John P. Lozano/isiphotos.com

Mathews Shines, No. 8 Stanford Holds Off California

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BERKELEY, Calif. - Senior Quinn Mathews (4-2) had everything working on Thursday night, fanning a career-best 13 Cal hitters over seven innings of work while allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks.

No. 8 Stanford (19-7, 8-2 Pac-12) carried an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but Cal scored three times and loaded the bases with out before junior Brandt Pancer induced a game-ending double play to help Stanford hang on to the 8-7 win over the Golden Bears (12-13, 3-10 Pac-12).

The 13 strikeouts eclipsed Mathews' previous high of 11 in games against Washington State (3/26/22) and at No. 3 Oregon State (4/3/22).

Offensively, the Cardinal were led by junior Carter Graham, who went 2-for-5 on the day with a double, a home run and three RBIs. Junior Alberto Rios compiled a noteworthy performance at the plate as well, going 1-for-2 with a home run, a walk and two RBIs. Senior Owen Cobb also helped out for Stanford, putting together one hit in three trips to the plate while adding a home run and two RBIs.

Stanford connected for three home runs in the second inning, jumping out to the early 5-0 advantage. Cal managed to scratch a run across in the fourth, but the Cardinal managed three more in the sixth to extend the advantage to 8-1.

Refusing to surrender, Cal put up a run on a homer in the seventh, plated two in the eighth, and added the three on a Tucker Bougie pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth to make things interesting. Following the homer, Cal benefited from an error and two walks, loading the bases for Kade Kretzschmar. Kretzschmar narrowly missed a game-winning hit as he sliced a ball just foul down the left field line before hitting a one-hopper to Drew Bowser at second that started the game-ending double play.

The two teams will continue the three-game series on Friday at 7 p.m.

» Stanford has now won nine of its last 11 games.
» Mathews' 13 strikeouts are the most for a Cardinal pitcher since Brendan Beck struck out 13 at No. 8 Texas Tech on June 11, 2021.
» Carter Graham (2-for-5) has now hit safely in seven straight games, while Alberto Rios (1-for-2), Tommy Troy (2-for-4) and Drew Bowser (1-for-4) have all hit safely in three straight.
» Eddie Park (2-for-5) collected his 14th multi-hit game of the year, while Troy managed his 13th.
» The Cardinal power output was led by Graham, who compiled two extra base hits in the ballgame.
» The Stanford pitching staff combined to strike out a season-best 17 Cal hitters - the most since striking out 18 vs. No. 9 Arizona on May 7, 2021.
» Stanford's highest scoring inning was the second, when it pushed five runs across.
» Stanford went 3-for-4 (.750) with runners in scoring position.
» Stanford pitchers faced 41 Cal hitters in the game, allowing four ground balls and five fly balls while striking out 17.
» Cal was led offensively by sophomore Caleb Lomavita, who went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs.