After three missed opportunities to deliver a milestone win for head coach Mark Marquess, No. 20 Stanford baseball (15-9, 3-4 Pac-12) exploded on offense in the fourth inning to put away rival Cal (12-14, 4-6) by a score of 8-4 on Tuesday at the Sunken Diamond.
With the victory, Marquess earned his 1,600th career win as skipper, the fifth coach in NCAA history to do so, and the third to attain the feat at one school. In this his 41st and final season, Marquess continued to show why he is one of the most decorated coaches in college baseball, developing a consistent and focused Cardinal team.
Down two after the third inning, Stanford came back in a big way in the bottom of the fourth, knocking in all eight of its runs in the frame. The decisive rally saw 13 Cardinal batters come to the plate, batting around the lineup while racking up eight hits. Six of the eight runs were scored with two outs in the inning.
The action started with a double to left field by freshman Daniel Bakst, extending his hit streak to 10 games, the longest of the year for the Cardinal. Back-to-back RBIs by seniors Alex Dunlap and Jack Klein tied the game at 2-2.
With two outs and a tied game, Stanford was just getting started.
The Cardinal hit six straight singles to blow the game open, chasing out Cal starting pitcher Rogelio Reyes and forcing the Golden Bears to rotate through three pitchers in the frame. The final two-RBI single came in Bakst’s second at-bat of the inning, a bloop hit to right field that pushed Stanford’s total to eight.
With a cushion after the dominant fourth, Stanford pitching did not disappoint. Freshman starter Erik Miller held the Golden Bears close in the early innings, giving up two earned runs while striking out one. Cal answered the long rally with two runs in the top of the fifth, but freshman Will Matthiessen closed out the inning by forcing a pop-fly, stranding a Cal runner and keeping Stanford up 8-4.
Senior Tyler Thorne and juniors Keith Weisenberg and Colton Hock each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, shutting down the Bears by giving up no hits.
The resounding team effort to earn his 1,600 win was not missed on Marquess:
“It’s special,” Marquess said. “I’ve been very fortunate to be at one place all this time, which is great. But the coaches don’t play, the players play. I’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had great players come here and I’m very proud of that. It’s really about the players. There are so many that went into those wins, a lot of them sitting in the dugout here. I’m just very blessed, very fortunate.”
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.