Baseball hits the road in series before Pac-12 play against Owls

March 7, 2017, 11:31 p.m.

Coming off three consecutive wins with two walk-offs, No. 16 Stanford baseball (9-3) looks to continue its momentum in its last non-conference series before Pac-12 play, traveling to Houston to take on the Rice Owls (4-8). Over the weekend, the Cardinal will play in a four-game series at Rice, one game each day spanning from Thursday through Sunday.

Stanford hits the road coming off an electrifying homestand, in which junior Quinn Brodey hit two walk-off home runs in an 18-hour time span, claiming two Cardinal victories. Stanford proceeded to take the series win in the second game of Saturday’s double-header after leftie Chris Castellanos shut down the Longhorn offense, holding Texas to just one run in seven innings.

Castellanos’ outing extended an eight-game winning streak for the Cardinal. Following Castellanos’ stellar example, Stanford junior reliever Colton Hock earned a win and a save in the two respective games featured during Saturday’s doubleheader, earning him the title of Pac-12 pitcher of the week.

Stanford’s pitching staff as a whole continued its success on the weekend, holding the Longhorns to two runs or fewer in three of the four weekend games. Cardinal pitchers own the lead in strikeouts (109) and opponent average (.172) in the Pac-12.

As a whole, the Cardinal is on fire coming into their weekend series in Texas. Since trailing No. 11 Cal State Fullerton (5-4) 6-0 in the last game of the opening weekend on the road, Stanford has marched to a 9-1 record, outscoring opponents 45-21 while dealing a 1.65 ERA on the mound.

Meanwhile, Rice has jumped to a rocky start to their season. So far, the Owls are outscored 78-61, while averaging only a .277 batting average in the young season. After splitting a four-game opening series against Texas, the Owls have lost every series so far. They will be eager to repeat their successes from 2014 against the Cardinal in Sunken, where Rice took two of three.

The Owls have been been lead offensively by sophomore catcher Dominic DiCaprio who made the NCAA All-Regional Team and Conference USA All-Freshman Team. During his early sophomore season, DiCaprio picked up where he left off, averaging .455 at the plate while hitting two doubles and one home run.

Weather could also be a factor in the series. Thunderstorms are predicted for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday games, with a high around 80 degrees, and there is a high possibility one of the days might include a double header to account for a cancellation.

If Stanford is able to avoid poor weather and keep up its momentum, it should emerge from Texas with multiple coveted wins. Success will keep the Cardinal poised for a successful conference season following a short break to assist student athletes with final exams approaching.


Contact Michael Spelfogel at mspel ‘at’ and Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’

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