Arizona baseball defeats Stanford 10-9
PALO ALTO, CALIF.- Stanford’s offense is littered with talent. First baseman Brian Rigira and right fielder Austin Wilson are the focal point of the proficient offense and on Saturday got the best of Arizona starting pitcher James Farris.
However, it was Arizona’s power hitter Brandon Dixon that had the last laugh as Arizona defeated Stanford 10-9 in Saturday afternoon’s sloppy game at Sunken Diamond.
“That was a big hit by Brandon Dixon,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “Oh boy saved our butts.”
Tied 9-9 in the top of the ninth, Dixon delivered the eventual difference maker by stroking his fifth home run on the season over the left field fence to give the Wildcats the eventual game-winning go ahead lead.
“I wasn’t thinking homerun at all,” Dixon said. “I was just trying to get but I got a good pitch to hit and I hit it.”
Arizona (25-13,9-8 Pac-12) led for the majority of the game thanks to a five-run fourth inning. In yhe inning the Wildcats batted around the order and drew five walks on only get three. The highlight of the inning was a two-RBI double from center fielder Johnny Field.
Stanford’s (21-12, 8-6) inability to throw strikes past the third inning was costly for the Cardinal, as four Stanford pitchers combined for nine walks, seven of which came with runners in scoring position.
“We hit the ball alright today but we could have done better,” Lopez said.
Arizona had 24 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
As for pitching, things could have gone better.
“I’m embarrassed to say I pitched in that game,” Farris said. “I thought I did well but we got to clean it up on the field.”
Farris (4-3) threw 82 pitches in 6.1 innings of work. He allowed seven earned runs but had zero walks.
He had a few mistakes and left pitches over the zone but for the most part it was Ragira and Wilson that were driving force behind the Cardinal offense.
Ragira and Wilson killed Farris by going a combined 6-9 with a triple, two doubles and four runs batted in. Farris’ day would be done after retiring the leadoff hitter in the sixth but giving up a single to Ragira and walking Wilson in a 9-6 game. Ragira who tied the game up at nine with a RBI single in the eighth inning, fell a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle but in the end couldn’t make up for the pitching staff’s lack of command.
“I don’t think any different and try not to look at who’s up,” Farris said about the Stanford power hitters. “Ragira is a good hitter but I saw some flaws in Wilson’s swing.”
All season long Farris has been solid the first time around an opponent’s lineup. It’s the second time that has hurt him in the past.
Farris only allowed two hits the first time through the order, throwing first pitch strikes to seven of the nine batters. The second time around Stanford managed to get four hits and score three runs as Farris only threw five first pitch strikes.
On the field Arizona still committed too many errors (two) for Lopez and Farris’ liking. Miss played balls in the outfield also hurt the Wildcats who are now in the thick of their conference race.
“This is the Pac-12, you can’t be sloppy,” Lopez said. “But it’s not ice skating and it’s not a beauty contest and it’s a win on the road so we’ll take it.”
Arizona will try to take two out of three from the Cardinal tomorrow as sophomore Tyler Crawford (4-1) takes the mound for the Wildcats.