Opener Goes to NC State
OMAHA, Neb. - Stanford dropped a 10-4 decision to NC State on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the College World Series.
Saturday's loss was only the second of the postseason for Stanford (38-16, 17-10 Pac-12), which swept Texas Tech last weekend and was making its 17th College World Series appearance and first since 2008.
The Cardinal had been one of the nation's hottest offensive teams, producing at least nine runs in all five of its NCAA victories while outscoring its last three opponents 35-11.
Trailing 6-0 early, Stanford responded with four unanswered runs to remain within striking distance. Tim Tawa's solo home run in the fourth inning opened the scoring before Christian Robinson's two-run blast in the seventh cut the lead in half. Tawa's blast was his 12th of the season an his fifth of the postseason.
Stanford continued to threaten in the seventh, creeping to within 6-4 after Nick Brueser came around to score after Tawa reached safely on a fielding error. The Cardinal then had a chance to break through for more, but Brock Jones was retired on a pop out with the bases loaded.
NC State (36-18, 19-14 ACC) put the game away with a four-run ninth inning.
Drew Bowser's pair of singles paced Stanford's eight-hit attack, as the freshman finished 2 for 4.
Brendan Beck surrendered six runs – only three of which earned – in 5 2/3 innings despite striking out 10. The right-hander dropped to 9-2 with the setback. Reid Johnston earned the victory and moved to 9-3 after surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits over six innings. Evan Justice locked up his 12th save of the year after pitching the final three scoreless innings.
Jonny Butler led the way for NC State offensively, connecting for his 14th homer of the year as part of a 3 for 4 day that included two runs scored and five RBIs.
Stanford will return to action at TD Ameritrade Park on Monday, playing an elimination game against the loser of Vanderbilt and Arizona. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.