Baseball sweeps rival Golden Bears

April 10, 2023, 12:48 p.m.

No. 8 Stanford baseball (21-7, 10-2 Pac-12) swept the California Golden Bears (12-15, 3-12 Pac-12) over the weekend to tie No. 24 Arizona State (23-9, 10-2 Pac-12) for the lead in the Pac-12 standings. After losing a road series to USC (20-10-1, 9-3 Pac-12) in early March, the Cardinal have swept their last three Pac-12 opponents. But despite not being able to pick up a win, Cal was able to make things interesting in a couple of games. 

During the first game of the series, Stanford opened the proceedings with a five-run second inning, featuring home runs from junior catcher Alberto Rios, senior infielder Owen Cobb and junior first baseman Carter Graham. After the Golden Bears tallied a run in the fourth inning, the Cardinal drove in three more runs in the sixth to blow the game open. However, Cal slowly but steadily climbed its way back into the game. Scoring one run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth, the Golden Bears brought in three more runs in the ninth and looked poised to take the lead with two men in scoring position with just one out. Luckily for the Cardinal, junior pitcher Brandt Pancer was able to draw a double play that ended Cal’s comeback hopes and secured the first win of the series for Stanford.

The second game featured an offensive explosion from the Cardinal, as they were able to score runs in a balanced manner throughout the whole game. After a scoreless first inning, Stanford drove in two runs during each of the second, third and fourth innings. Then, during the back half of the game, the Cardinal tallied one and three runs in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively, before exploding for eight runs in the top of the ninth. Several hitters had big days, most notably junior third baseman Drew Bowser with two home runs and Graham with four base hits. After facing an 18-2 deficit in the bottom of the ninth, the Golden Bears were able to pad their stats with a series of late runs, but they weren’t timely enough to make a difference in the game.

In the series finale, Stanford ran into some trouble late into the game. After bringing home a run in both the first and second innings, the Cardinal were unable to tally any more runs until the ninth inning. In the meantime, Cal responded with a run in the bottom of the second inning and two runs in the sixth inning. Facing a 3-2 deficit at the top of the ninth, Stanford had its back against the wall for the second time this series. But with two men on base, two outs and facing a 2-2 count, senior designated hitter Cole Hinkelman smacked the ball over the center field wall to give the Cardinal a 5-3 lead. After once again facing a ninth-inning jam, Brandt Pancer was able to get a fly-out in the infield to end the game and give Stanford a sweep over its arch-rival.

Up next, the Cardinal will host Texas Tech (22-10, 4-5 Big 12) at Sunken Diamond for a midweek non-conference matchup before heading up to Eugene, Ore. for a weekend series against the Oregon Ducks (20-9, 7-5 Pac-12). The Red Raiders are a formidable opponent, slotting in at No. 22 in D1 baseball’s college baseball rankings. Moreover, these teams have recent history, with the Cardinal winning a super regional in Lubbock, Texas to reach the College World Series in 2021. If Stanford can take two games from the Red Raiders, it will add to its push to host a super regional. First pitch against the Red Raiders is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT on Monday.

Kaushik Sampath is the sports managing editor. He is a junior from Fayetteville, Arkansas and a history major. You can catch him watching and ranting about his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks or hanging out with friends on campus. Contact him at sports 'at'

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