The offense finally flashed some signs of life and the pitching staff was dominant for the third day in row as first-seeded Stanford baseball (46-11) defeated second-seeded Baylor (37-21) 4-2 in the early-afternoon elimination game in Sunken Diamond.
It’s always Fullerton, isn’t it? For two straight years, Fullerton has been the thorn in Stanford’s side in its regional, last year beating the Cardinal twice to eliminate them from the postseason and this year handing Stanford its first loss of the regional on Saturday night. And the loss came about in a particularly painful…
Freshman outfielder Christian Robinson’s walkoff RBI double in the bottom of the 13th inning sealed first-seeded Stanford baseball’s (45-10) 4-3 victory over fourth-seeded Wright State (39-16) on Friday night in Sunken Diamond.
The Cardinal will next face third-seeded Cal State Fullerton, which defeated second-seeded Baylor 6-2 earlier on Friday.
Coming off their first conference title since 2004, the Stanford Cardinal (44-10, 22-8 Pac-12) will host their 17th NCAA regional this weekend. With their dominant pitching and high-scoring offense, the Cardinal have had, in Year 1 of head coach David Esquer’s tenure, one of the program’s best seasons in recent years, ultimately earning them the No. 2 national seed in the tournament. Yet the road only gets more difficult from here: The Stanford Regional is arguably one of the most competitive in the entire tournament, as it includes red-hot Big 12 champ Baylor, powerhouse and rival Cal State Fullerton and one of the best four-seeds in the tournament, Wright State.
We asked Daily managing editor of sports Jose Saldana, Stanford insiders R.J. Abeytia (The Bootleg) and Jacob Rayburn (Cardinal Sports Report) to reflect on the Cardinal’s trajectory going into the postseason, what’s different from last year and the team’s prospects for advancing to Omaha.
Stanford baseball has earned a national seed for the second year in a row after a historic 2018 season under first-year head coach David Esquer. The No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and the 22-8 conference record speak for themselves, but some of the other numbers that emerged from Stanford’s season tell the story of just how particularly special Stanford’s 2018 regular season was.
Coming into the weekend series against Washington (30-23, 20-10 Pac-12), No. 3 Stanford baseball (44-10, 22-8) had the magic number of one in order to clinch the Pac-12 championship.
Easy, right? Not exactly.
The Huskies, who needed wins to make the postseason, seemed the better team for 26.0 innings, taking the first two games of the series. A sweep at the hands of Washington would mean that the Cardinal would have to share the Pac-12 title with the Huskies.
Down 5-3 with three outs left, Stanford and sophomore designated hitter Will Matthiessen had other plans.
It has been 14 years since No. 3 Stanford baseball (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) were crowned Pac-12 Championships. Back then, would-be MLB players Jed Lowrie and Sam Fuld roamed sunkissed lawn of Sunken Diamond.
14 years of coming up short in the regular season. All those ghosts on the diamond who tried their damndest to win a conference title can be appeased when the Cardinal travel to the Evergreen State to play Washington (28-22, 18-9) in their final series of the season.
No. 2 Stanford baseball (34-6, 14-4 Pac-12) heads to the salt lakes of Utah’s campus to play a three-game series against the last-place-in-the-Pac-12 Utes (12-29, 6-12) beginning on Friday at a brisk 10:30 a.m. PT.