In a nutshell
San Jose State (25-19): 010 000 000
Stanford (26-15-2): 000 315 00x
The heroes: Junior righty Austin Yount allowed a sac fly RBI in the second. The rest of the time, he was just about untouchable. Yount scattered just four hits across seven innings, helping Stanford snap out of a recent pitching funk in a major way. Offensively, Brett Milleville had four hits all to himself, and his two-RBI homer to center in the sixth all but finished off the Spartans. Still, with eight different Stanford players combining for 15 hits, the whole team deserves credit.
Key stretch: A Jason Castro double and Milleville and Molina singles helped Stanford score three in the fourth. Then, in the sixth, four straight Stanford batters (Zach Jones, Jake Schlander, Cord Phelps and Toby Gerhart) reached base. After a Castro groundout, Milleville's homer gave Stanford a five-run inning and the 9-1 final margin.
That's more like it.
Stanford had given up ten runs in each of its last three games. All were losses, despite the offense scoring nine, then nine, then eight runs.
But today, Austin Yount got the fans home in 2.5 hours with a nice mix of pitches and great control.
To be fair, San Jose State didn't help their cause with a severe lack of plate discipline. Stanford Media Relations doesn't track pitch counts at Coach Marquess' request, but we'll let another stat do the talking: San Jose State struck out just once. Yount is not a strikeout pitcher, but that's an awful lot of first- and second-pitch hacking.
Congrats are also in order to two freshmen, righty Alex Pracher and lefty Michael DeGroot, who forced the Spartans into 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings respectively.
Milleville takes the headlines with a 4-for-5 day batting cleanup, but how about the three hitters in front of him, Phelps, Gerhart and Castro? Those top four hitters in Stanford's lineup went a combined 9-of-17, and notched eight RBIs and seven runs.
The bottom of the lineup was quieter, but Zach Jones and Randy Molina each pulled their weight with two-hit games.
One concerning trend is that Stanford drew just two walks, but struck out seven times. All seven strikeouts came from the five through nine hitters too. It could well be a 400-K season for the Card.
Not to rain on
the parade here, but how is San Jose State a winning team? The hitting wasn't
pretty and the pitching might have been worse.
Attendance was officially 1,538, and those who made the trek to Sunken Diamond enjoyed a beautiful, cloudless Saturday.
Stanford runs through the Bay Area gauntlet in the next three days: at San Jose State tomorrow, versus Pacific Monday and at San Francisco Tuesday. Next weekend, the Card will welcome Cal for their last home series of the season.
On a career-high four RBIs:
It was a good game. Everybody continued to hit and people kept getting on base. That was key for us.
On Stanford's offense:
We were held back in the first three innings, but then we had some good situational hitting.
On snapping a three-game losing streak:
It was good to come out and get a win. It was great for Austin Yount, and great for us to come back and get hits. That was big for us as a team. Hopefully we'll keep it going tomorrow [at SJSU].
On Stanford's mentality as it heads down the stretch:
The big thing for us is pitching and defense. I think at times pitching is what has carried us, especially when the hitting's slacked off a little. It seems like we'll make it up -- if the hitting's not good, the pitching makes it up. That's been the key to our success so far this year. If we keep that up and always play good defense, I think we'll be in good shape.
He did a great job of mixing speeds and kept hitters off-balance. He threw strikes and made sure the D had a chance to play behind him.
On the importance of the pitching staff breaking out of its slump:
If the pitching staff has it, it takes pressure off the bats. We're loose in the box and there's not as much pressure. We can do our best and we showed it today. We put up a three-spot in the fourth and looked relaxed. And we were able to string hits together.
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