Bob Drebin/

Cardinal Stumbles in Opener

STANFORD, Calif. – Sophomore Matt Scott turned in a quality start, and Cort MacDonald connected for his second career home run, but Stanford (8-8, 2-2 Pac-12) dropped the opener of a three-game Pac-12 series to USC (5-12, 2-2 Pac-12) 5-2 on Friday night from Sunken Diamond.

Scott dealt 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six, before being saddled with the loss to drop to 2-3 on the season.

The Trojans pieced together an offensive attack that posted five runs on eight hits, plating single runs in the first, fifth and sixth before adding two insurance runs in the ninth.

USC got to Scott for a run on two hits in the first inning, jumping out to the early 1-0 advantage on an RBI-single from Ryan Jackson.

Junior Temo Becerra drew the Cardinal even with a two-out double that plated freshman Brady Reynolds in the second inning, but sacrifice flies from Carson Wells and Ethan Hedges in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, stretched the USC lead to 3-1 headed to the bottom of the sixth.

The Cardinal had an opportunity to respond in the bottom of the inning, putting Owen Cobb on third with one out for Malcolm Moore. Moore worked the count full, but eventually lofted a shallow fly ball to left that failed to plate the runner. USC starter Caden Aoki then struck out Jimmy Nati to end the threat.

Aoki worked the first six frames for USC, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. The right-hander improved to 1-3 on the season with the victory.

Trojan reliever Xavier Martinez struck out four in two perfect innings of relief before Josh Blum worked the ninth and allowed the 369-foot solo homer to MacDonald leading off the ninth.

Stanford will look to even the series with USC on Saturday at 2:05 p.m.


  • USC stole four bases in the victory – the most allowed by the Cardinal since allowing five at Arizona State on May 6, 2023 … the Trojans stole second base twice, and third twice.
  • Scott threw an career-high 115 pitches, landing 74 for strikes.
  • Freshman Joey Volchko allowed just one hit and struck out two over 2 1/3 innings of relief.
  • The Cardinal has dropped back-to-back games after winning seven of the previous eight.
  • Nati (0-for-4) was held off the bases for the first time this season – snapping a string of 15 straight reached safely to start the year … the hitless game also snapped a four-game hit streak.
  • Reynolds (1-for-4, R) extended his hitting streak to six games.