No. 8 Stanford (42-18, 23-7 Pac-12) was defeated by Texas (41-20, 15-9 Large 12) in Recreation 1 of the NCAA Tremendous Regionals in a shocking 7-5 loss on Saturday night in Palo Alto. The outcome was pushed by a devastatingly sloppy closing inning that led to a five-run onslaught by the Longhorns, overwhelming the Cardinal and permitting the Longhorns to grab the primary recreation of the best-of-three sequence.
The sport began out comfortably within the Cardinal’s management, with the primary inning yielding the Longhorns only one base earlier than Stanford loved three walks accompanied by a single from first baseman Carter Graham. The final of the walks, courtesy of Pac-12 Freshman of the 12 months Malcolm Moore, introduced dwelling junior infielder Tommy Troy to kick off the Cardinal offense with a 1-0 lead.
Some sensible pitching by junior pitcher Joey Dixon made life simple for the Cardinal protection within the recreation’s first 4 innings. Within the second inning, he threw three straight swinging strikeouts, and the third consisted merely of routine catch-and-throw outs for the infielders, topped off with a fly ball to proper discipline. Within the fourth inning, Dixon caught Texas with two strikes and a simple flier.
Stanford took benefit of the sturdy protection. Whereas the second inning was nothing outstanding, the third inning noticed a spark within the offense from sophomore proper fielder Braden Montgomery, who break up the hole between heart and proper discipline for a deep double. Pac-12 Participant of the 12 months, junior catcher Alberto Rios, was subsequent as much as bat with an opportunity to capitalize, however Texas pitcher Lucas Gordon rebounded from a 3-0 depend to strike him out. Rios was then adopted up by Moore, who constructed off of Montgomery’s double with considered one of his personal, driving Montgomery dwelling and putting himself into scoring place. Nonetheless, a ball hit towards the mound by junior infielder Drew Bowser ended the inning with a fast 1-3 putout by Gordon.
In actual fact, within the very subsequent inning, Gordon began off by taking out two Stanford hitters through 1-3 putouts and completed off by pitching to junior outfielder Eddie Park, who hit a bouncing ball simply exterior the infield for the Longhorns to get the simple out.
Texas started turning it round on the high of the fifth inning. Outfielder Porter Brown hit out to heart discipline for a single, and Kennedy hit a house run to tie the sport up at 2-2, adopted up by a single from infielder Jalin Flores. Dixon, regaining his composure, discovered himself one other strikeout, after which proper fielder Saborn Campbell grabbed a line drive to proper discipline to make it out two. Stanford then took Dixon out of the sport, changing him with pitcher Drew Dowd. Dowd’s first pitch was errant and allowed Texas to steal a base, however he ended up moving into stride, pitching a bouncing ball hit to first base for a simple out, and cleaned up the sixth inning with minimal points for the Stanford protection.
The sixth inning noticed a solo homer by Bowser launched to left discipline, giving Stanford a 3-2 lead. Sophomore infielder Temo Becerra constructed off of Bowser’s momentum, hanging the ball into a niche in deep right-center discipline, leaving the ball rolling to the wall as he made his solution to second base, with an error by the catcher giving him the chance to steal third, which he did. Park then got here again from a 1-2 depend to drive a stroll. Gordon then got here out, and substitute Charlie Hurley obtained the strikeout to kill the momentum.
The highest of the seventh, except for an error at first base that turned a bunt earlier than the mound right into a double, went comparatively easily, establishing a Stanford counterattack. However Texas discovered their defensive stride and firmly managed the inning with the primary two at-bats, two hits snapped up by the fielding group. After that, nevertheless, Rios broke by way of and hit a wall-touching stinger that introduced him a double. Following him up, Moore rang dwelling a scorching homer — 406 ft — simply previous the centerfield fence to convey dwelling Rios and himself, making a cushion for Stanford at 5-2. Bowser then struck out after a full depend, however a press release was made.
The eighth inning started with a fast two outs by a floor ball and a strikeout. Throughout an at-bat at a 1-0 depend, Stanford took out Dowd and subbed in junior nearer Ryan Bruno. Bruno, a strong but erratic pitcher, took Dowd’s batter to three straight walks earlier than closing out with a 1-3 strikeout to finish the inning. The Cardinal then led off their possession with a stroll by Campbell and a sacrifice bunt from Becerra, resulting in a second base for Campbell. Troy then stepped as much as the plate, and Texas deliberately walked him and proceeded to nab Graham’s stinger between second and third to finish the inning.
Texas, making word of Bruno’s pitching, made certain to comply with a selected technique, resulting in catastrophe for the Cardinal protection. That technique? “Act such as you’re on a 3-1 depend,” per Texas coach David Pierce, as relayed to the ESPN2 saying group. The Longhorns dared Bruno to throw a strike, and it paid off for them.
With the primary at-bat, Bruno got here in on a full depend and ultimately walked Kennedy, an at-bat the place Kennedy swung simply as soon as. Flores then got here as much as the plate, and Bruno threw him a 3-1 depend earlier than the umpire referred to as successful on Flores’s elbow from an inside steamer. Stanford coach David Esquer challenged the decision however failed. The following batter, infielder Jack O’Dowd, was then walked, loading the bases for Texas. Flores and O’Dowd didn’t swing as soon as.
Stanford then substituted Bruno and introduced in freshman pitcher Matt Scott, seeking to defuse the bomb generally known as “Bases Loaded with no Outs.” Scott pitched a fly ball to proper discipline. Campbell and Park, each on the ball, have been in place to make the simple catch, however miscommunication prompted a deadly error that allowed Texas to blow up for 2 runs on the play. Texas had a press release of their very own: they wouldn’t again down.
On the subsequent play, one other ball was hit and grounded out, however not with out one other run, equalizing the sport at 5-5. After two walks on the subsequent two at-bats, the bases have been loaded but once more with two outs remaining. Scott proceeded to strike out the subsequent hitter, however on the subsequent at-bat, Brown hit a deep right-field double that drove dwelling two extra Longhorns, giving them the lead for the primary time within the recreation at 7-5. The following batter hit a simple groundout to first base, placing an finish to a depressing defensive possession that consisted of 4 walks, one hit batter and one main error.
With their backs in opposition to the wall, Montgomery and Rios struck out on reverse 96-mph cutters. Moore was up subsequent to bat, taking it to 2-2 earlier than he swung at a breaking ball, ending what was a stunning and painfully winnable recreation for the Cardinal.
Recreation 2 of the sequence is again in Palo Alto on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.