Bob Drebin /

Thriller in the Desert

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TUCSON, Ariz. – No. 2 Stanford erupted for five runs in the top of the ninth inning to come from behind and secure a thrilling 8-7 win at Arizona on Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field.

"We hung in there and took some shots but in the end the resiliency of our players earned this win," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "Crazy things can happen in Tucson – all the credit goes to our guys who hung in there over the course of a very long ball game."

The Cardinal (29-5 overall, 11-3 Pac-12) faced a three-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning after the Wildcats (23-14, 6-8) plated three runs in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 6-3. Christian Robinson had the big hit, a bases-clearing, two-out knock to right field to score Maverick Handley, Kyle Stowers and Nico Hoerner.

It was Stanford's second-straight comeback win after scoring eight in the final three innings of an 8-2 win on Friday. Robinson finished 2-for-5 with a double, Beau Branton reached base three times with one double and one walk and Nico Hoerner was on base three times with two hits.

Tim Tawa, Kyle Stowers, Maverick Handley, Bryce Carter and Alec Wilson added one RBI apiece, and Stanford clinched its second straight Pac-12 conference series win. Brendan Beck entered the final frame with runners on first and second and no outs, earning his first career save to clinch the win.

Arizona jumped out to a 2-0 lead after runs in the first two frames – the Wildcats plated a run on a fielder's choice in the first and with a sacrifice fly in the second. The Cardinal pulled one back in the fourth inning, courtesy of Bryce Carter's two-out single to center to score Kyle Stowers and make the score 2-1.

Stanford tied the game in the seventh inning with back-to-back doubles by Christian Robinson and Alec Wilson. Stowers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, giving Stanford a brief lead before Arizona tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom half. The Wildcats scored three in the bottom of the eighth, setting up Stanford's five-run top of the ninth.

Starter Kris Bubic lasted 5.0 innings, allowing three hits, six walks and two earned runs with five strikeouts. Will Matthiessen replaced Bubic in the sixth, going 2.0 innings while allowing one hit, one walk and one earned run. Zach Grech, Jacob Palisch, Jack Little and Daniel Bakst combined to pitch the eighth before Beck shut the door.

No. 2 Stanford is back in action tomorrow for the series finale at Noon PT with left-handed pitcher Erik Miller expected to start. The contest will air on Pac-12 Networks with live statistics available at

Cardinal Notes

  • Stanford has scored 36 runs in the seventh inning, the most of any frame this season.
  • Only four of Arizona's runs were charged to Stanford's record. ­­­
  • Stanford's remaining 16 Pac-12 games will air on Pac-12 Networks.