PHOENIX – No. 20 Stanford (21-7, 7-4 Pac-12) trailed 7-0 after three innings, but rallied to eventually tie the game at eight in the eighth inning and win it 11-9 over Arizona State (19-10, 8-6 Pac-12) in 12 innings on Saturday night.
Freshman Drew Bowser kickstarted the comeback with a grand slam in the five-run Cardinal fourth. The third baseman finished the game 3 for 6 with two runs scored, a double, the homer and five RBIs. The round-tripper was the fourth of the year for Bowser, and was followed by a home run from Vincent Martinez – his sixth of the year – as Stanford went back-to-back in the fourth to run the tally to 7-5.
Trailing 8-6 headed to the eighth, Stanford drew even on an RBI-single from Tommy Troy and a Brock Jones sacrifice fly.
A trio of Stanford relievers combined to keep the Cardinal within striking distance, as Jacob Palisch, Brandt Pancer and Tommy O'Rourke combined to log 7.1 scoreless innings spanning two out in the fourth through the 11th.
With the game tied at eight headed into the 12th, Stanford managed to put its first two hitters aboard on a double from Bowser and an error charged to the Sun Devil second baseman. Kody Huff delivered the go-ahead run, shooting a single into left field before a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk loaded the bags for Austin Kretzschmar. The junior came up clutch on the ensuing play, singling through the left side to chase home a pair of runs and provide what proved to be the game-winning runs.
Carrying the three-run lead into the home half of the 12th, Stanford handed the ball to its closer, Zach Grech. The right-hander struck out the first two he faced, but a single and a hit-by-pitch gave ASU life with two outs. Sean McLain came up with another hit for ASU, driving in a run, but he was caught in a rundown as the play developed, ultimately being tagged out to end the game.
Grech, who was charged with a run on two hits in the 12th, was credited with his 11th save of the year, while O'Rourke picked up his first career victory. The freshman right-hander dealt 1 2/3 innings, allowing a hit and two walks with one strikeout.
Stanford will look to win the series on Sunday as the two teams meet in the rubber match of the three-game set at 12:35 p.m. PT.