June 10, 2011
The Stanford Cardinal dropped Game 1 of their best-of-three game series against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Stanford starter Mark Appel gave up three runs (two earned) in six solid innings, pitching out of a bases loaded jam in in the bottom of the 5th after inducing an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.
With Stanford trailing 1-0 in the top of the 7th, pinch hitter Dave Giuliani came to the plate with two on, and two out. He clobbered a hanging curve-ball that was caught up against the right center field wall, deflating a Cardinal scoring opportunity.
North Carolina took the momentum into the bottom half of the inning, when Seth Baldwin belted an opposite field, two-run HR, effectively ending Mark Appel's afternoon.
Stanford didn't quit, however. In the top of the 8th, freshmen-All-American Brian Ragira delivered a two-run single to cut the Tar Heels lead to 3-2.
The Stanford bullpen couldn't hold the score at 3-2, as the Tar Heels plated two runs in the bottom of the 8th to extend the lead to 5-2.
North Carolina closer, Michael Morin, retired the Cardinal in order in the top of the 9th, recording his 9th save of the season.
Stanford faces an elimination game on Saturday at noon PDT. If Stanford wins Saturday, they will force a do-or-die Game 3 on Sunday.
Check csnbayarea.com for complete Stanford and Cal Super Regional coverage.