Widgets Magazine

Baseball to face Utes this weekend

After the slowest start to conference play in program history, Stanford baseball finally got over the hump with a series win over a strong Cal squad last weekend. Now, the Cardinal (14-20, 2-10 Pac-12) will have a chance to keep the momentum going in a three-game set against Utah (12-20, 4-8 Pac-12) at home this weekend.

Although the Cardinal suffered a tough loss to Santa Clara in extra innings on Tuesday, both elements of the game have been looking up for Stanford as of late. The bats have come alive, as the Cardinal recorded a combined 31 runs in their last four games while recording 10 or more hits in each of their last three.

Zach Hoffpauir

Junior Zach Hoffpauir (above) is on a five-game hitting streak after returning from an injury. (J. ENNIS KIRKLAND/stanfordphoto.com)

Meanwhile, the rise of freshman southpaw Andrew Summerville, who has emerged as a solid second pitcher in the rotation behind sophomore Brett Hanewich, should tremendously help the Cardinal’s pitching staff, which struggled with consistency and injury through the start of the season. Summerville was part of the near-no-hitter last Tuesday against Pacific before dealing six shutout innings in the series finale against Cal.

With several Stanford players hitting well — most notably junior outfielder and defending Pac-12 Player of the Week Zach Hoffpauir, who’s on a five-game hitting streak after returning from an injury, as well as Tommy Edman, Mikey Diekroeger, Matt Winaker and Austin Barr — Stanford will look to take advantage of the weakest pitching staff in the conference. Utah enters the series with the worst staff ERA in the Pac-12 with a collective 5.27 and a league-worst batting average against of .282.

Utah, like Stanford, got off to a slow start this season with series losses to Sacramento State and Nicholls State, and the Cardinal will look to continue that trend in the team’s three meetings this weekend in order to climb out of the conference’s basement.

First pitch on Friday will be at 6 p.m., with Saturday’s and Sunday’s games following at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Do-Hyoung Park

Do-Hyoung Park '16, M.S. '17 is now the Chief Operating Officer and Business Manager at The Stanford Daily. He's also a Bay Area-based freelance sportswriter. He previously covered Stanford football and baseball for five seasons as a student and served two terms as sports editor and four terms on the copy desk. He was also a color commentator for KZSU 90.1 FM's football broadcast team for the 2015-16 Rose Bowl season. He covered the 2016 Minnesota Twins for MLB.com and has also contributed to The Bootleg and SI's (now defunct) Campus Rush. Hire him at dpark0027 'at' gmail.com or send him snarky Tweets @dohyoungpark.