After being completely shut down last weekend against USC, the Cardinal bats took advantage of being back in their home park for one final week by turning Sunken Diamond into a launchpad and out-slugging San Francisco (23-28, 15-9 WCC) in a 6-5 Stanford victory.
Stanford (22-28, 7-17 Pac-12) tied a season-high with three home runs in the ballgame, including a mammoth go-ahead, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of junior right fielder Zach Hoffpauir to put the team up for good.
“We’ve really struggled with the bat lately in getting runs,” said head coach Mark Marquess. “We were just fortunate that we got good pitching and got the one big swing from Hoffpauir.”
Sophomores Tommy Edman and Alex Dunlap each also added a solo home run to pace the Cardinal offense. Dunlap tied a season-high with three hits, including two infield singles.
Although the offense started slowly and was held hitless through the first three innings by a combination of Matt Narahara and Brock Larson from USF, Edman’s home run in the bottom of the fourth started the Cardinal attack and every Stanford starter except freshmen Beau Branton and Matt Winaker finished the game with at least one hit.
“We had our opportunities, but we hit into a couple of double plays, and then the last inning, we had the bases loaded and didn’t score and we had the chance to really get some distance there,” Marquess said.
Freshman Andrew Summerville continued to impress after becoming a mainstay in the starting rotation, giving the team five strong innings of two-run ball. Although sophomore Tyler Thorne struggled in relief, he ended up as the winning pitcher after Hoffpauir’s go-ahead blast, and Gabe Cramer wrapped up for the two-inning save.
Stanford will now settle in before its final home series of the season this weekend against Oregon State. Although the team is almost certainly out of postseason consideration at this point, the Beavers will offer an excellent opportunity for the Cardinal to put all the pieces together and end the year on a high note.
“They really haven’t quit,” Marquess said. “They really work hard in practice even though it’s been very frustrating.”
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.