Bob Drebin/isiphotos.com

More Eighth-Inning Heartbreak

TUCSON, Ariz. – For the second consecutive game, No. 12 Stanford (9-7, 1-4 Pac-12) was unable to put away No. 16 Arizona (15-4, 4-1 Pac-12), this time allowing five runs on four hits in the eighth inning of a 6-5 setback on Sunday.

The Cardinal led 5-1 headed into the bottom of the eighth, including tacking on a pair of runs in the top of the inning, but two infield singles to start the inning got the Wildcat rally going. Daniel Susac singled to second base before Tanner O'Tremba won a foot race to the bag to beat left-hander Quinn Mathews.

Mathews, who was dominant through the first seven innings, allowed a three-run home run to Chase Davis on the ensuing play to cut the deficit to one run at 5-4. The home run ended what was a strong day for Mathews that included seven innings pitched with eight strikeouts. The lefty was charged with four runs (three earned) on nine hits before not factoring into the decision.

Tommy O'Rourke took over for Stanford with nobody out and three runs in in the eighth, walking the only man he faced. Ty Uber induced a fly ball for the first out of the frame, but Joey Dixon walked the next man and surrendered the game-tying single to right field that pushed runners to the corners with one out.

Ryan Bruno became the fifth Cardinal pitcher to appear in the eighth inning, inducing a fly ball from Garen Caulfield that proved deep enough to chase home the go-ahead run from third. Bruno retired the only two men he faced via the fly ball.

Charged with the go-ahead run, Dixon was saddled with the loss and dropped to 1-1 on the season.

Stanford wasted no time getting on the board and getting to Arizona starter Garrett Irvin – plating two runs on three hits, including an RBI-single from Brett Barrera and an RBI-double from Carter Graham, to take a 2-0 lead after a half-inning of play.

Arizona responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the first – taking advantage of a throwing error from Mathews on a pickoff attempt.

After adding an unearned run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh to push the tally to 3-1, Graham and Braden Montgomery each homered to extend the lead to 5-1.

For Graham, the home run was his team-best sixth of the season and came as part of a 2 for 4 day at the plate. The round-tripper was Montgomery's fourth of the season.

After allowing the two first-inning runs, Irvin settled in to toss six innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Holden Christian retired the final four Stanford hitters to earn the victory after Arizona's late-inning comeback. Christian improved to 2-1 with the win.

After dropping the first two games in heartbreaking fashion, Stanford will look to salvage the series on Monday at 6 p.m.