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Stanford Cardinal baseball: Make or break time

We are heading into an important stretch of the season for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In Major League Baseball, you have the dog days of summer as you find out what teams have what it takes to get over the hump and into the postseason. Some teams may lose but hold off on teams that are chasing them and some will falter. The funny thing but great thing about baseball and sports in general is sometimes the best team isn't the team that wins the championship. Sometimes, it's all about the team that finds a way to string together wins in bunches and does it at the right time, specifically at the end of the season.

In college baseball, the endgame is Omaha which ends long before the MLB "dog days" but nonetheless each team that is within striking distance of the postseason faces a late-season struggle in the trenches. Going into this weekend, Stanford is 24-19 but has recently had their own "dog days" as they've lost 8 of their last 13 which included a 6-game losing streak. According to the current RPI rankings on, Stanford is ranked 81, which is not even close to making the postseason. Stanford has all of the tools to be a champion but whether or not they want it will be answered in the next few weeks.

Stanford is entering this weekend versus Utah with a 10-11 conference record which sounds bad but the Pac-12 is arguably the best and toughest conference in college baseball. That same Utah squad that Stanford will be going up against is currently tied for 1st in the conference with a 13-8 record but overall is a lowly 18-24 and in that same RPI ranking is 130.

The following weekend, Stanford continues its road to Omaha against Washington, the team Utah is currently tied in 1st place with. If Stanford can just win 4 of 6 in those series, they will have a chance to be in first place depending on a few other teams' results in the conference. That would also put them at 28-21 overall with a 14-13 conference record which looks a lot better than 2 games under .500.

Stanford ends the season at home against an average Oregon team. It's possible that Stanford ace Cal Quantrill could return for this series and having one of the best pitchers in the game could help boost Stanford's bubble stock. Defensively, Stanford is set and will continue to put up zeros on the scoreboard and make great plays with their gloves but if the bats can come around, Stanford could be one of those teams that made it out of the dog days of college and return to the postseason and possibly Omaha for the first time since 2008.