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Supriya Limaye/isiphotos.com
Baseball

Stanford Takes Series Opener Over Cal

STANFORD, Calif. – Trailing 4-0 headed to the bottom of the fourth, Stanford (18-21, 10-9 Pac-12) scored twice in the fourth and five times in the fifth to eventually earn an 8-6 victory over California (25-15, 11-11 Pac-12) on Friday night to open a three-game Pac-12 series from Sunken Diamond.

Solo home runs from Malcolm Moore and Brandon Larson got the offense going in the fourth before the Cardinal scored five runs on seven hits in the fifth. Stanford managed three doubles in the five-run frame, including a leadoff two-bagger from Owen Cobb, a two-RBI double from Cort MacDonald, and a run-scoring double from Jimmy Nati. Nati's double tied the game at 5-5 before Larson pulled a single into right field to hand the Cardinal a lead it would not relinquish.

Including his third home run of the season, Larson finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

For Moore, the home run was No. 13 on the year. He has now homered in three of the last five games, totaling five round trippers over that span.

Trailing 7-5 headed to the seventh, California managed to cut the lead to one on a sacrifice fly, but Trevor Moore got a big strikeout to end the inning and maintain the lead.

After Toran O'Harran navigated a scoreless eighth inning, Stanford added one insurance run on a squeeze bunt from Jake Sapien to extend the lead to 8-6. The bunt chased home Nati who had reached on a one-out throwing error.

O'Harran trotted back out for the ninth, striking out a pair and retiring the side in order to convert his sixth save of the year.

The right-hander was the third of three pitchers used by Stanford on Friday, following starter Matt Scott and T. Moore. Scott worked the first 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out three to improve to 4-6 on the season. T. Moore bridged the gap to O'Harran, tossing two innings and allowing one run while striking out three.

Stanford will look to secure the series victory on Saturday when the two teams meet for a 4 p.m. first pitch.

GAME NOTES:

  • Stanford has won five of its last seven and snapped a nine-game win streak for Cal.
  • The Cardinal has split two games against Cal this season after dropping a nonconference clash 5-0 on March 5.
  • Stanford is 18-9 when scoring at least three runs in a game this season, but 0-12 when falling short of three.
  • The Cardinal compiled 16 hits as the two teams combined for 30 in total.
  • Of the 16 Cardinal hits, six went for extra-bases (four doubles, two home runs).
  • Temo Becerra (2-for-4, 2B) has hit safely in 13 of his last 18 games and 19 of his last 25 overall … has amassed 12 multi-hit games this season.
  • Trevor Haskins (1-for-5) has hit safely in eight straight games, 17 of his last 18, and 21 of his last 25.
  • Ethan Hott (3-for-4, R) is batting .393 (22-for-56) with 10 runs scored, five doubles and four RBIs in 18 Pac-12 games (14 starts) … has managed six multi-hit games in Pac-12 play.
  • Cort MacDonald (2-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBIs) has hit safely in seven straight, 15 of his last 16 games, and 21 of his last 23 … has reached in all but three games he's played this year … has amassed a team-best 15 multi-hit games.
  • Jimmy Nati (2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI) has hit safely in all but 10 games this year, including 10 of his last 12 overall … has reached in all but eight contests … owns a team-high 15 multi-hit games.