Grand slam caps rubber match win

Cardinal grab road series against Sun Devils

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Stanford baseball (22-7, 8-4 Pac-12) won its weekend series against Arizona State (19-11, 8-7 Pac-12) on Sunday. Although the Cardinal still have yet to secure a sweep for the sixth consecutive weekend, victories on Saturday and Sunday helped keep the Cardinal in the number three spot in the conference, behind Oregon and Oregon State.

The action started on Friday in the third inning, when the Cardinal scored three runs thanks to a solo homer from freshman left fielder Tommy Troy and a two-run shot from senior right fielder Christian Robinson. However, the lead did not last long. The Sun Devils were able to return the favor in the bottom of the inning with three runs of their own. The Cardinal scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings thanks to an RBI from Robinson and a solo homer from sophomore first baseman Brett Barrera, giving the Cardinal a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh. A run by the Sun Devils in that same inning, plus four more in the eighth, cemented a 9-5 Cardinal defeat.

Game two of the weekend series started much more grimly for the Cardinal, as they trailed 7-0 heading into the top of the fourth. Freshman third baseman Drew Bowser set the comeback in motion for the Cardinal with a grand slam, which was followed by a homer from junior designated hitter Vincent Martinez that cut the Sun Devils’ lead to 7-5. Both teams proceeded to score a run each in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth. 

In the top of the eighth, the Cardinal were able to tie the game at 8 runs apiece thanks to a single from Troy and a sacrifice fly from sophomore center fielder Brock Jones. The tie lasted for three scoreless innings before the Cardinal were able to secure the victory with three runs in the 12th inning. Stanford’s closer, fifth-year RHP Zach Grech, allowed one run, but otherwise held the fort for an 11-9 victory.

Things got underway in the rubber match in the top of the second, with Robinson homering to right center, his fifth of the year. The Sun Devils quickly evened the score at 1-1, and the top of the third remained scoreless thanks to strong defensive work by the home team. The two teams proceeded to trade runs before the Cardinal plated two runs on two hits in the top of the fifth, driven in by senior second baseman Tim Tawa and Robinson, giving Stanford a 4-3 lead. The runs were complemented by lone runs in the sixth and seventh innings, increasing the Cardinal lead to 6-3. The Sun Devils responded with two runs of their own in the seventh, trimming the Cardinal lead to one run.

After a scoreless eighth inning, the Cardinal looked to score some insurance runs, and insurance did they receive. Bowser kicked off what would be an explosive seven-run ninth inning with a solo homer to center field, his second home run of the series. But the crushing blow came when Tawa came to bat with the bases loaded and drove the ball over the right field fence, sending home freshman left fielder Eddie Park, sophomore shortstop Adam Crampton and Barrera. Another run was driven in by Robinson, finalizing the 13-5 Cardinal victory.

The Cardinal will play the University of the Pacific (9-23, 0-9 WCC) next in a brief reprieve from conference play. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday in Stockton.

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Alexa Gold '22 is a copy editor and staff writer in the sports section. She is a junior from New York City studying communication and political science. Contact her at agold 'at' stanforddaily.com.