Baseball kicks off regional with commanding win

June 2, 2023, 10:29 p.m.

No. 8 Stanford baseball (38-16, 23-7 Pac-12) defeated San Jose State (31-25, 18-11 MAC) 13-2 in the first game of the Stanford regional on Friday afternoon. This is the sixth straight year an NCAA regional has been hosted at Stanford, the only D-1 program for which that is the case. A quality start from senior left-hander Quinn Mathews and home runs from four different hitters propelled the Cardinal to victory.

The Stanford offense started off with a bang. On just the second pitch the opposing pitcher threw, junior outfielder Eddie Park hit a leadoff home run over the right field wall. Stanford had a 1-0 lead through one inning of play.

After his worst outing the year in which Mathews did not make it out of the second inning and allowed eight earned runs, he ran into traffic in his first three innings of work. He allowed at least one baserunner in those innings, but the Spartans were not able to take advantage of the baserunners until the third. With two outs the bases were loaded after two singles and a walk. On a three-two count and with the runners going, the next batter ripped a single into right-center field that scored two. San Jose State led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third.

Stanford answered San Jose State in the bottom of the third. A walk by Park, a single by junior infielder Tommy Troy and a hit by pitch to sophomore outfielder Braden Montgomery, and the bases were loaded for the Pac-12 Player of the Year, junior outfielder Alberto Rios.

As he has done all year in clutch moments, Rios unloaded the bases with a towering home run to left center field to give Stanford the lead 5-2. Two batters later, junior infielder Drew Bowser added to the lead with a solo home run to dead center field. The next hitter, sophomore designated hitter Jake Sapien, was hit in the face with a pitch that caused him to leave the game. After a wild pitch allowed his pinch runner to advance to second, senior infielder Owen Cobb doubled to right center to push the lead to five. Stanford led 7-2 through three innings of play.

The bottom of the third was a long inning, but it allowed Mathews to regroup. He returned to form, the same form that got him named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year this season. He only allowed two more baserunners for the rest of his outing, one of which reached on an error. His final line was seven innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Cardinal added to their lead. Following a walk by Bowser and a single by Cobb that allowed Bowser to advance to third. Bowser scored and Cobb advanced to second on a wild pitch. Park then singled just out of reach of the second baseman to score Cobb. Troy followed that up with a deep drive to left field for a two-run home run. Stanford led 11-2 after five innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, Stanford pushed their lead to double digits. With two outs, Park singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Troy then brought him home with a single to center field. Junior infielder Carter Graham then ripped a double down the right field line to score Troy. Stanford’s lead was 13-2 at the conclusion of seven innings of play.

Junior right-hander Brandt Pancer shut the door for the Cardinal. He pitched the last two innings allowing just two hits, no runs and no walks with two strikeouts.

Up next, Stanford will await the winner of the game between Texas A&M and Cal State Fullerton. That game is scheduled for Saturday night with first pitch at 6 p.m.

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