Late Comeback Bid Falls Short as Pepperdine Drops 8-7 Decision to Stanford in Regional Final
June 3, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Pepperdine baseball rallied late, including coming within a few feet of a game-tying home run in the ninth, but came up a run short, falling to host Stanford 8-7 on Sunday evening at Sunken Diamond to end the Waves' 2012 campaign.
Despite the Waves (36-23) jumping out to an early four-run lead in the first, Stanford (41-16) answered with one in the bottom of the frame and two in the third before striking the decisive blow with a five-run fourth that put the Waves down 8-4. Pepperdine plated three in the seventh to pull to within one, but the rally ended with a missed hit and run, leaving the score at 8-7, which would hold until the ninth.
Junior shortstop Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS) led off the ninth, drilling a 2-2 fastball over the left field fence for what would have been a game-tying solo home run, but the ball hooked just foul. The Waves got the tying run on base later in the inning, when Joe Sever(San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep) drew a two-out walk, but he was left stranded at first.
On the top of the ninth, head coach Steve Rodriguezsaid, "What's funny is it wouldn't have surprised me if it was fair, just because of how things were going for this team, and the fight and tenacity they have shown this whole week."
The Waves jumped on the Cardinal in the top of the first, stringing together hits to produce a four-run inning. With one out, Austin Davidson (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) doubled to right field. Cardinal starter Stephen Piscotty was able to get a second out, but Tony Cooper (San Carlos, Calif./Canada College) followed with a single down the left field line to score Davidson and give the Waves a 1-0 lead. The two-out rally continued as Sam Meyer (Los Altos, Calif./St. Francis HS) singled to center field to put runners at first and second. Floyd Given (Rohnert Park, Calif./Sacramento City College) doubled to right center to plate two more runs, and designated hitter Matt Forgatch(San Marino, Calif./Denison Univ.) came up with a RBI single to give the Waves the early 4-0 lead.
The Cardinal was able to get on the board itself in the bottom of the first, as pitcher Piscotty helped his cause by singling in Jake Stewart who had started off the inning with a double down the left field line.
The Waves took their 4-1 lead into the bottom of the third, but Waves' starter Matt Maurer(Medford, Ore./North Medford HS) ran into trouble, hitting the leadoff batter and issuing a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs. Brian Ragira doubled to center field to push one run across, and Alex Blandino followed with a sac fly to put the score at 4-3, Waves. With two outs and runners at the corners, Maurer induced a foul popup down the third base line from Danny Diekroeger, and Davidson made a stellar catch crashing into the wall to record the final out of the inning and preserve the Waves' lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Cardinal offense again came alive--this time at the expense of freshman righty Mat Snider (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos HS), who started the inning in relief of Maurer. Snider struck out the first hitter he faced and got the second out with runners at first and second, but issued a two-out walk and was lifted for Aaron Brown(Chatsworth, Calif./Chatsworth HS), who was making his second appearance of the day. Austin Wilson singled up the middle to give the Cardinal its first lead of the day, and Alex Blandino homered to left field to put Stanford ahead 8-5.
Brown settled in to throw a scoreless 1.1 innings, before being lifted in favor of righty Eric Karch(Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) with two on and one out in the sixth. Karch got Wilson to fly out and Blandino to strikeout to end the inning and finished the day with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Waves' bats got to Stanford in the top of the seventh. Vincej and Davidson hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Sever followed with a double that drove Vincej in and put runners at second and third with one out. Cooper drove both in with a single that cut the deficit to 8-7, but that would be all the Waves would get out of the inning.
The Waves finished the season 36-23, claiming their first conference championship since 2006 and making their first regional appearance since 2008. Junior righty Jon Moscot (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Cuesta College) and senior DH Forgatch both were named to the all-regional team.
Stanford 8, Pepperdine 7
E - Blandino, A(7). DP - WAVES 1. LOB - WAVES 6; CARDINAL 9. 2B - DAVIDSON, A.(9); SEVER, J.(16); GIVEN, F.(7); Stewart, J(15); Ragira, B(15). HR - Blandino, A(8). HBP - Stewart, J; Gaffney, T; Ragira, B. SF - Blandino, A(4). CS - COOPER, T.(2).
Win - Piscotty, S (5-2). Loss - SNIDER, M. (0-2). Save - Bloom, S (1).
Umpires - HP: Danny Collins 1B: Barry Chambers 2B: Kevin Sweeney 3B: Tony Mayners