Stanford secures 1st game of doubleheader to even up weekend series

March 8, 2020, 3:58 a.m.

In front of an attendance-restricted home crowd on Saturday afternoon, Stanford baseball (5-9, 0-0 Pac-12) earned a 7-5 win over Kansas State (7-6, 0-0 Big 12).

After being three-hit and dropping the series opener to the Wildcats Friday night, the Cardinal came out swinging. Their 10 hits in the game were their second-most of the season.

On the bump, freshman LHP Quinn Mathews got the first win of his collegiate career. After allowing a run in the top of the first on an RBI single, Mathews settled down from that point on, retiring the next 13 batters in order. He went 7+ innings while allowing four runs and striking out six.

“[Mathews is] starting to get the ability to throw his off speed pitches in the game,” Esquer said. “He’s a touch-and-feel type of guy, not a power pitcher.”

Stanford took an early 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third. A one-out single from junior infielder Nick Brueser got the rally started. He scored after another single from freshman DH Chad Greene, who advanced to second on a throwing error. Greene was brought home by junior outfielder Tim Tawa on a double. Redshirt senior utility player Christian Molfetta followed that up with an RBI triple to keep the rally going.

The Cardinal picked right back up in the bottom of the fourth, padding their lead due to another hit by Brueser. However, with one out and runners on second and third, a ground ball hit right to the third baseman resulted in redshirt sophomore infielder Nick Sehgal getting tagged out in a pickle between third and home. Brueser was then tagged out after he was caught trying to advance to third, which ended what could have been a big inning for Stanford. 

After allowing a run in the top of the sixth to make it 4-2, Stanford answered back in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded, Brueser hit home two runners with a double, picking up his second and third RBIs in the process. Sehgal then scored on a fielder’s choice to extend Stanford’s lead up to 7-2.

Mathews came out to pitch in the top of the eighth inning, but senior RHP Zach Grech entered to finish the inning after two runners reached base. Grech allowed both inherited runners to score along with an earned run of his own that cut Stanford’s lead 7-5. With one out, Grech was replaced by junior RHP Carson Rudd. One flyout and fielder’s choice later, Rudd escaped the eighth, having allowed no further damage.

Sophomore RHP Brandon Dieter came out in the ninth inning to close the game out. He induced three straight groundouts to earn the save for the Cardinal. 

Contact Gerzain Gutierrez at gerzain ‘at’

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