Smith Delivers in the 10th for Series Clincher
May 8, 2010
LONG BEACH, Calif.-- Eric Smith delivered a two-out, pinch-hit double in the tenth as Stanford (25-17) took the series at Long Beach State (20-23), winning the Saturday matinee 4-3.
Smith, who had three pinch hits in his last five pinch hits, made a winner out of Scott Snodgress (1-2), who gave up the tying run in the ninth.
Dean McArdle came on in the tenth following a leadoff walk by Snodgress, getting a two-pitch save, including an inning ending double play to clinch the series.
It was the second time in two innings that Stanford had taken a lead with two outs, both started by walks.
Kenny Diekroeger's two-run homer in the top of the ninth gave Stanford a brief 3-2 lead, before the Cardinal bullpen blew the save.
Alex Pracher started the ninth walking the bases full, before giving way to Snodgress with one out. Snodgress struck out Jordan Casas before an infield single by TJ Mittelstaedt tied the game at 3-3 in a Saturday pitcher's duel.
LBSU starter Jake Thompson retired 10 in a row until a 12-pitch walk to Jonathan Kaskow in the ninth opened the door with two outs. Diekroeger then hit a 2-1 pitch over the left center fence for a two-run homer to make it 3-2 and chased Thompson from the game.
Jordan Pries pitched the first eight innings for Stanford, allowing nine hits, two walks and striking out a season-best nine and was in line for the win.
Kirk Singer broke the tie in the sixth with a two-out, RBI double to make it 3-2 as Thompson struck out a career-best eight, allowing just five hits until Diekroeger's homer.
Both teams scored runs in the first, in what would end up being a pitcher's duel.
The Sunday finale will be at 1 p.m. Stanford returns home for a contest with Santa Clara on Monday at 5:30 p.m and a game at San Jose State at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Cardinal return to Pac-10 play next weekend with a three-game series against Washington State at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.
NOTES: Tyler Gaffney made two nice defensive plays in right, diving for a ball in right center on the sacrifice fly in the first and sliding to one knee in the third inning in foul territory for another... Pries also picked off two batters during the game and made a nice defensive play on a bunt attempt... Pries' nine strikeouts were one short of his career high last year at Arizona State... Diekroeger's single up the middle in the fourth extended his hit streak to 16 games... longtime Dodger first baseman and former National League MVP Steve Garvey sat in the stands behind home plate.