Raise your hand if, on Opening Day, you predicted Stanford would be 3-1 and nationally ranked by Tuesday.
Put your hand down, you cowbell-playing liar!
But enough about the big picture (there's enough time for that later); let's talk about Monday's matinee game against UC Davis.
Stanford 5, UC Davis 2
One of the marks of a good team is an ability to win in multiple ways. Over the weekend, the Cardinal won two of three against Cal State Fullerton with excellent pitching. Against the Aggies, the Farm Boys erupted for 5 runs and 11 hits.
Which is not to say that Stanford's pitching did not perform well on Monday. It did. Starter Brett Hanewich was effective, allowing just 1 run in 7 innings. He struck out 4 and gave up 3 hits.
Hanewich, however, started shakily. He began the game allowing two singles, putting runners on the corners with 1 out. He was able to escape this 1st inning jam thanks to a pop-out and flyout. In the 2nd inning he was shaky again; a hit batter, wild pitch, and sacrifice bunt put a runner on 3rd with 1 out. But Hanewich made big pitches when he had to, getting 2 strikeouts to end the inning.
B5: Hanewich has retired 12 in a row! Pitches in last 3 inn: 7, 9 & 8.— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) February 22, 2016
Cardinal pitching has now gone 25 innings w/o a walk
After that, Hanewich settled in, retiring 15 straight Aggies before allowing an unearned run in the 7th. It's also worth mentioning the defense behind him. Freshman outfielder Brandon Wulff dazzled with defense in his collegiate debut, making diving catches to end both the 3rd and 4th inning.
Keith Weisenberg replaced Hanewich in the 8th and quickly sailed right into the storm. He allowed two leadoff walks and hit a batter to load the bases. He struck out 2 before uncorking a wild pitch that scored the second Aggie run of the game. That led Coach Marquess to summon Tyler Thorne, who turned back the tempest with a strikeout.
On offense, the Cardinal hit early and hit often (11 times, to be precise). Stanford drew first blood in the 1st inning, with a Tommy Edman leadoff triple and a sac fly from Quinn Brodey. In the 4th inning, Jonny Locher launched his first homer of the year, sending Davis starter Chris Brown to the showers.
HOME RUN! ⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) February 22, 2016
Jonny Locher w/ his third career round-tripper to give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead in the top of the 4th #GoStanford
The Aggie bullpen did not fare any better. In the 5th inning, Edman and Brodey teamed up again with a single and double, respectively, for Stanford's fourth run. Freshman Nico Hoerner, continuing to impress, plated Stanford's fifth run with an RBI double.
That was all the offense the Cardinal needed. When the 9th inning came, Marquess called the number of pitcher Kris Bubic. Marquess, putting his trust in yet another freshman, asked Bubic to make his collegiate debut in a save situation. Bubic delivered with three groundouts to secure the victory.
- Brett Hanewich followed rotation-mates Tristan Beck and Chris Castellanos in going at least 6 innings while surrendering 1 run or less.
- Cardinal outfielders continue to be productive at the plate early in the season. Quinn Brodey was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 2 doubles; Jonny Locher hit a solo home run.
- Shortstop Tommy Edman is living up to the pre-season All-American hype. He had 3 hits, including a triple, and scored 3 runs on Monday.
- Until Keith Weisenberg walked 2 Aggies, Stanford batters had gone 25 innings without issuing a walk. Weisenberg was the only Cardinal pitcher out of four to allow a walk on Monday.
Up Next: Stanford travels to Austin to face the Longhorns in a 4-game weekend series beginning Thursday.