Junior Colton Hock got his 14th save of the season, breaking the school record for number of single-season saves, as Stanford baseball (31-13, 13-8 Pac-12) completed a shutout over the San Francisco Dons (24-26, 9-15 American Athletic) on Tuesday evening, winning by a final tally of 4-0 at Sunken Diamond.
The Cardinal are on a roll after winning 12 of their last 13 games. When asked about the key to their success, head coach Mark Marquess commented, “It’s a little bit of a combination. When we’re not really hitting, we’ve pitched really well. We’ve played really good defense, for the most part. That’s been critical. We’ve won a lot of close games. Colton Hock has won a lot of close games.”
Freshman Eric Miller (3-1) started the night well for the Cardinal staff, pitching a scoreless six innings while allowing only two hits and two walks before senior Tyler Thorne relieved Miller in the seventh and pitched through two-thirds of the eighth inning.
After Miller walked Dons senior Alex Smoot to load the bases, Hock came in and pitched with ease, showing no stress on the mound and striking out catcher Dominic Miroglio to end the eighth before completing the final four outs of the game, getting the all-important, record-setting save and securing the shutout.
Rather than thinking about history and record-breaking, however, Hock said, “The fact that this team can go out there with a stressful work environment with school winding down and guys graduating, and put together a good nine innings … Erik did a great job and Tyler did a great job. That just means so much, and that’s all I can think about right now.”
Hock ended the night just as he started it – with a swinging strikeout against senior Harrison Bruce that stranded one runner on base.
Both the Cardinal and the Dons were scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when freshman Daniel Bakst hit a double. With two outs, senior Jack Klein brought Bakst home with a single to right field. From then, the Cardinal offense continued flowing into the bottom of the seventh as Nico Hoerner hit a single and Bakst walked.
With two outs and Bakst and Horner on first and second, the right-handed Duke Kinamon (2-4 for the evening) blasted a three-run homer across his body to left field. After hitting his first home run of the season on Saturday, Kinamon said, “I’ve had a lot of changes in my swing, but I just try to trust the process as much as I can. I try not to think about it too much, try not to put too much pressure on myself. Just go out and play and have fun.”
The hard work and fun continues for the Cardinal as they head to Bay Area rivals Cal Berkeley (21-24, 12-12) to play an important three-game series this weekend.
Contact Ellie Chen at ellie170 ‘at’ stanford.edu.