You’ve heard of “the shot heard ’round the world.”

Monday night, Stanford gave us “the shot nobody saw.”

In the bottom of the 9th, with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, Stanford’s Drew Bowser skied a seemingly harmless fly ball toward shallow right center. Extra innings seemed imminent.

Except Texas’ centerfielder and right fielder never saw the ball. Texas’ second baseman didn’t see it, either. Almost immediately, both outfielders extended their arms, a fielder’s universal plea for help. Seconds later, as the ball fell to the turf and Alberto Rios raced home for a 7-6 win in Game 3, Stanford players raised their arms in jubilation.

Just like that, the Cardinal are headed back to the College World Series for the 3rd consecutive year and 19th overall.

The final sequence was shocking, but perhaps fitting. Rios, after all, nearly ended the game minutes earlier when he nearly walked it off with a 2-out double off the left-field wall. He thought it was gone. So did his teammates, who poured out of the dugout, ready to celebrate.

Their retreat to the dugout was merely temporary. A walk set the stage for Bowser, who finished the game 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs.

It was one of the wildest endings in college baseball postseason history.

It’s a painful finish Texas won’t soon forget, not after twice erasing 3-run deficits in its quest to get back to Omaha.

Stanford, which knows heartache after going 0-2 in Omaha last year and 1-2 in 2021, will try to make amends in 2023.

Considering how the Cardinal got there, maybe the 3rd (consecutive) time will be the charm.

Cover photo via Twitter @StanfordBSB