Stanford forces winner-take-all game at Super Regional with spot in CWS on the line
The No. 2-seeded Stanford Cardinal has been living on the edge for over a week now and continues to find ways to stay alive.
The Cardinal offense plated two runs in the first inning and six more in the second during Sunday’s Super Regional win-or-go-home game against UConn. From then on, the Stanford pitching staff blanked the Huskies to claim the 8-2 win and force a decisive Game 3 against Connecticut (50-15) on Monday.
Game time and ESPN broadcast channel have yet to be named for the Monday game which will determine a spot in the College World Series.
Kody Huff got the scoring started for the Cardinal in the top of the first, working a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a two-out, two-RBI single into center field to chase home Carter Graham and Brett Barrera.
After UConn responded for a run in the bottom of the first, Stanford exploded for six runs on six hits in the second—highlighted by a three-run home run from freshman Braden Montgomery. Montgomery’s blast was his 18th of the season and second in Super Regional action so far.
Drew Bowser also went deep in the frame—his 18th of the season as well—with a solo shot to left-center field. It was his third homer of the Super Regional and 10th in the last 11 games.
Ty Uber got the start on the mound for the Cardinal, but handed the ball over to Brandt Pancer after issuing a walk and a wild pitch that pushed runners to the corners in the first frame. Pancer picked up the final out of the inning with a swinging strikeout to end the first and begin his three innings and a third of work. In the win (3-0), Pancer allowed just one run on one hit with three strikeouts.
Ryan Bruno pitched two scoreless frames with four strikeouts before Quinn Mathews went the final three hitless innings while striking out four to pick up his eighth save.
Stanford will look to punch its second consecutive ticket to Omaha with a victory on Monday. Monday’s winner-take-all game will be the fifth elimination game that the Cardinal has played in the last nine days. Stanford won a pair of games vs. No. 20 UCSB and No. 13 Texas State last Sunday in regional action before defeating the Bobcats 4-3 in the regional final last Monday.