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John P. Lozano/isiphotos.com
Baseball

Stanford Drops Opener to Arizona State

STANFORD, Calif. – Arizona State (27-24, 15-13 Pac-12) took advantage of an error and two wild pitches in the first inning, plating three unearned runs, and never looked back in a 13-1 victory over Stanford (20-26, 11-14 Pac-12) to open a three-game Pac-12 series on Friday night from Sunken Diamond.

The first inning unraveled on an error charged to third baseman Temo Becerra following a one-out strikeout on a pitch in the dirt. Sophomore catcher Malcolm Moore blocked the offering, checked the runner Kien Vu at third, and ultimately threw behind him as he strayed down the line. The throw was muffed by Becerra, trickling down the left field line and allowing both Vu and Nick McClain, who began the play at second, to score. A two-out wild pitch – the second of the inning from sophomore starter Matt Scott – would plate the third Arizona State run.

Scott was saddled with the loss and dropped to 4-8, but pitched better than his line showed after allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.

The Sun Devils would add single runs in the third, fifth, sixth and eighth innings to carry a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth.

Stanford finally broke through in the eighth as Moore shot a single into right-center field to chase home Owen Cobb and break up the shutout bid. Cobb had led off the inning with an infield single before moving into scoring position on a throwing error charged to Mario Demera at third base.

Moore was the lone Cardinal to finish with multiple hits, batting 2-for-4 out of the cleanup spot in the order.

Immediately recapturing the momentum, Arizona State exploded for six runs on four hits – including a three-run homer from Vu – in the ninth inning to push the tally to its eventual final of 13-1.

The home run was Vu's 11th of the year and was one of three on the night for Arizona State. Nick McClain lined a solo shot to left field for his 10th of the year in the third, while Jacob Tobias connected for his 14th of the season off the scoreboard in right-center field in the fifth.

McClain and Vu finished the game with three RBIs apiece, with McClain going 3-for-5 with two runs scored to accompany the three driven in.

Left-hander Ben Jacobs was stellar in the start for Arizona State, scattering four hits and four walks with nine strikeouts over six shutout innings. Matt Tieding was charged with an unearned run in the eighth as part of his two innings of work before Jaden Alba struck out the side in the ninth to seal the victory.

Stanford will look to even the three-game series on Saturday when the two teams meet at 2:05 p.m.

GAME NOTES:

  • Stanford has lost four straight games and 20 of the last 32 overall … the four-game skid matches the longest of the season.
  • The Cardinal had won nine straight over Arizona State entering Friday's contest and had last lost to the Sun Devils on April 16, 2021 … Friday's loss to ASU was the first at Stanford since April 24, 2016 when the Sun Devils swept Stanford in a three-game series from Sunken Diamond.
  • Temo Becerra (1-for-3) has hit safely in 17 of his last 25 games and 23 of his last 31 overall.
  • Owen Cobb (1-for-3, R, BB) extended his hitting streak to 13 games and has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 overall.
  • Trevor Haskins (1-for-3) has hit safely in 12 of his last 15, 21 of 25, and 25 of his last 32 games overall.
  • Ethan Hott (0-for-3, BB) had a seven-game hit streak snapped.
  • Cort MacDonald (1-for-4) has hit safely in 12 of his last 14, 20 of his last 23 and 26 of his last 30 … has reached in all but five of his games played this year, hitting safely in all but six.
  • Malcolm Moore (2-for-4, RBI) has hit safely in five straight games.