Following a 20-2 trouncing on Saturday, No. 16 Stanford baseball (26-20, 12-6 Pac-12) came back to win the series Sunday afternoon against No. 9 Arizona (32-13, 16-8 Pac-12). The series win puts the Cardinal in third place in the Pac-12, while Arizona retains the top spot.
On Friday, Stanford won the opening game of the series in 13-innings on a walk-off from Jones. But in Saturday’s debacle, the Wildcats pounced early and never looked back, notching three runs in the first inning on just one hit — a single from freshman catcher Daniel Susac. The Cardinal could not respond with any runs of their own, and in the top of the second inning, the Wildcats posted six more runs, staking the Cardinal to a 9-0 deficit. The Cardinal showed some push-back, responding with two runs of their own after junior designated hitter Vincent Martinez singled to left-center field and senior first baseman Nick Brueser cranked a two-run homer, his seventh of the year. Unfortunately, this would be the only threat mounted by the Cardinal. The Wildcats, on the other hand, would go on to post 11 more runs: three in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the eighth.
Sunday’s rubber match was a total tonal shift from Saturday’s tough outing, marked by a strong pitching performance early from junior RHP Alex Williams. Williams kept the Wildcats off balance throughout — securing strikeouts, limiting base runners for the Cardinal and keeping the Wildcats off the run column for six impeccable innings on the mound.
While Williams was blanking the Wildcats, the Cardinal’s bats found their rhythm early, scoring a run in the first inning. That 1-0 lead lasted for three innings of scoreless play. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore center fielder Brock Jones drew a walk before freshman left fielder Tommy Troy launched his fifth home run of the year. The Cardinal added two more runs in the next inning to extend their lead to 5-0. Freshman RHP Tommy O’Rourke took the mound in the seventh for the Cardinal, and the Wildcats narrowed the gap, scoring two runs. Any thought of a comeback was put to rest as the Cardinal added to their lead with another run in the bottom of the seventh and another in the eighth. Fifth-year RHP Zach Grech came on to secure the last eight outs of the game, and cementing the Cardinal’s 8-2 victory — and yet another series win.
The Cardinal will face the San Jose State Spartans (6-17, 2-8 Mountain West) next for a midweek game at Sunken Diamond. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, May 11.