No. 4 Stanford baseball (32-14, 18-9 Pac-12) swept the Utah Utes (25-23, 10-16 Pac-12) in Salt Lake City over the weekend. The series marks the team’s second consecutive weekend sweep, and the Cardinal now sit in second place in the Pac-12 standings, just one game behind the Oregon State Beavers.
In the first game, Stanford ace, senior Alex Williams, got the start on the mound. Williams, the Pac-12 leader in ERA, pitched eight innings and gave up only three hits and zero runs.
On offense, junior outfielder Brock Jones had his second multiple home run game of the week, hitting solo home runs in the third and seventh innings. Junior catcher Kody Huff had three hits, including a solo home run in the second inning. Stanford’s offense put up five runs, which was more than enough with Williams’s pitching performance.
In the ninth inning, after sophomore pitcher Brandt Pancer gave up two hits, the Cardinal put in junior pitcher Quinn Matthews to close out the game. Matthews got three quick outs to secure a 5-0 win.
In the second game, Stanford increased its offensive output from game one. In the first inning, Stanford put up two runs thanks to a fielder’s choice by junior second baseman Brett Barrera and a single by do-it-all freshman outfielder Braden Montgomery.
In the fifth inning, sophomore first baseman Carter Graham hit a two-run home run. Then, in the sixth inning, sophomore second baseman Tommy Troy hit a double to score Huff from second base. In the same inning, junior shortstop Adam Crampton flew out to center field to score sophomore left fielder Eddie Park from third base.
At this point, the Cardinal held a commanding 7-2 lead. Later, Barrera hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to add extra insurance to the Cardinal lead.
The Cardinal continued their strong pitching from Friday, as the trio of underclassmen Joey Dixon, Ryan Bruno and Montgomery gave up only two runs to the Utes. Their combined pitching and batting performances led the Cardinal to defeat the Utes 8-2.
The third game of the series featured a familiar story that Stanford baseball fans have witnessed all year. After Jones hit a solo home run in the first inning, Utah had a five-run offensive stretch in the second inning, which gave the Utes a 5-1 lead.
However, although they had already won the series, the Cardinal did not stop fighting. In the third inning, Carter hit a solo home run to right field. Crampton hit an RBI single to center field in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 5-3.
After the Utes scored in the fourth inning, Utah pitcher Bryson Van Sickle committed an error, which plated Crampton. In the eighth inning, sophomore third baseman Drew Bowser scored after Carter was hit by a pitch. Barrera then hit a single to score both Jones and Crampton to give Stanford a 7-6 lead. Matthews once again closed the game to give Stanford the victory.
Looking ahead, Stanford will face Santa Clara (24-25, 11-16 WCC) in a midweek game before facing the USC Trojans (24-25, 8-19 Pac-12) in a weekend series at Sunken Diamond. First pitch against Santa Clara is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Tuesday, while first pitch for the USC series will be thrown at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday.