STANFORD (CBS/AP) — Stephen Piscotty is a projected first-round pick in Major League Baseball’s draft. He showed why Sunday night.
Piscotty had two hits, drove in a run and pitched into the seventh inning in helping top-seeded Stanford beat No. 2 Pepperdine 8-7 in the championship game of the Stanford regional.
“He hits third in our lineup, he’s our RBI leader and he’s won four straight as a starter,” Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. “He’s a fantastic competitor and a fantastic player.”
Freshman Alex Blandino drove in four runs, three on a home run during the decisive rally in the fourth, and Austin Wilson drove in two runs for the Cardinal (41-16), who will travel to Florida State next weekend for a Super Regional. Brian Ragira also drove in a run.
“The key was to try and not get caught up in the moment,” said Blandino, who dropped a foul ball that led to three Pepperdine runs in the first. “When he fell behind I knew he would come in with a fastball.”
Tony Cooper had two hits and drove in three runs for the Waves (36-23), who beat Fresno State earlier in the day to reach the final game. Floyd Given drove in two runs and Matt Forgatch also recorded an RBI.
“Stanford is a good team and they made some good defensive plays on us,” Waves’ coach Steve Rodriguez said. “I think we gave them 12 extra bases in regards to walks and hit by pitches. That’s pretty tough to overcome. What is impressive is the way our team handled it and kept fighting back.”
Piscotty (5-2) pitched 6 1-3 innings for the win. He gave up seven runs—four earned—on 11 hits, walking one and striking out two. Sahil Bloom went the final 2 2-3 innings for his first save.
“I was not worried at all,” Piscotty said of falling behind 4-0 early. “The big thing is to throw strikes. They beat me in the first inning, I got out of it, and found a groove. This is probably the biggest game I’ve ever played in my life. I got knocked around but never gave up.”
Pepperdine starter Matt Maurer went three innings, giving up three runs on three hits. He walked five. Mat Snider (0-2) gave up the go-ahead run in the fourth and took the loss.
“As long as they put good swings on the ball, that’s the only thing I can ask for,” said Rodriguez, a member of Pepperdine’s 1992 College World Series championship. “I can beg for hits. I can beg for runs. But I thought we were putting good swings on the ball throughout the game.”
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