Dixon Shines in Return to Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Pitching in front of his hometown crowd, sophomore Joey Dixon tossed five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts to earn the victory in an 8-2 win for No. 8 Stanford (32-14, 17-9 Pac-12) over Utah (25-23-1, 10-16 Pac-12) on Saturday to clinch the series win.
Dixon, who improved to 4-3 with the victory in his sixth career start, threw 80 pitches and worked into the sixth before handing the ball over to Ryan Bruno. The left-hander logged two scoreless innings, allowing a pair of hits and two walks, before Braden Montgomery pitched the final two. Montgomery, who started the game in right field, struck out three to seal the victory.
Stanford got off to a strong start on Saturday afternoon, scoring two runs in the first inning – highlighted by a Montgomery RBI-single through the right side to cap the frame.
Utah got a run back in the bottom of the first, but Stanford responded with one in the second. Drew Bowser tripled to right-center field before coming in to score on an RBI-groundout from Adam Crampton.
After Utah plated a single run in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2, Stanford put up two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to claim a 7-2 lead. Carter Graham provided the damage in the fifth, lacing his Pac-12-best 16th homer of the year to straight-away center field.
Sophomore Tommy Troy doubled home the first of two runs in the sixth, smacking a ball off the wall in center field to chase home Kody Huff, before Adam Crampton put the finishing touches on the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Adding an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Brett Barrera connected for a no-doubt solo home run with two outs. The homer was Barrera's seventh of the season.
Utah starter Jaden Harris was saddle with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts over five innings. The setback dropped the right-hander to 1-3 on the season.
Graham, Barrera and Montgomery each finished the game with two hits, with Graham and Barrera each driving in a pair of runs.
Stanford will look to sweep the Utes on Sunday when the two teams conclude the three-game series at 12 p.m. PT.