UC Irvine Forces Monday Game
STANFORD, Calif. – Carrying a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning, No. 7 Stanford (35-15) allowed six runs in the eighth as No. 17 UC Irvine (43-17) earned an 8-4 victory on Sunday to force a winner-take-all game on Monday from the Stanford Regional.
Stanford starter Quinn Mathews lasted just two innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Fifth-year senior Zach Grech went the next 3 1/3 scoreless before freshman Tommy O'Rourke logged the next two-thirds of an inning. Freshman Joey Dixon pitched a scoreless seventh, but ran into trouble in the eighth with the Cardinal leading 4-2.
Luke Spillane lined a ball down the left field line with one out that was originally ruled foul, but was changed to a double upon review. Jake Palmer singled on a dribbler off the glove of Dixon before Nathan Church split the gap in left-center field for a game-tying double. Stanford intentionally walked the next batter and reliever Jacob Palisch got a strikeout for the second out, but a wild pitch and back-to-back infield singles plated two more runs. Another UCI walk reloaded the bases, setting the table for a two-RBI double from Connor McGuire to cap the six-run inning.
Dixon was ultimately charged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings. The right-hander dropped to 2-1 with the loss.
Stanford got on the board first on Sunday as Nick Brueser connected for his 10th home run of the year - a solo homer in the second.
Justin Torres responded for the Anteaters in the third, launching a two-run homer to hand UCI the 2-1 lead after three.
The Cardinal reclaimed the lead in the fourth as freshman Tommy Troy connected for a three-run home run to make it 4-2 Stanford. The round-tripper was the eighth of the season for Troy.
UCI starter Peter Van Loon allowed four runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts over five innings, but did not factor into the decision. Jacob King pitched the final 1 1/3 perfect innings for the Anteaters, benefitting from the six-run eighth to improve to 3-1 on the year.
Stanford and UC Irvine will now play a winner-take-all game at 7 p.m. Monday. The winner will advance to play Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas in the Super Regionals.