March 27, 2011
Palo Alto, Calif. - Brennan Metzger started off the game with a double as the Dirtbags stormed out to a 4-0 lead, but the No. 12 Cardinal came all the way back and downed Long Beach State 6-5 in the third game of the series.
Long Beach State tallied up 11 hits as Metzger, Kirk Singer, and Michael Hill each had three hits, but the Dirtbags ended up with nine runners left on base, and committed three errors that doomed the team's chances at the upset.
The game could not have started better for the Dirtbags, as Long Beach State jumped all over Stanford starter Dean McArdle. Metzger's double was followed by a sacrifice bunt from Matt Hibbert, and Ino Patron doubled to get Long Beach State on the board 1-0. Back-to-back singles from Mike Marjama and Matt Duffy brought home Patron while keeping the rally going, and Hill and Singer both added RBI singles before McArdle was taken out, having given up six hits and four runs, all earned.
The Cardinal loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but Long Beach State held the damage to a solo run. Stanford's comeback was completed in the third inning. A one-out walk to Jake Stewart was followed by two singles, loading the bases once more, and a two-run single from Stephen Piscotty cut the lead to one. The Cardinal then scored two more runs on consecutive Long Beach State errors, taking the lead at 5-4.
The Dirtbags tied the score in the top of the sixth inning. A.J. Vanegas, who had pitched 4.1 innings in relief, gave a double to Kirk Singer to start the inning, and Singer, after being pushed to third base, scored on an RBI single by Metzger to tie the game at 5-5. A double play got the Cardinal out of the inning however, and Stanford scored an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning to regain a one-run advantage.
Stanford closer Chris Reed ended Long Beach State's best opportunity, striking out Juan Avila with one out and a runner on third, and finished the rest of the game, striking out four and not allowing a hit over the last 2.2 innings.
Long Beach State begins Big West play next weekend, heading back up to Northern California for a three-game series beginning on April 1.
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