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Baseball springs out of break after back-to-back sweeps of Utah, Washington State

Sophomore Tim Tawa (above) hit his second home run in as many days as the Cardinal completed a three-game sweep of Washington State with a 14-2 win on Sunday. (JOHN P. LOZANO/Stanford Athletics)

While the end of winter finals meant a break for most of the student body, No. 3 Stanford baseball (18-3, 6-0 Pac-12) was just warming up.

The Cardinal bats were blazing in all six games held over break, as Stanford tallied 50 runs in back-to-back sweeps of the Utah Utes (7-14, 1-7 Pac-12) and Washington State Cougars (6-20, 0-6 Pac-12). And the blaze was steady, too, as the Cardinal scored at least seven runs in every game over the break, culminating in an eight-run third inning against the Cougars in Sunday’s 14-2 victory.

Vs. Utah (March 22-24)

Stanford hit the jackpot in a sweep of the Utes, racking three seven-run victories in a row: 7-4, 7-6 and 7-3. The Cardinal spread the wealth, as nine different Stanford players notched at least one RBI in the series.

The 12-inning, 7-6 win over Utah on March 23 was Stanford’s closest game in an otherwise dominant spring break. Junior pitcher Jack Little, who entered a 6-6 game with a runner on base in the eighth, held the Cougars to just one hit in a career-high five innings pitched in relief. Little’s pitching helped set the stage for junior Kyle Stowers’ walk-off, two-out double in the twelfth.

At Washington State (March 29-31)

Against the Cougars, it was business as usual for Stanford. The Cardinal never trailed in the road series opener, winning 7-1 with the help of four RBIs from junior Will Matthiessen and the first career save for freshman Cody Jensen, who pitched three shutout innings to close out the game. Senior Duke Kinamon also put on a show with three stolen bases, two runs and an RBI of his own.

Washington State showed signs of life in the second game of the series, jumping out to a 5-2 lead in the third inning. But the Cardinal fought back in the sixth, tying the game at 5-5 and never looking back. Stanford won 8-5 with four RBIs from sophomore Tim Tawa, who blasted a two-run homer in the second, as well as the game-tying hit in the sixth.

Despite trailing the Cougars 1-0 in the first inning of Sunday’s game, the Cardinal bats fired from all cylinders and recorded a season-high 17 hits on the way to a 14-2 win. Stanford tied its highest run total of the season and set its largest margin of victory. The Cardinal’s only other 14-run game this year was a 14-4 win over Grand Canyon University on Feb. 18.

Facing forward

Stanford has not lost since March 7, when the Cardinal was shut out 4-0 at home by the No. 13 Texas Longhorns (20-11).

The Cardinal’s nine-game win streak is on the line when the team returns home this week for a trap game against Fresno State (13-8). The top spot in the rankings will likely be on the line later this week, when No. 1 UCLA (19-5, 6-2 Pac-12) comes to the Sunken Diamond for Stanford’s biggest series of the season.

The Fresno State game will begin at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday.

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Holden Foreman

Holden Foreman

Holden Foreman '21 is The Daily's Executive Editor. He hails from the city of St. Louis, Missouri and is studying electrical engineering, computer science and economics. Contact him at hs4man21 'at' stanford.edu.