Stanford bats come alive late to stave off Arizona State upset bid at Pac-12 Tournament
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Brock Jones connected on his 17th home run of the year and launched the Cardinal into the lead for good.
Playing in its first game at the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, No. 3 Stanford (38-14) came from behind to defeat Arizona State (25-31) 6-3 on Wednesday. With the win, Stanford extended its win streak to 13 games.
Jones’ two-run shot gave the Cardinal a 4-3 lead, and another two-run shot from Drew Bowser in the bottom of the eighth provided insurance. The home run in the seventh marked six straight games with a homer for Jones. The Fresno native has also homered in seven of his last eight games.
Bowser finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs after driving in a run in the sixth inning to bring Stanford within just a run of Arizona State.
A pair of errors in the top of the fifth allowed Arizona State to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Stanford’s Tommy Troy launched a triple in the bottom of the frame to get into scoring position, then Eddie Park brought him home with an RBI single on the next play.
The Sun Devils responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to reclaim a 3-1 lead, but Bowser’s RBI-single in the sixth set the table for Jones’ go-ahead blast in the seventh.
Ty Uber got the start for Stanford, tossing three and a third scoreless innings before handing the ball to Drew Dowd. The left-hander pitched the next two and a third innings, surrendering three runs (two earned), before giving way to Ryan Bruno. Bruno allowed two hits and walked two while striking out one over the next two-plus innings of scoreless work. Bruno (4-1) earned the win for his effort.
Quinn Mathews came in to finish off the win, retiring the side in the ninth, including inducing a big double-play ball after the first two batters reached to record his sixth save of the year.
Kyle Luckham got the start for ASU and pitched well, allowing just two runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over the first six innings. Blake Pivaroff was saddled with the loss after surrendering the two-run homer to Jones in the seventh. The right-hander dropped to 1-3 with the decision.
The top-seeded Cardinal will advance to play Arizona on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. PT. Arizona State will face Oregon at 9 a.m. PT in an elimination game.