Stanford (20-11, 7-5 Pac-12) remembered how close it came to falling at Pacific (9-22, 2-7 Big West) last year, barely sneaking by in extra innings. The Cardinal made sure to put the game away early, riding a strong starting pitching performance from freshman Bobby Zarubin and five runs in the first three innings to put the game out of reach en route to a 9-2 victory.
Zarubin, who has struggled with command over his past few appearances, bounced back against the Tigers. The freshman earned the victory with a three-hit, two-walk performance in five innings of one-run ball before giving way to senior relief pitcher Dean McArdle. McArdle and fellow senior relief pitcher Garrett Hughes combined to allow only one run in for four innings to close out the game.
Stanford got all nine of its RBI from its four-through-eight hitters. Junior first baseman Brian Ragira got it started with a two-run blast in the top of the first inning, and Stanford never gave back the lead.
Sophomore third baseman Alex Blandino provided the dagger with a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to put Stanford ahead 9-1.
It gets tougher for Stanford on Friday, as the Cardinal welcomes defending NCAA champion Arizona to the Farm for a three-game Pac-12 series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m.
— Sam Fisher