No. 24 Stanford Drops 2-1 Heartbreaker In 11 Innings At California

May 7, 2005

Berkeley, Calif. - No. 24 Stanford (27-16, 8-6 Pac-10) dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker at California (30-21, 10-10 Pac-10) when pinch-hitter Travis Howell' bases loaded squeeze with no outs in the bottom of the 11th brought home Chris Errecart with the game-winning run in a Pac-10 contest Saturday at Evans Diamond. The two teams played scoreless baseball through nine innings as Stanford's Mark Romanczuk and California's Eric Dworkis matched each other with nine consecutive shutout frames each.

Stanford broke through for a run in the top of the 10th to take a 1-0 advantage before the Golden Bears answered with a run in the bottom of the 10th to extend the contest.

Errecart led off the bottom of the 11th with a double down the left field line off losing pitcher Nolan Gallagher (1-4), who had got the Cardinal out of a bases loaded one-out jam in the previous inning. Stanford then issued an intentional walk to California cleanup hitter Brennan Boesch before the Golden Bears pulled off a double steal to advance the runners to second and third. The Cardinal then walked Josh Satin intentionally, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Blake Holler then entered the contest in relief of Gallagher and Howell successfully laid down his 1-1 pitch with Errecart on the move from third to give the Golden Bears the victory.

Stanford broke the scoreless tie in the top of the 10th inning when Michael Taylor and Chris Minaker hit back-to-back doubles with two outs.

California responded with a run in the bottom of the 10th when Satin led off with a single that chased Romanczuk (9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO). Robert Nesbitt then moved Satin to second base with a sacrifice bunt off Cardinal reliever Matt Manship (0.1 IP, 3 H), who then allowed three consecutive singles. Garrett Bussiere came up with the first hit off of Manship with a line drive single to leftcenter but Satin was held at third after having to wait to see that the ball would fall safely in front of Cardinal leftfielder Chris Lewis. Jeremy Burchett came through with the game-tying single when he poked a line drive into left to plate Satin. Matt Einspahr then grounded a single through the left side but Bussiere was held at third to load the bases. Gallagher came on to relieve Gallagher, striking out pinch-hitter Mike Van Winden and Allen Craig to leave the bases full of Golden Bears.

Einspahr (2-4) and Errecart (2-5, 2B, SB) combined for half of California's eight hits.

California reliever Travis Talbott (5-1) picked up the win in relief of Dworkis (10.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 SO) by holding the Cardinal scoreless on a single hit and striking out two in the top of the 11th.

Taylor (2-4, 2B) and Sorgi (2-5) had four of Stanford's seven knocks with Sorgi extending his career-high hit streak to 10 games.

Neither team had many scoring chances through the first nine innings.

A two-out single by Taylor in the bottom of the fifth gave the Cardinal its first baserunner but he got no further than first base when Dworkis got Minaker to fly out to Craig Allen in left field to end the inning.

Stanford's best chance to score prior to its run in the 10th came when Brendan Domaracki doubled to lead off the sixth and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Lewis before Dworkis struck out Jim Rapoport and got Sorgi to fly out to Brennan Boesch in centerfield to end the threat.

California didn't put a runner in scoring position off Romanczuk until the eighth as the Cardinal ended the second, third and fourth innings with double plays. A two-out walk by Romanczuk and an error by Minaker on a grounder to the Cardinal shortstop gave the Golden Bears a pair of baserunners in the eighth before Romanczuk struck out pinch-hitter Mike Van Winden to end the uprising.

Stanford and California conclude the three-game series on Sunday (1 pm, PT). California is scheduled to start RHP Michael Cooper (3-2, 3.42) on the mound, while Stanford has yet to announce a probable pitcher.

Stanford concludes its current season-long six-game swing away from Sunken Diamond with a non-conference contest at Santa Clara on Tuesday, May 10 (6 pm, PT) in the recently opened Stephen Schott Stadium.

The Cardinal next returns home for a three-game Pac-10 series against UCLA from Friday-Sunday, May 13-15 (6, 1, 1 pm, PT). The UCLA series begins a seven-game homestand that will conclude the team's 2005 regular season home schedule. The Cardinal will also host Saint Mary's (Tuesday, May 17, 6 pm, PT) and Arizona (Friday-Sunday, May 20-22, 6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm, PT) on the homestand.

A full recap will follow.

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