The No. 12 Stanford baseball team entered the weekend with major questions on the mound, slumbering bats and an unimpressive 11-10 record in a conference that it was once a near-unanimous favorite to win.
There are no easy weekends in Pac-12 baseball, but you would be hard-pressed to schedule a home stretch with more chances to make up ground than No. 12 Stanford’s final three weeks. With Stanford (29-14, 11-10 Pac-12) staring up at conference leader No. 10 Oregon (34-14, 16-8), the Cardinal’s upcoming series against the eighth-, 11th- and ninth-place teams in the Pac-12 are an opportunity that the squad can’t afford to let slip away. Stanford’s quest to improve its playoff positioning begins tonight at Sunken Diamond against a Washington State (23-20, 9-11) team that has lost its last two Pac-12 series.
A back-and-forth weekend in Corvallis didn’t exactly end the way the No. 7 Stanford baseball team had envisioned.
At this point of the season, the mission is simple for the No. 7 Stanford baseball team: three games to gain, four weeks to go. And though the Cardinal (28-12, 10-8 Pac-12) will play the last month of its conference season against the bottom half of the Pac-12, a major slip-up this weekend at No. 20 Oregon State (28-14, 9-9) would all but end Stanford’s chance of winning the best conference in college baseball, which it was a near-unanimous favorite to capture in the preseason.
With recent injuries to several regular starters, a trio of new faces has led the offensive resurgence that has propelled Stanford back into contention: sophomores Danny Diekroeger and Brett Michael Doran and freshman Alex Blandino, proud members of a brotherhood known as the “Steal Squad.”