STANFORD, Calif.-- Danny Diekroeger delivered a one-out single in the 12th inning to give No. 2-ranked Stanford (17-6) a 9-8 victory over visiting Saint Mary's (14-13) on Monday evening.
Stephen Piscotty (1-0) picked up the win in relief after coming into pitch twice in the game. The Cardinal third baseman came onto pitch in the eighth, securing the final two outs, before returning to third in the ninth, and then pitching 3.0 shutout innings after Stanford tied the game with five runs.
Piscotty overall went 3.2 scoreless innings, retiring seven in a row at one point, sandwiched between two singles. He also struck out three, leading to the third walk-off win of the year.
In the 12th against Thomas Cortese (1-3), Alex Blandino singled and was sacrificed to second, before Diekroeger's single pushed through the right side of the infield and scored Blandino from second.
The win completed an unbelievable comeback for the Cardinal. Up 8-3, Gael Tanner Kichler came on with the bases loaded in the ninth, after three SMC pitchers combined on an eight-hitter through eight. Kenny Diekroeger started the rally with an RBI single, followed by a two-run double by Brian Ragira and a game-tying two-run single by Austin Wilson
Patrick Keane went the first 3.0 innings for the Gaels, giving up two runs on four hits, leaving with a 4-2 lead. Ryan Brockett retired the first eight batters he faced, lasting 4.0 innings, and gave up a single unearned run on three hits, taking an 8-3 lead into the eighth. Jordan Mills pitched a scoreless eighth, before leaving the bases loaded in the ninth.
Blandino's second home run of the season, cut the Gael lead to 3-2 in the second, prior to SMC tacking on three more runs to lead 6-2.
Eleven minutes into the game, back-to-back doubles by Collin Ferguson and Patrick Wisdom made it 2-0. An error by Blandino at second, allowed the third run to score in the second to make it 3-0. Dean McArdle (2-1) lasted just two-plus innings, giving up the first four runs. Ferguson finished with five of the Gaels' 19 hits.
Defense was also on display for both teams. Stanford rightfielder Austin Wilson threw out an advancing Wisdom at third on a single to right, before Diekroeger at short, picked up a low hopper headed up the middle, spun and fired in the fifth, keeping SMC off the scoreboard.
NOTES: Dominic Jose had his first career hit as a pinch-hitter in the ninth... Garrett Hughes made his first appearance in two seasons after missing the 2011 season with a foot injury. Hughes struck out two in the ninth... leftfielder Brian Guymon was a late addition to the lineup after Justin Ringo was scratched from the original lineup. Both were playing for Tyler Gaffney, who had the night off... It was Alex Blandino's first career start in the field, after six at designated hitter.... Stanford travels to Washington for a three-game pre-Easter series starting on Thursday and Friday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.... Stanford returns to the Bay Area to play at Cal on April 9 and host Pacific on April 10.