STANFORD, Calif. – With the Cardinal trailing 3-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth inning in a winner-take-all regional game on Monday, sophomores Drew Bowser and Tommy Troy launched back-to-back home runs to tie the game, and freshman Trevor Haskins delivered a walk-off RBI-single, handing No. 2 Stanford (45-15) a 4-3 victory over No. 13 Texas State (47-14) and punching a ticket to the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
Texas State had scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie that was in place since the end of the second.
Bowser got ahead in the count 1-0 leading off the bottom of the ninth before sending the second pitch over the wall in left-center field for his 15th home run of the season – including his third of the postseason. The native of Los Angeles finished the five games batting .286 (6 for 21) with six runs scored, a double, the three homers and eight RBIs.
Troy also homered on the second pitch of his at bat – depositing an 0-1 offering off the scaffolding that flanks the batter's eye in center field at Sunken Diamond. The round-tripper was Troy's fifth of the season and third of the regional as he batted .600 (12 for 20) with eight runs scored, four doubles, the three homers and seven RBIs.
Sophomore Eddie Park, who was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player, kept the momentum moving with a single into left field before Adam Crampton bunted him along to second. An intentional walk to Brock Jones and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with only one out and a 2-2 count on Haskins. The freshman took a third ball before lacing the payoff pitch into left field for the walk-off win.
The at bat was Haskins' 13th of the season and resulted in his sixth RBI.
Park finished the regional batting .700 (14 for 20) over the five games played. He scored five runs, posted one double and drove in two while managing a .727 on-base percentage. The native of San Jose, Calif. went 4 for 4 in the championship final on Monday night.
Facing a potent Texas State offense which had hit 87 home runs entering Monday night's game, six Stanford hurlers combined to toss the nine frames and keep the Bobcats in the ballpark. Joey Dixon, who started on Friday night vs. Binghamton, pitched the first 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits. Max Meier took the ball for the next 2 1/3 scoreless before Drew Dowd contributed 2 1/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Ryan Bruno carried the torch for the next two outs – striking out a pair to strand the go-ahead run at third base in the seventh. After a scoreless eighth inning from Braden Montgomery, the freshman right-hander allowed a two-out, two-RBI single to Wesley Faison to hand Texas State the two-run advantage. Brandt Pancer, who was credited with the win and improved to 2-0 following the comeback, entered and got the final out of the ninth – keeping the Cardinal within striking distance.
Zeke Wood allowed the homers to Bowser and Troy before Levi Wells entered and ultimately allowed the walk-off single to Haskins – dropping the right-hander to 8-3 on the season for the Bobcats.
Well before the heroics in the ninth, the Cardinal answered Texas State's run in the first inning with a solo home run from Kody Huff in the bottom of the frame – his 12th of the year. The home was Stanford's 103rd of the season – a new program record that surpassed the 102 from 1997. With two more in the ninth, Stanford has now belted 105 this season.
Joining Park on the All-Regional team were catcher Huff, first baseman Carter Graham, shortstop Crampton, third baseman Bowser, designated hitter Troy and pitcher Quinn Mathews.
Stanford will now host UConn in a super regional from Sunken Diamond this week. Dates and times for the series will be announced Tuesday morning.