Stanford races past USC to claim regular-season Pac-12 baseball title
Having already locked up at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title on Friday night, No. 4 Stanford (37-14, 21-9 Pac-12) claimed the trophy outright on Saturday by way of a 12-5 victory to complete a sweep over USC (25-28, 8-22 Pac-12) from Sunken Diamond.
The Pac-12 title is the second under coach David Esquer. In his first season at the helm in 2018, Stanford also claimed the title.
— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) May 21, 2022
Stanford is the No. 1 seed in next week’s Pac-12 Baseball Tournament and will open play against eight-seed Arizona State. The Cardinal carries a 12-game win streak into the tournament–the longest winning streak for the program since 1999.
USC claimed its first lead of the series in the first inning, scoring three runs on a home run from Trevor Halsema. The Cardinal responded right away, scoring four times on two hits in the bottom of the first to go up 4-3.
A six-run fourth blew the game open at 10-3. Carter Graham delivered the highlight of the frame with a grand slam for his Pac-12-leading 19th home run of the season. The home run was his second in as many games, while the grand slam was Stanford’s sixth of the year and second of the series after Brett Barrera connected for one on Friday.
The Cardinal would tack on single runs in the sixth and seventh, including one on Brock Jones’ solo home run with one out in the sixth. It was Jones’ 16th of the season and his seventh in his last seven games. The Fresno native owns 11 homers in his last 15 games overall, including shots in five straight and six of his last seven.
After freshman Ty Uber worked the first inning, sophomore Drew Dowd entered and tossed the next 3 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing just three hits with two strikeouts to collect the victory and move to 6-0 on the season.
Junior Quinn Mathews locked up his fifth save of the season, pitching the final 4 2/3 innings and allowing two runs while striking out seven.
The Cardinal beat USC by a total of 41-9 during the three-game series. Stanford will now prepare to play in the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament beginning on Tuesday.