Baseball opens Arizona series in walk-off fashion

May 13, 2023, 4:23 p.m.

No. 4 Stanford baseball (33-13, 19-6 Pac-12) defeated Arizona (26-21, 9-16 Pac-12) 9-8 in walk-off fashion in the first game of a three-game series on Friday night. The bats remained hot for the Cardinal after putting up 20 runs on Tuesday as sophomore outfielder Braden Montgomery and senior infielder Owen Cobb each hit a homerun.

After a relatively quiet first inning, the offense got going for both teams. The Wildcats put up three runs in the top half of the second inning, and the Cardinal responded big in the bottom half. With one out, freshman catcher Malcolm Moore singled and junior infielder Drew Bowser doubled to put runners at second and third. Sophomore designated hitter Jake Sapien then grounded out, but picked up an RBI for the Cardinal’s first run. The next hitter, Cobb, hit a no-doubter to left field to tie the game at three. The two-out rally continued as singles from junior outfielder Eddie Park and junior infielder Tommy Troy put runners at the corners. Junior infielder Carter Graham then brought home a run for his team-leading 52nd RBI, which gave the Cardinal the lead with a double down the right field and once again runners were at the corners. The next hitter, Braden Montgomery, brought home both runners in scoring position. The Cardinal led 6-3 after two innings.

After a 1-2-3 inning in the third, Stanford added to its lead. With one out, Troy reached base via a walk. Two batters later, Montgomery picked up RBIs number three and four with a home run to right field that got out in a hurry. The Cardinal led 8-3 after four innings.

After allowing two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, senior left-hander Quinn Mathews’ day was over. His final line was six innings, 10 hits, five earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. The 10 hits and five earned runs were a season high for Mathews. Of his last seven starts, this was the first one where he did not record double-digit strikeouts and it was his lowest strikeout total in his last 10 starts.

In the eighth inning with junior left-hander Drew Dowd on the mound, with two outs Arizona had runners on second and third with two outs after a walk and a double. The next hitter grounded a ball to third base. Troy’s throw to first was in dirt, which Graham was unable to pick. On the error, both runners in scoring position were able to score to cut Stanford’s lead to one and the hitter ended all the way up at third. During the next at bat, runner at third stole home to tie the game at eight.

After a 1-2-3 inning from Dowd in the ninth, Stanford was ready to do damage in the bottom of the inning. After a single by Troy, a double by Montgomery and an intentional walk to junior outfielder Alberto Rios, the bases were loaded with 1 out for Moore. With a fly ball to center field, Moore brought in the winning run with a walk off sacrifice fly.

Up next, the Cardinal will host the second game of the series against Arizona on Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. PT.

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