April 23, 2010
STANFORD, CALIF. - Stanford's Kenny Diekroeger hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring pinch runner Ben Clowe to give the Cardinal a 3-2 victory over Cal Friday night (April 23) at Sunken Diamond. The winning run was a bit controversial as home plate Joe Burleson had made a disputed balk call on the Bears' Matt Flemer that allow Clowe to advance to third base and set up the winning run. No. 15 Cal dropped to 23-12 overall and 8-5 in the Pac-10, while the Cardinal improved to 19-13 and 8-5 in league.
The Bears' lost despite impressive efforts from sophomore right-hander Erik Johnson and sophomore shortstop Marcus Semien. Johnson went a season-high 8.0 innings with six hits, no earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts. He was especially impressive in the bottom of the eighth when he allowed a lead-off triple to Zach Jones, but then was able to get out of the inning with a pop up to first base and a pair of strikeouts.
Semien accounted for both of Cal's runs. He led off the third inning with a double down the left field off Stanford starter Brett Mooneyham and later scored on junior second baseman Brian Guinn's RBI ground out. With the Bears down, 2-1, Semien hit another lead-off double down the left field line, this time to start the top of the eighth inning. This time, he scored when Mooneyham badly overthrew first base on Danny Oh's sacrifice bunt.
Stanford, which had scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Jake Schlander and a wild pitch by Johnson, ended up winning the contest in the bottom of the ninth inning. First baseman Jonathan Kaskow led-off the ninth with a double to right field off sophomore right-hander Flemer. Flemer was able to strikeout Schlander, but then was called for a balk that allowed pinch runner Clowe to third base. Shortly afterwards, Diekroeger hit a lazy fly ball to left field that scored Clowe.
It was a disappointing end to an exciting ballgame. The winning pitcher for Stanford was reliever Alex Pracher (6-2, 1.2 innings, one hit, three strikeouts), who was able to strikeout a pair of Bears with a runner on third base in the eighth inning. Flemer, who has been outstanding for Cal, dropped to 2-1 (0.2 inning, one hit, one run, one strikeout).
Cal will next face Bay Area rival Stanford in the second game of a three-game Pac-10 series, Saturday, April 24 at 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.