One year after the winter quarter finals break derailed a streaking Stanford baseball team, this season’s 12-day layoff proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the No. 19 Cardinal, as it held off Utah 6-4 at Sunken Diamond on Friday night.
Stanford was coming off a surprising home sweep at the hands of unranked UNLV two weekends ago, a series that ended a nine-game winning streak for the Cardinal and dropped it out of the top 10.
Senior ace Mark Appel struck out 11 Utes, marking his fourth straight start with double-digit strikeouts, while walking just one. The former first-round pick has thrown 54 strikeouts to go along with just seven free passes on the young season.
Appel (3-2) gave up his only earned run of the evening on a solo homer in the second inning, the first long ball he has given up in 2013, but RBI singles by sophomore Dominic Jose and senior Justin Ringo put the Cardinal up 3-1 in the bottom half of the inning.
Utah shortstop Cory Hunt reached on a passed ball strikeout in the third and came around on a double by freshman Kody Davis, but Stanford would later extend its lead with two runs in the sixth and another in the eighth.
Stanford sophomore John Hochstatter takes the mound on Saturday at 2 p.m. as the Cardinal looks to clinch its second series win against the Utes in as many seasons.