Arizona drops heartbreaker to Stanford to lose their first series at home all year
It was a wild back and forth game between the Wildcats and Cardinal that ended in Stanford’s favor with a 8-7 win and a series win against Arizona after dramatic 7th, 8th and 9th innings.
Stanford had just gained a 3-2 lead in the top of the 7th, but in the bottom, Alfonso Rivas drilled a solo homerun off the Terry Francona Hitting Center to tie the game at 3.
In the bottom of the eighth Arizona was able to take the lead back.
They loaded the bases with no outs but grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to keep the game tied and get two outs. After Jacob Blas worked himself into a 1-1 count Stanford made a pitching change. On this first pitch from the new pitcher, Blas drilled a ball to deep right-center field and the ball ricocheted off the right fielder’s glove and got away from him and the centerfielder. Blas motored all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park homerun and gave the Wildcat’s a 6-3 lead.
In the top of the ninth, pitcher Tylor Megill worked into trouble. He allowed three straight hits with two strikes to bring Stanford within two with the scoreboard reading 6-4. The Cardinal kept chipping away and eventually got to within one.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Christian Robinson hit a single to right and by the time outfielder Blake Paugh got the ball in, all three runs had scored and Robinson moved up to second, putting the Wildcats behind 8-6.
Arizona put up their own rally in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t come back. Stanford won 8-7 and won the series.
“That’s as tough as it gets in a regular season game right there. But we’ll show up tomorrow and we’ll compete like that tomorrow,” said head coach Jay Johnson.
It was an unfortunate downturn for a game that had started with as strong of pitching as it had.
Stanford loaded the bases right away in the first inning, but just as quickly as he got into the jam, Michael Flynn was able to get a groundout and two strikeouts to keep the game scoreless.
“That was big for our team and momentum moving forward in the game. It’s one of those spots where you got to make pitches, keep your cool, trust your stuff and you’ll be able to get out of stuff like that. That was the first time I’ve ever done something like that.” said Flynn.
After the shaky first inning, Flynn really settled down. He went 5 ⅔ innings and only allowed one run and had eight strikeouts. Gil Luna came in for relief of Flynn, but was replaced after one out by Tylor Megill, who would take the loss (1-3).
Arizona dropped back to back games at home for the first time this season and falls to 23-14 and 17-4 at home. Arizona and Stanford will be back on Sunday at noon to finish the series.
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