The No. 8 Stanford baseball team's home opener against No. 17 Cal tonight was the penultimate game at Sunken Diamond between the two rivals before the athletic department cuts the Golden Bears' program. For Cardinal starter Jordan Pries, Stanford's 3-2 win was business as usual.
"To us it's another game against a ranked opponent," Pries said during the KZSU postgame show.
Stanford scored all three of its runs in the first three innings. Sophomore Kenny Diekroeger hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the second inning. Diekroeger and Tyler Gaffney had RBI singles in the third to stretch the Cardinal lead to 3-0.
That was more than enough offense for Pries, who allowed one hit in four shutout innings and struck out four in his season debut.
"Opening Day, even though it's my third year, is still a little nerve-racking," Pries said. "After a few innings, you kind of settle in and it just sort of comes natural."
Pries was on a pitch count and replaced by touted freshman A.J. Vanegas to start the fifth. Vanegas, who didn't pitch against Rice, retired the first batter he faced before allowing two runs on three consecutive singles and a walk. The righthander settled down, allowing only one more hit and striking out three over the next two innings. Scott Snodgress worked the eighth and ninth for his first save.
Cal (2-1) returns to Palo Alto for a single game on April 25. Stanford (3-1) travels to Vanderbilt for a three-game series against the No. 3 Commodores this weekend.