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.
There are three parts to a baseball game: pitching, hitting and defense. A team that does two out of the three well will usually succeed. This Friday and Sunday, Stanford could only pitch effectively; on Saturday, the Cardinal could not find any of the three aspects of its game.
In two very different ballgames, a nail-biter Friday night and a blowout Saturday, the UNLV Rebels beat Stanford in the first two games of a three-game set to clinch the upset series victory at Sunken Diamond.
Stanford’s bats started quiet once again, but a middle-inning run, capped with a decisive four-run seventh inning, gave the Cardinal a series-clinching 7-2 victory against Texas.
Five-game winning streaks don’t happen on their own in baseball, even against inferior opposition. So as the No. 16 Cardinal takes that momentum into a measuring-stick home series with No. 23 Texas this weekend, Stanford will look to remain potent at the plate against a Longhorn team making its first road trip of the season.
Stanford’s freshman pitchers impressed, but the bats never awoke as No. 7 Stanford fell in its season-opening series to No. 17 Rice, two games to one in Houston.
I have a confession to make. I’m not ready to accept that Stanford’s football season is over. I didn’t realize I had a problem until I sat down to write this column. Every idea that popped into my head was about football. Two weeks ago I wrote about the 2013 schedule. Last week I wrote about Manti Te’o. This week I hit a dead end.