John P. Lozano/isiphotos.com

Comeback Falls Short

SALT LAKE CITY – Trailing 7-3 headed to the ninth inning, Stanford (10-13, 3-5 Pac-12) scored twice and brought the tying run to the plate all with two outs, but Utah (18-7, 7-4 Pac-12) summoned its closer Micah Ashman to record the final out and earn a 7-5 victory and the series win on Friday afternoon.

Sophomore Jimmy Nati got the two-out rally going with a single before Temo Becerra reached on a throwing error to keep the line moving for Jake Sapien. Stanford's designated hitter split the gap in left-center field, chasing home both runners and drawing the Cardinal to within two at 7-5. After Ashman took over on the hill, Charlie Saum pinch hit, but was called out on strikes to end the game.

Stanford starter Matt Scott found himself in trouble right away in the first inning, allowing a single and two walks to load the bases with one out. The right-hander uncorked a wild pitch to put Utah on the board first, but settled down to strike out the next two to limit the damage.

The Cardinal had a golden opportunity of its own in the top of the first as Cort MacDonald doubled in front of a bunt single from Owen Cobb. Sophomore Malcolm Moore worked a walk on the 14th pitch of his at bat to load the bases, but Utah starter Bryson Van Sickle got a strikeout of Jimmy Nati and an inning-ending double play to escape unscathed.

Command proved to be a struggle for Scott throughout his outing, as he issued a career-high six walks over 4 2/3 innings. In addition to the walks, he also hit one batter and was charged with three wild pitches – two of which led to a run in the third inning to make it 2-0 Utah.

The Utes added a single run in the fourth on a solo homer from Hunter Antillon before Antillon tacked on two more with a two-out single back up the middle in the fifth.

Trailing 5-0 headed to the sixth, Stanford managed to push three runs across to cut the deficit to two. Three consecutive singles from Becerra, Sapien and Luke Lavin resulted in the first run of the inning before a sac fly from Trevor Haskins pushed the tally to 5-2. After Saborn Campbell was hit by a pitch, MacDonald shot an RBI-single back up the middle to draw the Cardinal within two at 5-3.

Still batting with two on and only one out in the sixth, Cobb was called out for interference at the plate as MacDonald broke for second in a stolen base attempt. The throw to get MacDonald sailed into center field and would have scored Campbell and moved MacDonald to third, but instead the runners were returned to the corners and Utah escaped the jam one play later.

Reclaiming the momentum, Utah immediately responded in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out before plating runs on a sac fly and a two-out RBI-single from pinch hitter Michael Davinni.

Those two runs in the sixth proved crucial as the Cardinal mounted its rally in the ninth only to come up two runs short.

Stanford will look to salvage the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. PT.

  • Stanford has dropped seven of the last nine after winning seven of its previous eight.
  • The Cardinal dropped a series to Utah for the first time since 2016.
  • Becerra (2-for-5, 2 R) has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and has posted multiple hits in five of his last six overall ... has amassed eight multi-hit games this season.
  • MacDonald (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) has hit safely in all but three games this season.
  • The Cardinal walked nine batters in the Friday setback.
  • Stanford had five players with two hits (MacDonald, Cobb, Nati, Becerra, Sapien).
  • The Cardinal outhit Utah 12-8, but drops to 8-3 when outhitting its opponent.
  • Scott was saddled with the loss and dropped to 2-5 on the year.
  • Jaden Harris (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, K) was credited with the victory and moved to 4-0.
  • Ryan Speshyock struck out three over two scoreless innings of relief.