Stephen Piscotty provided all the offense and Jordan Pries combined with Chris Reed on a two-hit shutout as the Stanford baseball team beat host Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, Saturday in the winner's bracket game of the Fullerton Regional.
The 21st-ranked Cardinal (34-20) advances to Sunday's 8 p.m. regional final against either the Titans or Illinois, who meet Sunday at 4 p.m. in an elimination game.
"Both teams pitched phenomenally," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "Jordan Pries had a great performance. We had some opportunities early, but left four or five guys on base. We hit balls hard but right at people. Fortunately we got one big swing from Piscotty."
Stanford went two and out in last year's regional, also in Fullerton. The Titans eliminated the Cardinal.
Tyler Gaffney had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 19 games, stole a base and possibly stole an out from the Titans.
Gaffney made a diving grab of a sinking line drive in left field to end the fifth inning, saving a potential run. He came up showing the ball in his glove and it was ruled an out, even though it was clear on the replays that he had trapped it. The TV announcers acknowledged the same, that the umpire missed the call.
"I did my best to get out there," Gaffney said. "I came in at full speed and jumped out there. I wished for the best and that was the end of the inning."
It was the first of several times Titans' coach Dave Serrano came out to argue his case with an umpire. This time he may have had a case, as one angle showed the ball bouncing into Gaffney's glove.
"I told him right off the bat I thought it was a hit," Pries said. "But then I saw he might get to it. I told him good job. He's been doing that all year."
Piscotty, who also had two hits, hit the first pitch he saw in the sixth inning from Fullerton's tough right-hander Noe Ramirez over the left field fence for the only run of the game. Pries and Reed made it stand up.
"I put my best swing on it," Piscotty said of his first home run since April 21. "In previous at bats, I was making unaggressive mistakes. His stuff is pretty electric. He had his changeup and slider working early. He struggled early with his command, but he's a good pitcher."
Pries allowed two hits in his 7 2/3 innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. He handed the ball to Reed with a runner on third.
"It's tough to beat this scene, this atmosphere," Pries said. "It feels great, man. I try to mix up as much as I can. I had a good feeling for everything."
Reed got the final four outs for his ninth save of the season. He walked the first hitter he faced in the ninth, but then got an out and picked off the runner. A grounder back to the mound ended it.
Stanford is 30-0 when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
"This is what you prepare for all year," Pries said. "You start working in late October and now it's starting to pay off. We're starting to play our best brand of baseball."