No. 9 Stanford baseball (40-14, 21-9 Pac-12) left no doubts as to why it is the hottest team in the country, sweeping Washington State (24-29, 10-20) and outscoring the Cougars 33-6 in its final regular season series. With the win, the Cardinal secured a 40-win season, marking the 21st time that a Stanford team has reached this milestone during the 41-year tenure of head coach Mark Marquess.
The Cardinal will host the regional round of postseason play this weekend at Sunken Diamond. Matchups will be announced Monday, with Stanford hoping to grab a top-eight national seed.
Stanford made a resounding statement in its first game of the weekend. On Friday, sophomore Kris Bubic was once again stellar, tossing 7.0 scoreless innings, while the Cardinal offense was on fire, as five players had multi-hit games on the way to the 13-2 victory.
An early lead gave Stanford an advantage, as the Cardinal spotted two runs in the top of the first inning, allowing Bubic some breathing room before ever touching the ball. A five-run second inning for the Cardinal left Washington State to try to play catch-up, but the Cougars were unable to get a runner to third base with Bubic on the mound. Junior Keith Weisenberg and freshman Jack Little each took on an inning of relief to close out the game in the Cardinal’s favor.
Saturday was the closest margin of victory in the series, as Stanford came from behind to snatch a 5-3 victory over the Cougars. After junior starter Andrew Summerville was pulled after two innings with a blister, freshman Erik Miller came on in relief, pitching four solid innings of relief and securing his fifth win of the season.
Washington State opened the scoring in the first inning, stringing together a fielding error and a pair of singles to hang a run on the scoreboard. The Cardinal answered in the top of the second with the same sequence of single-error-single to tie the game at one run apiece.
Miller found himself in a jam in the sixth inning, as the Cougars were able to convert a leadoff single into a run and tack on another run with three consecutive two-out singles. However, Miller kept Stanford in it, closing out the inning with a five-pitch strikeout.
Stanford showcased its resiliency once again, as it rallied in the seventh inning to reclaim the lead on its way to the win. Junior Matt Winaker doubled to open up scoring, followed by three straight base hits by sophomore Nico Hoerner, junior Quinn Brodey and freshman Daniel Bakst to give the Cardinal a two-run lead. Senior Tyler Thorne pitched two hitless innings of relief, and junior closer Colton Hock secured his 16th save of the season and 25th career save, just one away from the Stanford record.
The Cardinal made their case for the NCAA selection committee with a 15-1 win on Sunday to close out their regular season. Senior starter Chris Castellanos was outstanding in 8.0 innings of work, allowing just eight hits and one earned run.
The team scored four runs in the top of the first inning, capped by a three-run home run off the bat of sophomore Brandon Wulff to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Stanford tacked on another two runs in the top of the fourth.
A run scored for Washington State in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Cardinal were able to crack the game wide open with a six-run eighth inning. After intentionally walking Brodey to load the bases, Bakst walked on four pitches to plate a run. A wild pitch and throwing error scored two more Cardinal, and a pair of doubles put Stanford up 12-1. With another three runs in the top of the ninth inning, Stanford capped off a resounding victory to secure its 21st conference win, its best mark since 1998.
Stanford was selected as one of 16 regional hosts for the NCAA Championships and will host games at Sunken Diamond June 2-5. The postseason field will be announced Monday with game times and matchups announced on ESPNU Monday at 9 a.m.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.