Down but Never Out
STANFORD, Calif. – No. 11 Stanford (28-14, 14-9 Pac-12) trailed 7-0 after three innings, but rallied to score two in the fourth, one in the fifth, four in the sixth and one on a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth to defeat California (22-24, 11-15 Pac-12) 8-7 on Saturday night.
With the victory, Stanford secured the series win over the Golden Bears.
Freshman Braden Montgomery doubled and moved to third on an error charged to left fielder Jag Burden trying to keep the ball from rolling to the wall to start the ninth. Josh White, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for Cal, got the next hitter without incident, but two walks loaded the bases with one out. Walking a tightrope, White struck out Austin Kretzschmar for the second out, but lost Adam Crampton on five pitches in the ensuing at bat – forcing in the game-winner.
White was ultimately charged with four runs (three earned) on six hits and five walks while striking out five before being saddled with the loss and falling to 1-6 on the season.
California jumped out to an early 7-0 lead by way of six runs in the first and one more in the third. Stanford starter Drew Dowd recorded just one out and was charged with six runs on four hits, but sophomore Joey Dixon entered and calmed the waters. The right-hander tossed the next five innings, allowing just one run and striking out four to keep the Cardinal in the contest.
Stanford got on the board in the fourth inning when Kody Huff launched his sixth homer of the year, including his second of the series, out to left-center field. The two-run shot – Stanford's second hit of the night - cut the deficit to 7-2 and came as part of a 2 for 5 day for Huff.
Taking advantage of two of the four errors charged to the Golden Bears on Saturday night, Stanford plated an unearned run in the fifth to run the tally to 7-3.
The Cardinal clawed all the way back even in the sixth, scoring four times on four hits and another error. Eddie Park, Tommy Troy and Crampton all collected an RBI – with Crampton's single into right-center field serving as the equalizer.
Including the walk-off walk, Crampton reached all five times he came to the plate, going 1 for 1 with four walks and two RBIs.
Junior Quinn Mathews earned the victory and moved to 6-1 on the season after tossing the final two innings and striking out one. He found himself in trouble in the top of the ninth, but induced a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play to escape the jam and allow for the walk-off heroics in the home half of the inning.
The comeback victory is the largest for the Cardinal since erasing a 7-0 deficit to beat Arizona State 11-9 in 12 innings on the road on April 17, 2021.
Stanford will look to sweep the Golden Bears on Sunday when the two teams conclude the three-game series at 2 p.m.