The wait may have been a little longer than desired, but the milestone victory was just as sweet nonetheless. Stanford baseball head coach Mark Marquess clinched his 1,500th career victory, becoming just the seventh coach in the history of collegiate baseball to reach the milestone, in an 11-1 victory over rival California in Berkeley.
After going nearly silent on the wrong side of a weekend sweep at Vanderbilt, the Stanford bats exploded for 11 runs as the Cardinal (5-7) cruised to a convincing victory over Cal (8-3). Powered by junior third baseman Alex Blandino, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, Stanford finished with 12 hits spread out among seven different Cardinal hitters to bring home Marquess’ momentous victory in the team’s fourth try at it.
“We needed to play well and we played well,” Marquess said. “We threw it over the plate and we made some plays. We made some mistakes but we also swung the bat.”
The fireworks began in the top of the first inning for the Cardinal, as Blandino and sophomore Austin Barr both doubled runners home to put the Cardinal up 2-0. Barr, starting in only his fifth game of the season, finished 2-for-4 on the day, later adding another double in the third inning.
In the top of the third inning, Blandino again triggered the offense with a two-run single. Stanford would plate five total runs in the inning, with an RBI triple from sophomore Zach Hoffpauir and an RBI single from sophomore Drew Jackson bringing home more runs, to increase the lead to 7-0. The Cardinal continued its dominance at the plate with three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings combined to extend the lead to 10-0, including another RBI single from Blandino. A bases-loaded walk from freshman Tommy Edman in the seventh inning scored the 11th and final run.
Along with Blandino and Barr, senior Brett Michael Doran and sophomore Zach Hoffpauir both finished with multi-hit games, recording two hits apiece and also scoring two runs each.
The 11 runs and 12 hits for the Cardinal followed a three-game series at Vanderbilt that saw Stanford record just four combined runs and 14 hits. The bats responded in dramatic fashion with the win over Cal, which had started the season impressively with an 8-2 record prior to Tuesday’s 11-1 defeat.
Freshman pitcher Tyler Thorne started on the mound for the Cardinal in his second start of the season. Thorne allowed only three hits in five innings of work to pick up his second win of the season and improve his ERA to 1.88. Sophomore Daniel Starwalt, junior John Hochstatter and senior A.J. Vanegas pitched in relief of Thorne. Starwalt allowed a solo home run in the sixth inning to Cal senior Jacob Wark in an inning of relief that provided Cal with its only run of the game. Hochstatter pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings before Vanegas pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his third appearance of the season.
Marquess, in his 38th year coaching the Cardinal, is now only the third active coach with 1,500 career wins, joining Texas’ Augie Garrido and Florida State’s Mike Martin. In a time when coaches change schools increasingly often, Marquess has remained with Stanford for his entire career. He is 1,500-788-7 as Stanford’s head coach and has led the Cardinal to two national championships.
“I’m very proud of the fact that I was able to play at Stanford and coach here my whole career,” Marquess said.
Stanford returns home to Sunken Diamond this weekend to take on Kansas in a three-game series. Play begins on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.