The Stanford Cardinal battled back twice on Saturday afternoon to tie the game, but the Texas Longhorns won it on a walk-off wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory in the second of a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Marcus Brakeman, who had entered the game on the mound for Stanford (2-4) with two outs in the seventh to help the Cardinal out of a jam, walked Ben Johnson with one out in the bottom of the ninth in a 3-3 game. After a fielder’s choice recorded the second out, Brakeman walked Brooks Marlow on four straight pitches, then walked Mark Payton to load them up. He was one strike away from escaping the jam when his 1-2 pitch to C.J. Hinojosa was wide of the plate and got past catcher Wayne Taylor, allowing Collin Shaw to trot home with the winning run.
Brakeman (0-1) took the loss, allowing a run on no hits with three walks and two strikeouts in two innings of work. Starter Brett Hanewich, the sixth straight freshman to start for the Cardinal this season, allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits in 5.1 innings, walking three. Logan James allowed a run on two hits and a walk in 1.1 innings.
Texas (5-2) grabbed an early lead, getting to Hanewich before he could settle in. Marlow led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Payton followed with a single. Kacy Clemens then reached on an infield single, with Marlow scoring and the other runners moving up a base on an error by shortstop Tommy Edman, who moved over from second base in the bottom of the first inning, when starter Drew Jackson was removed from the game after he was hit in the jaw by a line drive into the dugout in the top of the first. Andy McGuire followed with an RBI grounder to make it 2-0.
It stayed that way until the seventh inning, when Stanford finally broke through against Longhorns starter Dillon Peters.
Austin Slater led off the inning with a single to center field and Alex Blandino followed with a base hit to right. Austin Barr’s bunt attempt turned into a force play at third, leading runners at first and second but with one out. Alex Dunlap, batting for Jack Klein, reached on an infield single that would have loaded the bases, but Barr got caught too far off the bag at second base. Taylor walked to load the bases and Zach Hoffpauir then singled to left field to bring in a pair of runs to tie the game.
Texas answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh, reclaiming the lead on an RBI single by Payton.
In the top of the eighth, reliever Nathan Thornhill came on for Texas and had two outs before Slater grounded a single through the right side of the infield. Brant Whiting, batting for Barr, slapped a double down the left field line to score Slater to tie the game at 3-3.
Slater, Blandino, Dunlap and Hoffpauir each had two hits in Stanford’s 10-hit attack. Payton was 3-for-3 for Texas, which mustered only six hits but took advantage of seven walks.
The series concludes on Sunday at 11 a.m. Pacific.