Another Series Win
PHOENIX – Playing the deciding game of a three-game series with Arizona State (19-11, 8-7 Pac-12) on Sunday, Stanford (22-7, 8-4 Pac-12) scored seven runs in the ninth inning to run away with a 13-5 victory in what was a close game to that point.
With the series victory, Stanford has now won each of its eight weekend sets this year.
The Cardinal jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on one swing of the bat from Christian Robinson. Robinson, who finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored and three RBIs, launched his fifth homer of the season and his second of the series to open the scoring in the second.
Arizona State responded for single runs in the second and third to take a 2-1 lead, but the Cardinal scratched the equalizer across at the expense of a double play in the fourth.
The Sun Devils again responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth as Nick Cheema doubled down the line in left field to reclaim a 3-2 lead.
Stanford went up for good in the fifth, plating two runs on two hits, with Tim Tawa and Robinson contributing runs batted in to hand the Cardinal a 4-3 advantage through five complete.
Single runs in the sixth and seventh, including the latter on a Drew Bowser RBI-double, pushed the Cardinal advantage to 6-3, but Arizona State again answered the bell with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to run the tally to 6-5 after seven innings.
Looking to add some insurance after a scoreless eighth inning, Stanford received that and much more as a solo shot from Bowser and a grand slam from Tawa highlighted a seven-run final frame.
For Bowser, the homer was his second in as many games after connecting for a grand slam on Saturday night. The native of Los Angeles finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
The grand slam was Tawa's second hit of the day, as he finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored and five driven in. With two grand slams on the weekend, Stanford has now connected for four this season.
The Cardinal received a strong combined pitching effort from four hurlers, beginning with junior Alex Williams. The right-hander tossed the first 3 2/3 innings, striking out four, before handing the ball over to the eventual winner in Drew Dowd. Dowd logged the next 2 1/3 frames, allowing just one run, to improve to 1-1 with the victory.
Freshman Brandt Pancer contributed a third of an inning before Joey Dixon closed out the contest with 2 2/3 scoreless. While he eventually protected a 13-5 lead in the ninth, Dixon entered a one-run game in the seventh, and was credited with his first career save.
Stanford will return to action on Wednesday when it travels to Pacific for a 6 p.m. first pitch. The Cardinal will then return to Pac-12 play next weekend, hosting Washington.