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Baseball cruises by Santa Clara

Late game offensive push powers Cardinal to victory


No. 2 Stanford (35-8, 17-4 Pac-12) defeated the Santa Clara Broncos (11-35) 5-1 in Tuesday’s home matchup.

Broncos redshirt sophomore outfielder Andre Nnebe made it exciting in the top of the third inning, achieving the first run of the game with a two-out knock to left field after a series of Santa Clara singles.

However, the Cardinal did not stay down for long. The bottom of the third saw Stanford sophomore outfielder Tim Tawa score thanks to sophomore outfielder Christian Robinson’s infield single. He was soon followed by redshirt junior infielder Nick Bellafronto, who scored when junior center fielder Kyle Stowers’ grounded into a double play.

With the score 2-1 Stanford, Santa Clara kept the game close up until the fifth inning, at which point Stanford erupted. Robinson singled through the right side, allowing Tawa to claim another run for the Cardinal. Bellafronto then hit a fly ball out in the bottom of the sixth, where junior first baseman Andrew Daschbach tallied another run for Stanford. The Cardinal finished with Kinamon scoring off of another Robinson single, widening the lead to 5-1.

Robinson was the true star of the game. He had a night for the ages, leading the way for the Cardinal with four hits and three RBIs, both career bests. Junior catcher Maverick Handley, Kinamon and Tawa added two hits each in the 12-hit Cardinal attack. Bellafronto finished 1-for-1 with an RBI, a walk, a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice blunt.

The Stanford defense used four pitchers — sophomores LHP Jacob Palisch and LHP Austin Weiermiller, junior RHP Zach Grech and freshman RHP Alex Williams — with Williams picking up the win and improving his record to 6-1. Defensively, Tawa had a stellar performance at shortstop. Thanks to the strong pitching staff, the Cardinal racked up their 17th error-free game.

“We needed a little spark today, and having guys come off the bench and deliver, and our pitching and defense, really showed up tonight,” said head coach David Esquer. “There are no bad wins at any point in the season and we’ve got to stay consistent going into the weekend. We’ve got to get our bats going a little more this weekend when we go up against maybe the best offense in our league.”

Stanford is set to face rival Berkeley this weekend in a three-game series, starting Friday at 7:05 p.m. PST.

Contact Cate Camara at ccamara2 ‘at’

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