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Arizona baseball rallies late to beat Stanford at home in series opener

arizona-wildcats-college-baseball-stanford-cardinal-recap-pac12-otremba-susac-nichols-caulfield-2022 Arizona Athletics

With 54 runs in its previous five games, Arizona’s offense was humming entering a big home series against Stanford. But for six innings against Stanford starter Alex Williams, the Wildcats could do nothing at the plate.

Then the Hi Corbett magic kicked in.

The UA scored once in the seventh, twice in the eighth to take the lead and then got a massive defensive play to end a 3-2 home win over the Cardinal on Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field.

Mac Bingham’s throw home from short right-center field on a flyout was in time for catcher Daniel Susac to tag out pinch runner Owen Cobb at the plate for the game-ending double play.

Stanford (9-6, 1-3 Pac-12) had gotten the first two runners on to start the top of the ninth, the first off UA starter TJ Nichols, who improved to 3-0 with eight strikeouts over eight-plus innings. Trevor Long allowed a single, then a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position before Stanford’s Kody Huff grounded softly to short but Cobb didn’t try to come home.

Arizona (14-4, 3-1) managed only six hits but four game in its final two at-bats. Its first run came on a throwing error after Bingham singled with two outs, stole second and then came home when Tyler Casagrande’s grounder to second was thrown away.

Stanford pulled Williams, who struck out 10, after the 7th, and Arizona jumped on reliever Joey Dixon. Garen Caulfield led off the 8th with a double, then after Susac reached on another Cardinal error with 1 out, Tanner O’Tremba singled Caulfield home to tie it at two.

Tommy Splaine then reached on a 2-out infield single, with Stanford shortstop Adam Crampton trying to throw behind Susac at third but instead threw it away, allowing him to score.

Stanford and Arizona play the second game of their 3-game series at 12 p.m. PT Sunday, with lefty Garrett Irvin starting for the Wildcats.