No. 22 Stanford baseball (18-10, 9-6 Pac-12) defeated the University of San Francisco Dons (17-19, 6-6 WCC) 6-5 in a walk-off win on Tuesday. This victory continues Stanford’s recent hot streak, as the Cardinal have won three straight Pac-12 series over the last three weekends.
For Stanford, do-it-all freshman outfielder and pitcher Braden Montgomery got the start on the mound, while the Dons started pitcher Kaleb Woltz.
In the top of the first inning, the Dons struck first. After shortstop Luke Keaschall was hit by a pitch, first baseman Gabe Giosso hit a double to score Keaschall from first base. After advancing to third base on a groundout, Giosso scored on a wild pitch from Montgomery to extend the Dons lead to 2-0.
Stanford responded at the bottom of the first inning, as sophomore infielder Carter Graham launched a two-run home run to tie the game. Soon after, junior catcher Kody Huff hit an RBI-single to put the Cardinal in the lead, 3-2.
In the bottom of the second inning, Stanford scored a pair of runs from to extend its lead to 5-2. Graham hit a sacrifice fly to score junior shortstop Adam Crampton from third base, and later, Montgomery hit a double to score designated hitter Brett Barrera from second.
After the third inning, Montgomery was pulled from the game, and Stanford relied on four different relief pitchers to last them the remainder of the contest.
From the fourth through the sixth inning, the Dons slowly chipped away at Stanford’s lead. In the top of the fourth, Keaschall drew a walk with the bases loaded to score a run. During the fifth, Giosso scored an unearned run off an error in the infield. Then, in the sixth, outfielder Harris Williams III hit a triple to score Keaschall to tie the game at 5-5.
After two more scoreless innings from both teams, the game was still knotted at five heading into the ninth inning. After USF failed to score in the top of the ninth, the Cardinal were poised to strike in the bottom half of the inning to end the game.
After junior outfielder Brock Jones reached first base on a walk, both Graham and Barrera were retired to put two outs on the board. To keep the inning alive, Montgomery hit a single through the right side to advance Jones to third base.
With two outs and a runner 90 feet away from ending the game, nobody else would have to provide offense for the Cardinal — Dons pitcher Adam Shew threw a wild pitch in the ensuing at bat, and Jones scored to win the game for Stanford.
Looking forward, the Cardinal will head to Los Angeles to play series against the No. 12-ranked UCLA Bruins (22-9, 8-4 Pac-12) over the weekend. The Bruins are currently one place ahead of Stanford in the Pac-12 standings, so the road trip will be influential in determining the top of the conference come season’s end. First pitch for game one on Thursday is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT at Jackie Robinson Stadium.