Cardinal can't delay season-ending loss to Tar Heels

Derrick runs fourth in 5,000 at NCAA track and field championships

Stanford's baseball season ended, but not without one last comeback try. Austin Wilson and Brian Ragira let their bats do the talking regarding next year's Cardinal potential.

Stanford dropped a 7-5 decision to North Carolina in a Super Regional on Saturday night. The Tar Heels advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The 21st-ranked Cardinal (35-22) returns home to begin preparations for another run.

"I'm very proud of this team," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "It's beyond my expectations with our schedule and losing a couple of guys and playing a lot of freshmen, so I'm very proud of this group, especially my seniors. They brought a lot of leadership."

Stanford nearly evened the best-of-three series, following a three-hour and 32-minute storm delay, coming back from a 6-1 deficit to close to within 6-5 prior to the delay -- caused by lightning in the area.

Wilson's bases-clearing double in the eighth made it a one-run game. An inning-ending double play ended the rally.

"It was a slider," Wilson said. "The first pitch I was sitting dead red. I got a little too anxious and I swung early on that. Then he threw a fastball and I foul-tipped that and it was 0-2. He came back with two sliders, then he came back with another one and I just kind of stayed on it. I kind of got fooled, but I was able to hit it pretty well."

Pries lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits. The two walks was just the second time in his last nine starts he had walked two or more batters. It was also the second time he had not gone at least five innings all year.

Reliever Brian Busick kept it at 3-1 until the seventh, before the Tar Heels scored three runs to make it 6-1.

Tyler Gaffney extended his hitting streak to 22 games with an RBI double in the first to make it 1-0. It is the fifth-longest hit streak at Stanford since 1988 and will continue into 2012.

Track and field

Chris Derrick finished fourth in the 5,000 and the Stanford men's team placed sixth as a team as the NCAA championships concluded Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Stanford recorded 29 points in the meet. The Cardinal women finished eighth with 25 points. It was the first time both teams finished in the top 10 in the same year since 2005 when the men were seventh and the women were fifth. Texas A&M swept the titles with 55 points for the men and 49 for the women.

Derrick went 13:36.17 in the 5,000. Elliott Heath was 22nd in 14:28.08. The Cardinal women failed to score a point on Saturday after making a big move on Friday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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