By Jose Saldana
The theme of the weekend for No. 2 Stanford baseball (30-5, 12-3 Pac-12) in their three-game road sweep over Arizona (23-15, 6-9) was the number seven.
The Cardinal scored 10 runs combined in the three 7th innings of the series, including a five-run 7th in the first game to break the game open. They have scored 38 runs in the 7th inning during the season.
Stanford has now won seven-straight after losing to UCLA a couple weeks ago. The Cardinal are averaging 7.71 runs in their winning streak.
The offense was brilliant through each game of the series, pouring games of 8, 8 and 7 runs on the Wildcats.
“We knew it would be important to come out and finish the job today,” Stanford head coach David Esquer said. “It’s tough to win three in a row in this league, let alone three on the road. We had a couple big hits and few big at-bats, but our pitchers really shined today to hold down their offense.”
The Cardinal were on the verge of dropping the second game as they were down 3-6 in the top of the 9th inning. However, after freshman third baseman Tim Tawa and sophomore catcher Maverick Handley cut the lead to one with double and a walk, respectively, freshman center fielder Christian Robinson scored the go-ahead runs with a two-run RBI single, which plated three total runs to give the Cardinal an 8-7 victory.
Robinson is on a four-game hitting streak and is 9-24 on the season.
Sophomores first baseman Andrew Daschbach and left fielder Kyle Stowers added to their home run totals in the Friday game as they hit back-to-back home runs in the 9th.
Daschbach would serve his best performance in the final game, going for a career-high four hits, scoring twice and walking once.
Starters Tristan Beck, Kris Bubic and Erik Miller had solid starts against a very good offensive ballclub. Neither starter gave up more than two runs and each pitched at least five innings.
The bullpen continued its strong play, allowing only two earned runs in 11.0 innings.
The Cardinal got the weekend series started with an 8-2 victory with Beck on the mound. Beck went six innings, gave up one earned run and scattered five hits.
Stanford needed a good performance from its ace because the offense hasn’t been at its best in the opening games on the road. Beck did just that, and the Cardinal bats awarded him by taking the game over in the 7th.
Down 2-0, senior designated hitter Bryce Carter got the action started with an RBI triple to score the opening run for the Cardinal. Robinson would tie the game on a sac fly, and then junior right fielder Alec Wilson hit his first career home run to give the Cardinal a 4-2 lead.
It would be a lead the team would not relinquish as the the Cardinal scored four more runs in the game, including Daschbach’s and Stowers’ 11th and 8th home runs of the season, respectively.
Freshmen Jacob Palisch and Austin Weiermiller would finish the job Beck started by pitching three clean innings to end the game.
In the Saturday game, Arizona jumped on the Cardinal early. Bubic allowed two runs in the first two innings, but like Beck, Bubic limited the Wildcats bats until the Cardinal were able to get going on offense.
Carter, again, batted in the Cardinal’s first run with an RBI single to center field in the 4th.
Then, the 7th rolled around, which meant the offense dropped in a couple more runs to take a 3-2 lead.
Arizona retaliated by hitting a homerun in the 7th and 8th innings to take a 3-6 lead.
The Cardinal had one last gasp in the top of the 9th, and they capitalized by scoring five runs, ending in Robinson’s go-head single.
The Wildcats nearly rallied in the bottom of the 9th, closing the lead to 8-7 on a fielder’s choice, but freshman right-handed pitcher Brendan Beck shut the door by inducing a groundout for the final out.
The Sunday matinee featured Miller on the mound for the Cardinal. He pitched five innings of shutout ball, which means he has now pitched three consecutive quality starts.
Arizona once again jumped on the board first, scoring a run in the second, but like Beck and Bubic before him, Miller wouldn’t let the Wildcats score again until Stanford’s offense woke up.
However, this time the Cardinal bats began scoring much sooner. Tawa doubled in the 3rd to tie the game. Stanford would score six runs the rest of the game to give the Cardinal a 7-2 win.
The Cardinal play a Tuesday game against Pacific before hosting Bay Area rivals Cal in a three-game series beginning on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT. The midweek game will be a broadcast by Stanford Live Stream, and the series against the Bears will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at” stanford.edu