John Lozano/

Williams Twirls Gem, Stanford Takes Opener

STANFORD, Calif. – Senior Alex Williams allowed two unearned runs on four hits with seven strikeouts over 8 1/3 innings to guide No. 11 Stanford (27-14, 13-9 Pac-12) to a 6-2 victory over California (22-23, 11-14 Pac-12) to open a three-game series on Friday night from Sunken Diamond.

The right-hander threw 123 pitches and faced one over the minimum from the second through the eighth – allowing a two-out single in the third and getting a double play ball to erase a leadoff single in the sixth.

Williams surrendered a run in the first, and left the game with runners at the corners and one out in the ninth after an error allowed the leadoff man to reach in the final frame.

With another outstanding effort on Friday night, Williams now owns a 6-1 record with a 1.95 ERA over 12 starts this year – including a minuscule 0.42 mark over his last six starts. He is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA over eight starts in Pac-12 play.

Junior Quinn Mathews inherited the two runners in the ninth and recorded the final two outs to seal the Cardinal victory.

Carter Graham and Kody Huff each homered in the victory, with Graham's 15th homer of the year tying the game at 1-1 in the first. The 15 round-trippers are tied for the most in the Pac-12 this season – equaling that of Cal's Dylan Beavers.

After a Tommy Troy RBI-double made it 2-1 Stanford in the second, Huff connected for a three-run homer with two outs in the third to provide more than enough run support for Williams and the Cardinal.

The homer was Huff's fifth of the season and highlighted a 2 for 4 day at the plate.

Stanford would tack on one more run in the fifth when Brett Barrera singled and moved to second on an error charged to Cal's center fielder. Freshman Braden Montgomery cashed in on the RBI-opportunity, lacing a single into right field to chase home Barrera and make it 6-1.

Stanford will look to earn a series win on Saturday when the two teams meet at 6 p.m. The game is sold out, with fireworks slated for postgame contingent on the time of the final out and county noise restrictions.