UA overpowered by Stanford in series finale
PALO ALTO, Calif. – In a tale of two ballgames, Stanford won a slugfest and then held on in a pitcher’s duel to defeat 25th-ranked Arizona 12-8 to capture the three-game series at Sunken Diamond.
Stanford (22-12, 9-6) claimed a 2-0 lead in the first, but found itself trailing by five following a disastrous seven-run top of the second inning for Arizona (25-14, 9-9 Pac-12). However, the Cardinal would bounce back, outscoring the Wildcats 10-1 the rest of the way.
Neither school’s starting pitcher lasted more than three innings, and after four innings the teams had combined for 19 runs on 18 hits – eight for extra bases – and three home runs.
The second half of the game was highlighted by a pair of strong relief appearances. Stanford’s Sam Lindquist (W, 1-0) pitched masterfully to close the game over five shutout innings to earn the win. The righty allowed only one hit and two walks.
Arizona’s Tyler Hale kept the Stanford offense at bay with three shutout innings, but the Wildcats were never able to make a significant rally in the late stages against Lindquist.
Stanford seized control with a five-run fourth inning. Starter Tyler Crawford hit Brant Whiting with a pitch to open the frame was lifted in favor of Stephen Manthei.
Against Manthei (L, 1-2), Drew Jackson drew a walk and Justin Ringo singled to load the bases. Austin Slater, who finished 3-for-5 with three runs and five RBI, doubled to left-center, which gave Stanford a 9-8 lead – one it would not relinquish.
Later in the fourth against Nick Cunningham, Brian Ragira, who went 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBI, added a run-scoring single, and Alex Blandino also tallied an RBI single.
Ringo accounted for the game’s final run when he homered to right field off Cunningham, putting the Cardinal on top 12-8.
A wild and lengthy second inning saw Arizona score seven times after a big inning was ignited by two Stanford errors. Kevin Newman, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs, reached on a one-out single, and then a pair of errors loaded the bases.
Riley Moore was called on to pinch-hit for David Real, who started the game behind the plate. Moore worked an 11-pitch at bat against John Hochstater, before belting a grand slam to right-center field to put the Wildcats on top, 4-2.
Hochstatter subsequently hit Joseph Maggi with the next pitch, prompting home plate umpire Ramon Armendariz to immediately eject the veteran left-hander.
Against reliever Bobby Zaruben, the Wildcats scored three more runs. Trent Gilbert and Zach Gibbons tallied RBI singles, and Newman drove in a run with a double – his second base hit of the inning.
After seeing the Wildcats score seven runs, the Cardinal answered with four runs in the home half of the second inning. With two outs, Slater tripled to left-center to drive in a pair of runs, before Brian Ragira homered to left-center to cut the deficit to 7-6.
Stanford struck for two first inning runs. Ringo walked and Slater singled to lead off, before Danny Diekroeger hit a two-out, two run double to right-center for the game’s first runs.
The Wildcats only run outside the second inning was tacked on in the fourth after Hughes walked four consecutive batters with two outs, final one – issued to Moore – driving in the run.
Arizona steps away from Pac-12 play next week to host Alabama State in a three-game set at Hi Corbett Field. The series begins Friday night at 6 p.m.
NOTES: Johnny Field reached base for the 26th-straight game … Kevin Newman extended his hitting streak to 10-consecutive games …Riley Moore’s pinch-hit grandslam in the second inning was UA’s first since current volunteer assistant coach Josh Garcia hit one off the bench against San Francisco on March 19, 2011, at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium in Tucson … The last Wildcat to hit a grandslam was Johnny Field against Louisville on June 3, 2012, at the Tucson Regional at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson … Moore’s homer was the second of his career, and both have come on the road (March 24, 2012 at Oregon State) … The second inning saw 11 total runs scored between the teams and lasted 51 minutes.