseball: Stanford survives six errors, two comebacks to beat St. Mary’s 16-14

March 30, 2011, 3:03 a.m.

Stanford baseball survived two furious St. Mary’s rallies in the 7th and 9th innings last night to pull out a 16-14 victory in the last game of its pre-season.

On a chilly night, the No. 11 Cardinal scored early and often, but struggled to keep the Gaels (9-12) off the bases. Stanford racked up 19 hits and committed 6 errors in a wacky game at Sunken Diamond.

Baseball: Stanford survives six errors, two comebacks to beat St. Mary's 16-14
Freshman second baseman Lonnie Kauppila had four hits, three runs scored and three RBI in Stanford's win over St. Mary's (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily).

Senior pitcher Danny Sandbrink gave Stanford (11-6) three shutout innings in his first start of the season and left the game with a 5-0 lead.

The Cardinal was paced by freshman second baseman Lonnie Kauppila’s four hits and the defense of sophomore third baseman Stephen Piscotty.

Piscotty ended the Gaels threat in the 6th inning with an impressive charging put-out to first on a slow rolling bunt and again in the 7th inning with a diving, unassisted put-out at third base.

The Gaels didn’t hit the ball hard all night, but after Sandbrink’s departure, they seemed to find every gap.

Junior pitcher A.J. Talt performed well in relief for three innings, but got himself into trouble in the 7th. Stanford’s disaster inning began when Talt hit Markus Melgosa and Cole Norton with pitches. The damage was compounded when Donald Collins reached on a bunt.

Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, who was resting his front-line pitchers for the upcoming series with Washington State, brought in junior pitcher Elliot Byers with a 9-2 lead and the bases loaded for only his second appearance of the season.

Byers appeared to be up for the task when he struck out pinch hitter Richard Boas, but after that the runs began to pour in. The Gaels ended up scoring seven runs in the inning on four hits.

The inning was prolonged by a misjudged bloop single which barely sailed into right center field over Kauppila’s outstretched arms and an error by the shortstop Diekroeger.

“I took a false step,” Kauppila said of the ball that got over his head. “It got caught in the wind and barely got past me.”

Sophomore pitcher Sahil Bloom came into the game to get the final out of the inning and the Cardinal found itself locked in a tight 10-9 ballgame.

Kaupilla avenged his misplay in the top of the inning with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.

“Baseball is a game of luck,” Kaupilla said. “Luck was in my favor today. It was nice to give the team a little bit of a breather in that situation.”

The six-run rally was punctuated by a two-run homer off the bat of senior DH Ben Clowe.

With the game seemingly secure going into the ninth inning, the Cardinal defense stumbled, committing four errors and allowing the Gaels to put up five runs.

Marquess brought in experienced junior Scott Snodgress to close it out. Snodgress struck out Tim David to secure his second save of the season and end a game that the Cardinal was lucky to win and will be happy to put in the past.

The Cardinal begins its Pac-10 slate this Friday against Washington State in Pullman, Wash.


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