STANFORD, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team looked well on its way to an upset over No. 6 Stanford, the Gaels scored eight runs in the first nine innings off 16 hits, but it wouldn't be enough as the Cardinal rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth and eventually won the game in extra innings, 9-8, Monday night at the Sunken Diamond.
In the bottom of the ninth inning Stanford (17-6) started the rally when Dominic Jose led off with a single to right field off Jordan Mills. Mills then walked back-to-back batters in Brian Guymon and Erick Smith. From there the Gaels handed the ball to Tanner Kichler who promptly got a quick out getting the dangerous Jake Stewart to foul out to third.
With one out and the bases loaded, Stanford's Kenny Diekroeger singled up the middle scoring Jose. Kichler then got Stephen Piscotty to pop up to short. With two down, Stanford got the big hit it needed, a two-out RBI double by Brian Ragira that scored Guymon and Smith to cut the Gaels lead to two. The next batter Austin Wilson singled to shallow right field to score Diekroeger from third and Ragira from second to tie the game. In the end, the Cardinal rallied back for five runs on four hits in the top of the ninth.
Stanford then proceeded to put up zeroes on the board for the next three innings, as Piscotty (1-0) pitched the eighth inning and came back in to pitch the 11th and 12th. Piscotty went 3.2 innings, allowing two hits while striking out three. He also went 3-for-6 at the plate.
In the top of the 12th inning Thomas Cortese (1-3) came back out for his third inning of work, after pitching two quick innings in the 10th and 11th. Alex Blandino singled to center field to start off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Blandino scored from second base on the single by Danny Diekroeger to right field. Cortese, the fifth pitcher of the night for Saint Mary's (14-13), went 2.1 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, with a walk and two strike outs.
SMC scored first in the top of the first inning, Donald Collins got the rally started with a base hit to right field on a 0-2 count. He scored all the way from first on a two-out double from freshman Collin Ferguson down the right field line. Patrick Wisdom traded places with Ferguson at second, clubbing his seventh double of the season in to left center field.
In the top of the second the Gaels added another run. With one out Toby DeMello doubled to left field just past a diving Brian Guymon. He came around to score on an error by Cardinal second baseman Alex Blandino on the hard hit ball by Collins.
In the bottom of the third the Stanford struck back, Brian Ragira led off the inning with a base hit to right field just out of the reach of Chris Murphy at second base. A wild pitch moved Ragira to second, after Austin Wilson flied out to right field, Blandino made up for his error hitting a 1-2 offering that caught too much of the plate over the left field fence to score a pair.
Channing got the Gaels back on the board in the top of the third; he led off the inning with a moon shot over the left field fence for his second home run of the season, and 45th of his career. That ended the day for Stanford's starter Dean McArdle who lasted two innings, allowed five hits, four runs, three earned, with a strike out.
Ryan Brockett took for the Gaels in the bottom of the fourth ending Keane's day. Keane pitched three complete, allowed four hits, two runs, both earned, with no walks and three strike outs in 43 pitches.
In the top of the sixth the Gaels added another run; Brenden Kalfus led off the inning with a base hit to left field. Toby DeMello moved him over to second on a sacrifice bunt. Boas singled to center field moving Kalfus to third, Collins walked to load the bases. Norton did his job with a fly ball to center field that scored Kalfus.
In the bottom of the seventh Brockett came out for his fourth inning of work, and immediately got into some trouble. He started off the inning walking the leadoff hitter and a dropped fly ball put runners at first and second with no outs. Brockett responded getting a tailor made ground ball to Boas who started the 6-4-3 double play. With a runner at third, the Cardinal did bring in a run on a two out knock by Jake Stewart making it 6-3 Gaels.
Brockett finished the evening getting the dangerous Diekroeger to strike out looking on a nasty breaking ball on a 3-2 count. Brockett's line: four innings pitched three hits, one run, unearned, one walk and five strike outs in 65 pitches.
SMC pounded out 19 hits, as every starter tallied a hit on the evening, led by Ferguson who went 5-for-7 to bring his average to .405 on the year. Collins, Norton, Channing, Murphy, and DeMello all had two hit games.
The Gaels return home on Thursday to being a three game West Coast Conference series against Pepperdine at Louis Guisto Field starting at 3:00 p.m.