A five-run third inning was all that was required for visiting Stanford on Sunday afternoon, as the Cardinal dismantled the reeling Arizona Wildcats, 5-3, in the rubber match at Hi Corbett Field.
The loss was the fifth in the last six games for the Wildcats (19-30, 8-19 Pac-12 Conference), who have now dropped four consecutive series after taking two of three from UCLA back in early April. Through nine Pac-12 series the season, Arizona is just 2-7, with one remaining next weekend at California.
"That's life," head coach Andy Lopez said. "Life sometimes doesn't go the way you want it to. It's easy to take the good, but hey, sometimes bad things happen in your world that you don't want and you have to handle that too. You have to just handle the hurt."
Arizona starting pitcher Tyger Talley (1-3) pitched a solid first two innings before Stanford (24-21, 11-13 Pac-12) opened it up in the third.
The Cardinal kicked off the rally with a triple down the left-field line from right fielder Zach Hoffpauir. The next batter, Wayne Taylor, popped the ball up to short left, which dropped in between of a couple Wildcats, allowing the runner to score. Left fielder Tyler Krause then scooped up the ball, and like the season has been going, threw it away - this time to the backstop, which allowed Taylor to reach third base. Brett Michael Doran, the Cardinal second baseman, then knocked home the run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The hurt didn't stop there.
After allowing a walk, Talley tossed up a fat pitch to third baseman Alex Blandino, who took the sophomore deep to left field for his eighth home run this season. A single from Austin Slater and subsequent RBI double from Brant Whiting gave Stanford a 5-0 lead through three innings of play.
Talley settled down after, allowing just one baserunner to reach over his next 4 1/3 innings on the hill. The right-hander allowed five runs - one earned - and struck out three batters.
"I felt really good," Talley said. "I just settled in, calmed down and tried to finish the game out."
Stanford starter Logan James (2-2) held the Wildcats' offense in check early, allowing three hits through his first five innings. But the sophomore started losing his stamina in the eighth, allowing a walk and single to leadoff the inning. James was replaced on the hill by freshman Brett Hanewich.
James allowed two runs and six hits through seven innings of work.
Hanewich walked Scott Kingery to load the bases for Trent Gilbert with no outs in the inning. Gilbert walked, bringing home the Cats' first run of the day. The consecutive walks ended the day for Hanewich, who was replaced by another freshman, Chris Castellanos.
Castellanos' offspeed caused Krause to ground out to third baseman Blandino, scoring Kevin Newman from third. In the next at-bat, Willie Calhoun popped out to right field, scoring Kingery and cutting the Stanford lead to 5-3.
"I don't think they aren't playing hard, I just think it's been that kind of year," Lopez said.
Castellanos shut down Arizona in order to end the game and give Stanford the series victory.
Click Here to view this Link.Danny Passovoy
GOAZCATS.com Baseball Staff Writer