Karen Hickey/

Utah Edges Stanford

SALT LAKE CITY – Opening a three-game Pac-12 series against Utah on Thursday night, Stanford (10-12, 3-4 Pac-12) was edged 3-2 by the Utes (17-7, 6-4 Pac-12) from Smith's Ballpark.

Sophomore starter Nick Dugan pitched effectively in the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk. The right-hander struck out two, but was ultimately saddled with the loss and dropped to 3-2 on the season.

Stanford's bullpen of Trevor Moore and Toran O'Harran kept the Cardinal close, combining for three shutout frames, with O'Harran striking out two over the final two innings.

The Cardinal managed to get on the board first in the third inning as Malcolm Moore laced a two-out double off the wall in center field. Temo Becerra followed with a base hit back up the middle that was knocked down by Ute second baseman Bruer Webster on a slide into shallow center field. Webster fired behind M. Moore at third, but the Cardinal never let up, turning the bag and scoring on the play.

Stanford's one-run cushion held into the fifth inning when a single and a two-base error charged to Brady Reynolds in right field ultimately led to an unearned run to tie the game at one run apiece.

Seizing the momentum, Utah plated two runs in the sixth, highlighted by an RBI-triple from TJ Clarkson, to take a 3-1 lead.

With the Stanford relievers holding the line in the latter innings, the Cardinal managed to claw to within a run in the eighth – kickstarted by back-to-back singles from Jake Sapien and Trevor Haskins. A sacrifice bunt from Owen Cobb moved the runners into scoring position and M. Moore contributed a ground ball to second to plate a run and leave a runner at third with two outs. Becerra worked a walk in the ensuing at bat, but Micah Ashman entered from the Utah bullpen and got Cort MacDonald to ground back to the mound to end the threat and keep the lead intact.

Ashman remained in the game for the ninth inning, retiring the side on three fly balls to center field to seal the victory and record his seventh save of the year.

Ute starter Merit Jones was credited with the victory and moved to 2-1 after allowing two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over seven innings. Randon Hostert got two outs in relief as the bridge to Ashman.

Stanford will look to even the series on Friday when the two teams meet for a 1 p.m. PT first pitch.


  • Stanford has dropped six of the last eight after winning seven of its previous eight … is now 0-8 when held to less than three runs in a game this year (10-4 when scoring three or more).
  • The Cardinal allowed the first run in seven of its first eight games of the season, but has now scored first in 11 of the last 14.
  • Stanford is now 2-2 in one-run games this year.
  • Becerra (2-for-3, RBI) recorded two of Stanford's five hits … has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and has posted multiple hits in four of his last five overall ... has amassed seven multi-hit games this season.
  • MacDonald (0-for-4) had a six-game hitting streak snapped, and failed to reach for just the third time this season … batted .474 (9-for-19) with four runs scored, a home run and four RBIs over the streak.
  • Ethan Hott (0-for-2) had a four-game hitting streak snapped.
  • Brandon Larson (0-for-4) had a five-game hitting streak snapped.