Stanford baseball picked up its first conference series of the season after taking two of the three games against the California Golden Bears (22-11) this past weekend in Berkeley. The Cardinal (13-19) won both Friday’s and Sunday’s games, out-hitting the Bears 31 to 19, and lost Saturday’s matchup by only one run.
The bats came alive for the Cardinal this past weekend as the team tallied 26 total runs. Junior Zach Hoffpauir led the team offensively, hitting 6-for-11 with three home runs, a double and nine runs batted in. After suffering from a wrist injury earlier in the season, Hoffpauir now leads the team in home runs despite this being only his 10th game of the year.
In Friday’s opener, the Stanford offense jumped out to an early lead as sophomore Tommy Edman, freshman Matt Winaker and freshman Beau Branton recorded three straight singles with two outs to put the Cardinal up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
Sophomore Brett Hanewich shut the Bears down offensively, limiting them to only two runs on four hits over the course of seven innings. Hanewich also recorded five strikeouts.
The Cardinal extended their lead in the top of the fifth inning when two hits and one error netted them three runs.
Sophomore Jack Klein led off the inning with a single to right field. On a bunt attempt, a pitch hit freshman Quinn Brodey, putting two runners on base with no outs. Junior Drew Jackson followed Brodey’s attempt, executing a bunt down the third base line that forced California pitcher Jeff Bain to overthrow third base, leading to Stanford’s second run of the game. Freshman Mikey Diekroeger followed with a groundout RBI, scoring Brodey. Edman added the fourth and final run to the scoreboard on a hard-hit ground ball up the middle with the infield drawn in.
California scored one run in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn’t until the bottom of the eighth inning that the Bears threatened the Cardinal’s lead. After an RBI double by Mitchell Kranson, the tying run for the Bears loomed at second base, but Stanford reliever junior Logan James forced the next three batters out to end the inning.
On Saturday, Stanford rallied in the top of the ninth inning to score six runs in order to tie the score at 10 apiece, but California won in walk-off fashion when Brian Celsi (3-for-5 on the day) hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Zach Hoffpauir had an eventful night, hitting two three-run home runs to the opposite field and making a pop fly catch before flipping over a waist-high bullpen fence for the out.
Tommy Edman, Mikey Diekroeger, and Jack Klein each recorded two hits on the night. Edman and Beau Branton notched two RBIs a piece.
In Sunday’s finale, Hoffpauir led the Cardinal to a win with a two-run shot over the left field wall, which was only one of his three hits on the day.
Stanford first scored in the top of the first on a Hoffpauir sac fly. The Cardinal extended the lead in the top of the third inning, adding two more runs to their lead, but it wasn’t until Hoffpauir’s two-run home run in the fifth inning that the Cardinal began to put the game away.
With a five-run lead in the top of the sixth inning, Stanford scored six more runs with two outs. Beau Branton and junior Jonny Locher each had RBI singles in the sixth inning to help secure the win. California employed five pitchers in efforts to try to hold the Cardinal, but Stanford outhit the Bears 13-10.
California’s six runs were all scored during the eighth inning, including a grand slam by Celsi.
“It’s been a rough season so far, and we haven’t really lived up to expectations, but I think if we can get rolling, start winning some series late in the year we can do what we did last year, make a regional and go from there,” Hoffpauir said.
The Cardinal will travel to Santa Clara (15-19) today to take on the Broncos for the teams’ first meeting of the season. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Contact Erin Ashby at eashby ‘at’ stanford.edu.