The Stanford Cardinal picked up in the Super Regional right where they left off during the Regional, which is their pitching staff struggling and forcing the team to have to come from behind.
Starting pitcher Alex Williams, who during the regular season was one of the nation’s best hurlers has been nothing short of a disaster in the postseason. He was only able to pitch 1.1 innings against UConn giving up seven hits and seven runs. In just the short amount of time he pitched against the Huskies he gave up four doubles and a home run.
This now brings his NCAA Baseball Tournament stats to just 6.0 innings pitched, 12 hits given up, 12 runs given up (11 earned), and he has given up four home runs in his two outings.
Before even a blink of the eye, the Cardinal were down 9-0 in the second inning. but would later cut the lead to five after a couple home runs by Brock Jones and Drew Bowser.
Anytime Stanford got momentum something would go wrong as there were multiple costly base running errors that saw Bowser get thrown out at home after the first basemen wasn’t able to scoop a poor throw, and then Adam Crampton was gunned out at third trying to stretch a double into a triple. Both of these appeared to be the decision of the third base coach, but the wherewithal was simply nonexistent.
In the case of Bowser, the ball was just a mere couple feet away from the first baseman. Crampton on the other hand hadn’t even touched second by the time the cutoff man had caught the ball.
The Cardinal were held scoreless until the seventh inning, when Jones smashed his second home run of the game and Brett Barrera also hit a home run. This knocked UConn’s starter Pat Gallagher out of the game, which besides the home runs he was in control most of the game.
Fast-forward to the ninth, the Cardinal found themselves trailing 13-6 with just three outs to save themselves. With joking references to the ninth inning of the Texas State game, the announcers teased that maybe Stanford could do it again, and they almost did the damn thing.
Freshman sensation Braden Montgomery added a two-run shot of his own to cut the lead to 13-10, which was then followed up by the lethal Bowser and Tommy Troy combo, as they both hit solo shots to bring the game within one.
This brought up the hottest hitter on the team in Eddie Park, who took a walk bringing up Crampton, who nearly got rung up on what should have been a strike three but would go on to strike out to end the game.
Things such as those early base running mistakes certainly come back to haunt this team, as while they weren’t the deciding factors they did play a huge rule in hindsight. Bowser being sent home ended the inning with Jones coming up to hit with runners on first and third. Crampton attempting to stretch the double happened with no outs, and the very next batter was Jones who hit a solo shot, which mind you we don’t know what could have happened had Crampton been on base; but having Jones with a runner on is always a good thing it seems.
All in all, Stanford’s eight home run outing four of which coming in the ninth was to no avail, as the Cardinal fell 13-12 and now have to beat UConn today in order to keep their season alive.