March 26, 2011
Palo Alto, Calif. - Freshman Jeff McNeil had a pair of hits for Long Beach State, finishing the day 2-for-3 with a walk, but Stanford starter Jordan Pries had the Dirtbags number, allowing only an unearned run over seven innings as Long Beach State lost on the road to No. 12 Stanford 6-1.
The Cardinal got off to an early start by scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Jake Stewart led off the bottom half of the inning with a hit, and after a grounder moved him over, a Kenny Diekroeger single brought home the first run of the game. An RBI single from Brian Ragira then scored Diekroeger as the Cardinal took a 2-0 lead.
Branden Pinder settled down at that point, working three scoreless innings, and the Dirtbags cut the lead in half in the fourth inning. Michael Hill scorched a comebacker that hit Pries in the back, and an overthrow that was late to first, Hill advanced to second. Hill would then advance on a grounder and a wild pitch to cut the lead to 2-1.
Stanford's big inning came in the fifth, however. After a leadoff double by Zach Jones, an error by Matt Duffy put runners on the corners with two outs, and another RBI single by Diekroeger gave the Cardinal an insurance run. Then, with runners on second and third with two outs, Tyler Gaffney doubled to put the Cardinal in front 5-1.
Stanford added a solo run in the eighth inning, extra insurance for a Cardinal staff that held Long Beach State to one hit from the sixth inning on.
Long Beach State still has a chance to take the series in the final game Sunday against Stanford. Shawn Stuart will take the mound against Dean McArdle with a first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.
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