A back-and-forth weekend in Corvallis didn’t exactly end the way the No. 7 Stanford baseball team had envisioned.
Things seem to be clicking for the No. 9 Stanford baseball team at just the right time, with a key Pac-12 series against No. 11 UCLA (27-10, 11-7) in Westwood, Calif. kicking off tonight. Going a perfect 4-0 and scoring at least eight runs in all four of its games this week, Stanford’s bats finally seem to be coming together again with five weekends of conference play remaining. But it hasn’t been preseason All-American juniors Kenny Diekroeger and Stephen Piscotty leading the charge; instead, the Cardinal (26-10, 8-7 Pac-12) has been getting much of its production from players who have been making some of their first starts of the season due to injuries to centerfielder Jake Stewart and shortstop Lonnie Kauppila.
The last week has been anything but a break for the No. 3 Stanford baseball team, which played seven games in eight days to open its conference season. And while a pair of victories against No. 29 USC in a doubleheader got that busy stretch off to a promising start, spring break quickly turned into a humbling experience for the Cardinal (16-6, 2-4 Pac-12), whose sloppy play cost it four Pac-12 games in a row and its first series loss of the season.
Frankly, this Stanford team is better than I expected it to be. A slew of players have so far performed better than I could have imagined.
The No. 2 Stanford baseball team won its third midweek game of the season Tuesday afternoon at Saint Mary’s, as three Cardinal pitchers held the Gaels to just five total hits in a 5-0 victory for the squad’s second shutout in three games.
The top-ranked Stanford baseball team opens a series at Fresno State tonight in what will be a weekend of firsts for the 8-0 Cardinal. This is the squad’s first three-game set on the road after losing five of its eight away series a year ago. This is the first time this year that Stanford has stability in its pitching rotation following the emergence of freshman Sunday starter John Hochstatter. And it’s also the first time the Cardinal can call itself the No. 1 team in the country in eight years, ending Stanford’s longest sojourn from the top of the national rankings since longtime head coach Mark Marquess’ first days at the helm of the program in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.