LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Freshman Daniel Bakst delivered a two-out, three-run double in the seventh inning to lift No. 20 Stanford to a series-clinching 6-3 victory at USC on Saturday at Dedeaux Field.
Pitching near his hometown of Long Beach, California, senior Chris Castellanos (5-1) went eight innings to earn his fifth win of the season. Nico Hoerner was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Jack Klein added three hits and freshman Erik Miller earned his first career save.
USC had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Miller came in to record the final out. Freshman Will Matthiessen got the first two outs of the inning, but inherited a runner at second that scored to cut Stanford’s lead to 6-3. Miller induced a slow grounder between first and second. Sophomore second baseman Duke Kinamon scooped it up and used his glove to flip the ball to first just in time.
Bakst put the Cardinal in position to win it. The New York, N.Y., native was the exclamation point on a two-out rally. After a double play cleared a leadoff single, Matt Winaker walked, Hoerner singled and Quinn Brodey walked to load the bases. Bakst chopped one just inside the third-base bag, it rolled into the left field corner and plated all three runs.
USC (16-14, 5-7 Pac-12) had the lead after the Trojans opened the scoring with a solo home run in the home half of the second. But Stanford loaded the bases in the next half inning, and Hoerner tied the game with a single to right.
The Trojans capitalized on a leadoff double in the fifth for a 2-1 advantage that lasted until Bakst’s double. The Cardinal added two more in the eighth. Hoerner came up with the bases loaded and two out. The shortstop rolled one between first and second, and beat the pitcher covering first. Meanwhile, two Cardinal came around to score for a 6-2 lead.
Castellanos pitched into the ninth for the second straight game, allowed just three earned runs and nine hits, and struck out two. Klein was 3-for-4 with two runs for his second straight multi-hit performance.
Bakst has reached base in 13 straight games (11-game hit streak ended on Friday) … At the midway point of the season, Kinamon has a team-high nine steals this season, which eclipses Tommy Edman‘s team-leading eight steals from all of last season … Stanford has won two straight series over the Trojans and is 2-1 in Pac-12 series this season (1-0 in Pac-12 road series).
Stanford returns to the Bay Area for a midweek matchup at San Jose State (7 p.m.) on Tuesday, and hosts UCLA for three at Sunken Diamond, April 13-15. On April 14, the giveaway is a Stanford baseball trading card pack (No. 3 of 5), and April 15 is Honoring Our Heroes Day where all troops receive free admission.
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