No. 11 Stanford baseball (26-14, 12-9 Pac-12) defeated the UC Davis Aggies (4-24, 3-15 Big West) 16-6 in a midweek contest.
Coming into the game losing six of their last seven matchups, the Aggies weren’t the toughest competition that Stanford has faced this year. Stanford’s dominating win, however, could provide momentum going into the weekend series against Cal.
In Tuesday’s game, the Cardinal poured on the offense early. They scored 13 runs through the first five innings, as many of Stanford’s best overall hitters had strong offensive performances.
Junior outfielder Brock Jones registered perhaps the best offensive performance, hitting two home runs and batting in seven runs. Sophomore first baseman Carter Graham followed Jones’s lead, hitting two home runs himself in the game. Graham, who has now tallied 14 home runs this season, is tied for the Pac-12 lead in home runs.
Do-it-all freshman outfielder Braden Montgomery homered in the third inning for his 12th of the year, which keeps him in the top five in the Pac-12 in home runs. Sophomore third baseman Drew Bowser added two hits and one run batted in. Finally, sophomore second baseman Tommy Troy had three hits, including a double, in the game.
The Cardinal’s early lead was never in danger at any point during the game, as down the stretch in the seventh inning, the Cardinal added three runs to put the game out of hand at 16-3.
On the opposite side of the ball, Stanford employed a number of pitchers to get through the game. Sophomore Joey Dixon got the start for the Cardinal, but he only stayed on the mound for two innings, which was the most for any Cardinal pitcher. After Dixon, Braden Montgomery, junior Cody Jensen, freshman Ty Uber, junior Nathan Fleischli and sophomore Brandt Pancer pitched the remainder of the game for the Cardinal.
Besides a three-run home run in the fifth inning and a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning, Stanford’s pitching remained solid for most of the night, recording 11 strikeouts in total. While the Cardinal pitchers gave up nine walks in the game, this is to be expected from young pitchers and pitchers who play limited time.
Looking ahead, Stanford will host the California Golden Bears for a weekend series at Sunken Diamond. This upcoming stretch of baseball is important for the Cardinal, as they are looking to position themselves to host a regional or even a super-regional in the NCAA tournament.
To host a regional, the Cardinal must be among the top sixteen teams in the country. Hosting a super-regional will require the Cardinal to be among the top eight teams in the country. Losing a series to a poor Cal team could drop the Cardinal out of hosting a regional in the short term.
The first pitch for the series begins at 7 p.m. PT on Friday.