The final score was 12-8, but there were no runs scored after the fifth inning on Sunday as Stanford won its fourth straight PAC-12 series.
Stanford (22-12, 9-6 PAC-12) struck first with two runs in the first off of Arizona starter Tyler Crawford. But Arizona (25-14, 9-9 PAC-12) answered right back with 7 runs in the top half of the second.
The second inning itself took 51 minutes, and it wasn't just because of all the offense. David Real started the game at catcher for the Wildcats, but after misplaying a foul ball in the first inning, Andy Lopez decided to pinch-hit for him with Riley Moore. It was the right decision.
Moore came up with the bases loaded and blasted a John Hochstatter pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam, and his first home run of the year. The very next pitch, Hochstatter hit Joseph Maggi up around the neck, and the home plate umpire immediately tossed the Cardinal pitcher.
Looking at it, it doesn't look intentional, but more of really bad timing to lose a fastball by that much. Right after you give up a grand slam you're obviously frustrated, and the umpire read into that and immediately ejected him.
The Wildcats scored two more runs in the inning, giving them seven total, and a 7-2 lead.
But Tyler Crawford wasn't getting any breaks from the home plate umpire either. For him to be effective, he needs low strikes called. And he just wasn't getting those calls. Stanford answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a home run of their own from Brian Ragira to cut the deficit back down to one.
After a quick third inning, the Wildcats scored one in the top of the fourth on four straight walks, giving Riley Moore his 5th RBI of the game. That was it for the Arizona offense for the rest of the day though.
Crawford hit the first Stanford hitter in the inning and was replaced by Stephen Manthei. Manthei (L, 1-2) went on to give up three runs without recording an out. Nick Cunningham came on after that and gave up two runs of his own over the next inning and a third.
After that there was nothing from either offense. Wildcat pitcher Tyler Hale went three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. Tyger Talley finished the game by retiring the final two Stanford batters in the 8th.
Stanford reliever Sam Lindquist (W, 1-0) went five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit which came in the 9th, and two walks. Lindquist was just attacking the strike zone consistently, which is something the other Cardinal pitchers failed to do at the beginning of the game.
A little disappointing to come back from Stanford with only one win, but the Cats have a couple weeks to regroup as next weekend is their turn to not have to play a PAC-12 opponent. The Alabama State series should be used as a chance to grow as a team, and get some guys more comfortable with their new roles.
I do like that Lopez is playing Joseph Maggi at first base now, giving Scott Kingery a chance for some more playing time in right field. Sam Parris and Ryan Koziol just aren't cutting it at first base, and Maggi proved all of last year that he is a very reliable defender over there. Hope that trend continues.