Scott Gould/isiphotos.com

Cardinal Clinches Pac-12 Title

STANFORD, Calif. – Turning in one of its best all-around performances of the year on Friday night, No. 4 Stanford (36-14, 20-9 Pac-12) defeated USC (25-27, 8-21 Pac-12) 22-3 to clinch at least a share of the 2022 Pac-12 regular season title.

Stanford, which entered the game tied with Oregon State atop the Pac-12 standings, has moved a game ahead of the Beavers with one to play thanks to a UCLA victory over Oregon State.

The victory also clinched the No. 1 seed for the Cardinal in next week's inaugural Pac-12 Tournament, as Stanford holds the tie-breaker against both Oregon State and UCLA based on head-to-head results.

The Pac-12 title is the second under Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer after the Cardinal earned the title in 2018 – Esquer's first season at the helm.

The Cardinal, which has won 11 straight games, cruised to victory on Friday night, scoring the season-high 22 runs on 18 hits – including a season-high six home runs. The six round-trippers, launched by six different players, are the most for the Cardinal since hitting seven at Arizona on May 16, 2004, while the 22 runs are the most for Stanford since scoring 25 at Utah on May 5, 2018.

Sophomore Carter Graham hit the first of the homers, sending his Pac-12-leading 18th home run over the wall in left-center field for a two-run shot in the bottom of the first.

Leading 3-0 headed to the bottom of the fourth, junior Brock Jones connected for a three-run shot – his 15th of the year to run the advantage to 6-0. Jones has now connected for six homers in his last six games and owns 10 in his last 14 overall. He has homered in four straight and five of his last six games.

The Cardinal launched two more homers in the fifth as Braden Montgomery and Drew Bowser each belted solo shots. The round-trippers were home run number 15 and eight for Montgomery and Bowser, respectively.

After plating three more runs in the sixth to push the advantage to 11-0, Stanford put up eight more in the seventh to open up a 19-1 lead. The eight-run seventh was highlighted by a grand slam from junior Brett Barrera and a three-run homer from freshman Trevor Haskins. The grand slam was the fifth of the year for Stanford, and Barrera's second of the year. He has now connected for nine home runs this season.

Haskins, who collected his first career hit and RBI on Tuesday at Santa Clara, recorded his first career homer in Friday's victory as a pinch-hitter.

Freshman Charlie Saum also recorded a few firsts on Friday night, finishing 2 for 2 with his first career hits, double, run scored and RBI.

While USC managed to plate its second run of the game in the eighth, Stanford tacked on three more in the bottom of the inning to record the 22 runs.

Seven Cardinal hitters finished with multiple hits, including Jones who went 3 for 4 with four runs scored and three RBIs.

Montgomery finished a single short of the cycle, and was lifted in the seventh after going 3 for 3 with three driven in. Fifth-year senior Joe Lomuscio pinch hit in that spot and managed a single as the cleanup position in Stanford's order hit for the combined cycle and was 5 for 5 after Lomuscio finished with two hits and two RBIs.

Provided with all the run support he would need, Stanford starter Joey Dixon pitched seven innings and allowed just one unearned run on four hits. The right-hander collected the victory and moved to 5-3 on the season.

Max Meier and Tommy O'Rourke each pitched an inning in relief, closing out the game for the Cardinal.

Stanford will finish the regular season on Saturday against USC at 12 p.m. The Cardinal, which can win the Pac-12 outright with a victory, will celebrate Senior Day by honoring its eight seniors pregame.