Hot-hitting Stanford sends Arizona packing with 14-5 CWS win
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Brock Jones homered, doubled and drove in five runs to lead one of Stanford’s most productive offensive performances of the season in a 14-5 victory over Arizona in a College World Series elimination game Monday.
The Cardinal got their bats cranked up again after losing 10-4 to North Carolina State in their CWS opener Saturday. They also got payback for the 20-2 beatdown they took from their Pac-12 rival May 8.
Stanford led 10-0 in the fourth inning and, after Arizona cut the lead in half, tacked on four more runs in the seventh to assure itself of extending its first CWS appearance since 2008 at least two more days.
“We played like a team that didn’t want to end their season, didn’t want to go home, and wants to get some momentum and keep playing in the World Series here,” Stanford coach David Esquer said.
The Cardinal (39-16) entered the NCAA Tournament averaging 6.7 runs per game and have upped their scoring rate to 9.6 over the last eight games, including double-digit runs in four of them. Their batting average has gone from .276 in the regular season to .326 in tournament games.
Arizona (45-18), the No. 5 national seed, lost 7-6 to Vanderbilt in 12 innings Saturday and went two games and out at the CWS for the first time in five appearances since 1985. The loss to Stanford was its most lopsided in 31 CWS games since a 16-3 defeat to Cal State Fullerton in 1979.
Jones’s two-RBI double off Garrett Irvin started Stanford’s seven-run third inning, and his three-run homer to right in the seventh ended the scoring. Tommy Troy also homered for Stanford.
Jones and four of his teammates had three hits apiece and Stanford finished with 20, including five doubles.
“I was glad I could come back and hit that big homer and put the icing on top,” Jones said. “Hitting is contagious. We had a lot of momentum. It went to the dugout for a little while, but once we were able to get it back, we kept rolling.”
The Cardinal’s hit total was their highest since they collected 22 against Washington State on April 1.
“At one time they had more hits than outs in like the fifth inning,” Arizona coach Jay Johnson said. “You’re not going to win in Omaha when that’s the case.”
Stanford starter Alex Williams (5-2) was solid over 5 1/3 innings against an Arizona offense that came to Omaha with one of the most prolific offenses in the nation.
Williams said his teammates made things easy for him, maybe too easy. Williams gave up four runs on four hits, and he walked three and hit a batter. He said he tends to be more effective when the game is close — not that he was complaining.
“The difference between game one and today was that we came out ready to roll,” he said. “Game one we were a little happy to be here, and we took it upon ourselves to get back to what we’re doing, and that’s hitting the ball.”
It was the second straight short outing for Arizona’s Garrett Irvin (6-4), who allowed five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. The junior left-hander was tagged for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings in a June 12 super-regional loss to Mississippi.
“He had a phenomenal season for us,” Johnson said. “Today was kind of an anomaly. I’ll tip my hat to Stanford. They got some grown-man swings off on mistake pitches.”
Stanford: Plays on Wednesday against the loser of the North Carolina State-Vanderbilt game Monday night.
More NCAA baseball tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.