Sacred Heart Prep grad Andrew Daschbach hit his first home run of the season for the 11th-ranked Stanford baseball team but it was host No. 24 Cal State Fullerton that had the final say as the Titans scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to nudge the Cardinal, 6-5, in the series finale Sunday at Goodwin Field.
The Cardinal (9-2) earned the series win, 2-1, after winning both games in a doubleheader on Friday against the Titans (5-4). Bellafronto led Stanford, offensively, going 2-for-4 with a two-run double to briefly give Stanford the lead in the eighth inning. Maverick Handley and Christian Robinson each drove in a run.
Stanford returns to Sunken Diamond next week when it plays host to No. 22 Texas for a four-game series. Games on Thursday and Friday will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday's contest starts at 2 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday will take place at 1 p.m.
"We didn't play well for the first four innings, but we flipped the script and made a great baseball game out of it," said Cardinal coach David Esquer. "Today is nothing to be too upset about. Things just didn't go our way at times, and I credit guys like Nick Bellafronto, Nick Brueser and Duke Kinamon for stepping up late in the game."
Erik Miller, making his third start of the season, tossed four innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Will Matthiessen relieved Miller to start the fifth, throwing three shutout innings to keep Stanford in it.
The Titans took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Sahid Valenzuela's single scored Hank LaForte and Cal State Fullerton made it a two-spot with a softly-hit grounder with which Tim Tawa could only go to first. Cal State Fullerton made it 3-0 in the fifth.
Handley's two-out double to left field scored Robinson with Stanford's first run in the fifth. Matthiessen went to work in the home half, quickly retiring the Titans in the fifth and sixth before Stanford plated another run in the seventh.
Daschbach's home run cleared the right-field fence on the first pitch of the seventh inning. Stanford took the lead in the eighth, sparked by a pinch-hit, lead-off walk by Brueser.
Kinamon pinch ran for Brueser, eventually scoring on a bases-loaded ground out by Robinson. Robinson hit a chopper to Jacob Pavletich at first base, who stepped on the bag and fired home but Kinamon's slide eluded the tag to tie it up.
Bellafronto followed with a two-out double to give the Cardinal a 5-3 advantage.
The Titans got two runs right back in the home half with a flurry of base hits and walks with All-American pitcher Jack Little in the game. With the score tied, 5-5, in the bottom of the ninth, the Titans plated the winning run, which was unearned, on a bloop single to right after a throwing error allowed the base runner to reach scoring position.Click here for full article...