The staff at Warrior Field didn't have enough zeros to hang up on the manual scoreboard on Friday. In the end, Cal State Stanislaus needed just the number one to win an epic battle, 1-0, in 13 innings over Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Thomas Shull's fly ball to center finally scored Kory Vitato from third as the 26th ranked Warriors improved to 11-2 overall and 5-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. The Warriors are now 9-0 at home this season.
However, the win didn't come easy. Three Stanislaus pitchers combined to throw the shutout. Andrew Stueve turned in another great start, but it was Leonard Giammanco's performance in the final five innings that kept the Warriors in the game.
Giammanco came in in the ninth inning, as he usually does in a tight game as the team's closer, and pitched five tremendous innings to keep the Toros scoreless. The 2010 All-Region pitcher gave up just three hits and struck out five in his outing to earn the victory.
Stueve was also strong in the no decision. He matched-up against CSUDH ace Shane Youngdale as both dealt zeros on the board. Stueve went seven innings and gave up five hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Dominguez Hills' Youngdale threw 10 innings, struck out five and gave up eight hits but didn't allow a run.
Both teams had their chances early on with a lot of action at the plate without any scoring. Two Warriors were gunned down at the plate with one Toros tossed out at home.
Warrior left fielder Fred Atkins set the tone for a well-played defensive game for both sides in the first when he threw out Kevin Pillar at the plate. Pillar, who had doubled, tried to score on an Abel Medina single to left with two outs.
In the Stanislaus third, Joe Medeiros was tossed out at home trying to score from second on a Fred Atkins single through the left side. In the Warrior sixth, Atkins was tagged out at home trying to score on a David Contreras single to left.
Despite entering the game with 40 errors in 15 contests, Cal State Dominguez Hills played flawless defense all around. Pillar, the centerfielder, saved the game in the 12th going horizontal on a diving catch. The Warriors had runners at the corners with two outs when DJ Arellano drove the first pitch toward right-center that could've dropped in for the game-winner until Pillar got to it.
In the top of the 13th, the Toros rallied. Pillar singled to lead off the inning and moved over to second on a bunt. After Giammanco got Jonathan Keener to strikeout, Pillar moved to third on a passed ball. Giammanco then promptly fanned Josh Corrales to end the threat.
Vitato then led off the Stanislaus 13th with a double off the left field wall. An infield single by Atkins later, Shull took the first pitch off reliever Andrew Klasumeier to center for the game-winner despite Pillar's solid throw home that Vitato beat by half of a step.
Atkins and Medeiros each ended up with three hits. Medeiros was 3-for-3 with a double before he was replaced by a pinch-runner in the eighth.
Pillar led CSU Dominguez Hills, 5-11 overall and 1-8 in CCAA, with three hits. Medina was 2-for-3.
The four-game set continues today with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.