Karen Ambrose Hickey/Stanford Athletics

Utah Evens Series

STANFORD, Calif. – Utah (4-9, 1-1 Pac-12) scored four times in the fourth, once in the seventh and three more in the eighth to capture an 8-4 victory over Stanford (11-3, 1-1 Pac-12) to even a three-game Pac-12 series on Saturday from Sunken Diamond.

The Cardinal lost for the first time this season when scoring first (8-1), as Stanford plated a pair of runs in the third inning. Sophomores Brock Jones and Kody Huff drove in runs in the inning, while senior Tim Tawa doubled to set up the productive frame.

Tawa finished the game 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Nick Brueser also finished with multiple hits, going 3 for 4 while hitting out of the sixth spot in the order.

Sophomore left-hander Quinn Mathews was seemingly cruising as the Cardinal starter, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Mathews issued a single and two walks to load the bases before Shea Kramer split the gap in left-center field for a three-RBI triple. Mathews got the next two hitters without incident, but a softly-hit RBI-single from Matt Richardson extended the Utah lead to 4-2.

The Cardinal scratched back even with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Huff contributed his second sacrifice fly of the game to run the tally to 4-3 in the fifth, and freshman Drew Bowser tied the game at 4-4 with a single into left-center field in the sixth. Bowser's single chased home Christian Robinson who had reached with a one-out double earlier in the frame.

Refusing to surrender any momentum, Utah reclaimed the 5-4 lead in seventh on a Brock Rudy single. A three-run eighth, highlighted by a pinch-hit home run from Christopher Rowan, Jr., added insurance for the Utes.

Freshman Brandt Pancer was saddled with the loss after surrendering a run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout while logging two-thirds of an inning. The decision dropped Pancer to 2-1 on the year.

Mathews, who left the game with one out and the score tied at four in the seventh, did not factor into the decision after registering a career-best nine strikeouts over his 6 1/3 innings.

Utah reliever Randon Hostert was stellar en route to claiming the victory and moving to 1-0, tossing 4 1/3 innings and allowing just one run on three hits.

Stanford and Utah will decide the three-game series on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. PT.