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Baseball: Stanford continues midweek dominance, downs UC-Davis 11-4

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The Stanford baseball team continued its midweek magic on Tuesday, overpowering UC-Davis in every facet of the game en route to an 11-4 victory.

The Cardinal (27-16, 9-9 Pac-10) clobbered the Aggie pitching staff for 14 hits and got a solid starting performance from sophomore righty Dean McArdle, who extended his record to 7-2 by holding the Aggies (14-26) to just three earned runs in 6.1 innings.

Sophomore righty Dean McArdle, above, improved to 7-2 with his win yesterday. McArdle went 6.1 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits while striking out one (JOHN SCHOECH/The Stanford Daily).

Freshman right fielder Austin Wilson, who went 3-for-5 on Tuesday night, said the game was another example of the team’s high confidence and good hitting as of late.

“I feel like we’re just hot as a team right now,” Wilson said. “We’re kind of clicking, and just getting into a good win streak right now.”

Wilson’s solid night at the plate raised his batting average to .331 on the year, but he wasn’t the only one who had a good night at the dish, as sophomore third baseman Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-3 with two walks and three RBI and freshman designated hitter Danny Diekroeger, shortstop Kenny Diekroeger and sophomore center fielder Tyler Gaffney all had two RBI.

After not registering a hit in the first two innings, Stanford brought 19 men to the plate in the third and fourth innings, pushing across nine runs on eight hits to boast a 9-1 lead after four.

After freshman first baseman Brian Ragira plated another run in the fifth, UC-Davis chipped away at the Cardinal lead in the top of the seventh, when pinch hitter Spencer Brann smashed a two-run home run over the right field wall to cut the lead to 10-3.

McArdle was chased from the game after giving up two more singles in the inning, and another run scored when junior lefty Scott Snodgress’ pitch got past senior catcher Zach Jones, making the lead 10-4.

Sophomore Kenny Diekroeger answered back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single for Stanford just after Ragira dashed all the way to second base on a dropped third strike.

Snodgress passed the ball to fellow junior A.J. Talt to close out the game, and the righty sidearmer cruised through the ninth, striking out one and giving up one hit before shutting the door on the Aggies with a soft grounder to second base.

With the victory, the Cardinal extended its winning streak to six games and is now 12-1 in games played on either Monday or Tuesday this season.

Despite giving up 12 hits to UC-Davis on Tuesday, Wilson said the team had “no concerns” going into another weekend of Pac-10 conference play, this time at Oregon.

“We’re very confident, the win last weekend against Washington was huge,” Wilson said. “So getting this win, going into Oregon, I feel like this confidence will help us a lot.

“We’re feeling good and swinging the bat well, hopefully that can just stay within us and we can continue to pick each other up,” he added.

That confidence stems largely from the Cardinal’s hot bats, as Wilson’s improved hitting—along with Piscotty’s extraordinary .373 batting average—means that nine Cardinal hitters now have batting averages above .300.

Wilson attributed the team’s success to better maturity for a team that regularly starts seven or eight underclassmen, including his own development at the plate.

“For me, it’s been better plate discipline and really seeing the ball well,” Wilson said. “It’s been not missing my pitch, and I’ve just been working on that in the cage, just driving the ball to center field and letting the hits come, basically.”

The Cardinal now takes a few days off before it travels north this weekend to Oregon to take on the Ducks (23-23, 5-13) in a three-game weekend series. The Cardinal and Ducks tangle in Eugene starting Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

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