Stanford earns 18th College World Series berth with comeback win

Stanford earns 18th College World Series berth with comeback win

In a span of nine days, a Stanford baseball team that won the Pac-12 regular season title and the inaugural conference tournament played five elimination games.

The Cardinal has yet to fold.

With a 10-5 victory on Monday at Sunken Diamond, Stanford defeated the UConn Huskies in Super Regional play and advanced to the College World Series for the 18th time in program history. And after the No. 1 team in the country, the Tennessee Volunteers, were ousted in shocking fashion by Notre Dame, the Cardinal will head to Omaha as the favorite to bring home a third national title.

After an epic six-run ninth-inning rally on Saturday night came up just short in a 13-12 loss to the Huskies, the Cardinal needed to win back-to-back games to advance. David Esquer’s team scored six runs in the second inning on Sunday en route to an 8-2 win that forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Monday.

For the third time this series, a high-powered Stanford offense produced a six-run inning as the Cardinal came back from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Huskies. Sophomore starting pitcher Joey Dixon didn’t record an out as UConn’s first four hitters reached base, but lefty Drew Dowd (Serra High, San Mateo) entered and threw some of the most important innings of Stanford’s season.

Despite allowing a RBI double to kick off his outing, Dowd quieted the Huskies offense, induced an inning-ending double play and didn’t allow a run over three innings. His efforts coupled with strong work from fellow relievers Ryan Bruno and Quinn Mathews gave the Cardinal lineup the chance to engineer a comeback.

In the fourth inning, the game-winning rally materialized.

Adam Crampton (Oakland Tech) gave the Cardinal the lead with a two-run single before catcher Kody Huff launched a grand slam that broke the game open and put Stanford back on the path to Omaha.

After playing its way out of the loser’s bracket in last weekend’s regional with a win over UC Santa Barbara and back-to-back wins over Texas State, the Cardinal won consecutive games against the Huskies to earn a College World Series berth, which begins on Friday.

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