Homers Power Cardinal
|Washington State (22-27)||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||4||6||1|
|Stanford, Calif. | Klein Field at Sunken Diamond
|Win: John Hochstatter (9-1)|
|Loss: Jason Monda (2-6)|
|Save: A.J. Vanegas (6)|
|Alex Blandino - 3-5, HR, 3 RBI|
|Wayne Taylor - 2-3, HR, 3 RBI|
|Tommy Edman - 2-5, HR, RBI|
STANFORD, Calif. -- Three home runs drove in five Cardinal runs, as Stanford cruised back to .500 in Pac-12 play with a 9-4 win over visiting Washington State Saturday afternoon. Wayne Taylor, Alex Blandino and Tommy Edman each went deep to provide the difference.
Blandino finished the day with three hits, along with three RBI from his third-inning homer to left field, to lead the offense. Edman, Taylor and Danny Diekroeger had two hits apiece, while Taylor drove in three to tie his career high.
John Hochstatter (8-1) worked through control issues to go 6.1 innings and maintain his perfect 7-0 record in conference games. The junior lefty walked four and hit two, but only gave up three hits, on his way to his sixth win in as many starts. Mark Marquess, the Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball, said the team, “owed him one,” after Hochstatter threw back-to-back complete games and another 8.2-inning outing in his last three starts.
Hochstatter held Washington State to 1-10 with runners on, and 3-19 overall, despite his increased free passes. His opponents are batting just .208 with runners on and .192 with two outs off of him this season. Pac-12 teams dropped their average against Hochstatter to .173.
“His command wasn’t as good,” added Marquess. “But we have been hitting the ball much better. Early on we were getting hits, but not at the right time. Now we aren’t getting hits at the right time.”
Stanford (26-22, 13-13 Pac-12) piled on 12 hits and went 6-15 (.400) with runners on to win its fourth straight league game. The Cardinal’s postseason push continues, as the team has now gone 15-6 in the last 21 games.
Washington State (22-27, 12-14 Pac-12) scored first by pushing across two in the second, before the Cardinal got to WSU starter Jason Monda. Stanford busted out for four runs in the third inning, on Taylor’s solo homer off the batter’s eye and Blandino’s three-run blast, to take a 4-2 lead. Stanford kept rolling with Edman’s second homer of the season in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings respectively.
Taylor struck again with a two-run single in the sixth and Austin Slater added a double to plate two in the seventh. Slater extended his career-long hitting streak to 12 games with the liner to left field. Blandino (nine games), who has reached safely in 18 straight, and Whiting (seven games) are also riding impressive hitting streaks, while Zach Hoffpauir saw a nine-game run come to an end.
Monda took the loss for the Cougars after allowing all three Cardinal homers. Washington State went on to use six pitchers in the game.
A.J. Vanegas earned his sixth save of the year by coming on with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning after two of three batters reached against reliever Marcus Brakeman. Vanegas stopped the WSU lineup for only one run in the inning and finished the game with 2.1 innings, while allowing two hits and a ninth-inning score.
Stanford honored former Associate Head Coach Dean Stotz before the game as part of an eventful weekend on The Farm. Stotz retired at the end of last season after 1,495 wins and two national championships alongside Marquess for 37 years.
The two teams are back at it tomorrow at 12 p.m. for the finale on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal will send lefty Logan James (2-2, 4.71) to the mound against righty Tanner Chleborad (3-6, 3.89). Stanford's seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony.