The #No.8 seed Stanford Cardinal took a 2-1 lead into the 8th inning, but could not hang on and fell 3-2 to the #1 seed Wake Forest Demon Deacons Saturday in the third game of the 2023 College World Series from Charles Schwab Field Omaha.
Stanford, which scored in the 1st inning against Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder and led 2-1 after three, looked to be in control of the game before a weather delay due to lightning in the area sent the teams into the locker rooms for an hour and 28 minutes with two outs in the top of the 7th inning.
Drew Dowd, who pitched scoreless 5th and 6th innings, had thrown just 24 pitches but did not return after the lengthy delay. Freshman Nick Dugan contributed a scoreless seventh, but walked the leadoff man in the eighth to start the momentum for Wake Forest.
Left-hander Ryan Bruno entered and walked the next man to put two aboard with nobody out. The Demon Deacons bunted the runners along, setting the table for the go-ahead two-RBI single from Danny Corona that proved to be the game winner. The single was Wake Forest’s lone hit with runners in scoring position on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Carter Graham led the way offensively for the Cardinal, going 3-for-4 in the ballgame with two doubles and an RBI-single that put the Cardinal on top in the 3rd. Sophomore Temo Becerra compiled a noteworthy performance at the dish as well, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Junior Tommy Troy also chipped in, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Stanford stranded nine runners on base and was picked off twice – the second of which preceded a double off the wall from Graham in the seventh with the score 2-1 in favor of the Cardinal.
The Cardinal will now face the Tennessee, who lost to LSU Saturday night, on Monday at 11 AM PT on ESPN.
Stanford head coach David Esquer, along with Joey Dixon and Carter Graham spoke about the loss after the game. Video is courtesy of the NCAA.