In its first series of the year, the No. 6 Stanford baseball team (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) took two out of three games against Cal State Fullerton (1-2, 0-0 Big West).
The Cardinal bats were silent for most of the first game, managing only two hits in nine innings. With two outs and runners at the corners in the first inning, third baseman Drew Bowser hit a ball under the glove of the Titans’ shortstop, allowing second baseman Tommy Troy to score.
This run proved to be enough for the Cardinal to win, as five Stanford pitchers combined to pitch a five-hit shutout against the Titans.
Senior right-handed pitcher Alex Williams received the win for the Cardinal, pitching three innings, allowing zero earned runs and striking out one batter.
In the second game, Cal State Fullerton’s offense exploded for 11 runs on 16 hits. The Titans scored in droves early on, putting up three runs in the third inning and six runs in the fourth inning. The Titans’ six-run inning included a grand slam by first baseman Cade Connor and a solo home run by designated hitter Austin Schnell.
Meanwhile, the Cardinal bats struggled for the second straight game, scoring no runs and tallying only four hits.
“It took us a while to get going, and you run the risk of falling into the season and not hitting a hot streak,” said head coach David Esquer. “Fullerton did a good job of keeping us off-balance, and we maybe started pressing a little bit.”
Cal State Fullerton left-handed pitcher Tyler Stultz received the win for the Titans, allowing zero earned runs in five innings.
In the series-deciding third game, Stanford’s bats began to heat up in a big way. Freshman outfielder and right-handed pitcher Braden Montgomery had a massive offensive performance with two home runs, six runs batted in, a stolen base and three runs scored. Montgomery also showed his pitching prowess earlier in the series, earning a save in game one.
“We’ve got our hands full figuring out how to use him best while looking out for him as well. He’s a great athlete and he’s got a great arm. He’s got such a slow heartbeat, the game doesn’t really speed up on him,” Esquer said after the game.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Drew Dowd got the start for Stanford in game three. He pitched five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing just one earned run and three hits while striking out four batters.
Junior outfielder Brock Jones, a projected top-10 pick in the 2022 MLB draft, hit 2-for-8 and recorded three walks in the series.
Looking forward, Stanford will have a mid-week game against Santa Clara on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT before heading to Austin, Texas for the Round Rock Classic.
In Austin, the Cardinal will play three teams in a round-robin format, including the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks (2-1, 0-0 SEC), who were the No. 1 overall seed in last year’s College World Series. Stanford will also take on Louisiana (2-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) and Indiana (0-3, 0-0 Big Ten). This early-season test will help Cardinal fans see how Stanford stacks up against the nation’s best teams.
Stanford will take on Louisiana Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. PT at Dell Diamond.