May 10, 2016
Following its fourth conference series win, Stanford baseball (23-19, 10-11 Pac-12) looks to successfully close out its five-game homestand when hosting the slumping Santa Clara Broncos on Tuesday night (20-25, 7-14 WCC).
Junior catcher Alex Dunlap (above) is currently leading the team with a .320 batting average. While the offense has struggled at times this season, strong bats will be key against the Broncos. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)
The ballgame will be the second matchup between these two teams, as Stanford played the Broncos earlier this season on April 26. The first game proved to be an unusually poor defensive performance for the Cardinal, with Stanford committing 2 defensive errors and allowing four Bronco batters to come home throughout the game. The team ultimately couldn’t recover at the plate, losing 4-2.
Beyond cleaning up the errors, the Cardinal pitching rotation must establish control and dominance throughout the game. Stanford’s defense has been its strong point, but against a weak Bronco lineup in which zero players own above a .300 batting average, the Cardinal rotation must flex its strength and deliver a quality victory.
In the other dugout, the Bronco pitching rotation has looked flawed all season, especially on the road, where the team owns a dismal 7-12 record. All of the Bronco’s starting pitchers own above a 3.00 ERA on the season as well, and if Cardinal batters continue their rhythm and aggressively work counts during at-bats, Stanford has the ability to capture momentum early.
In Tuesday night’s one-game matchup, Stanford will look to continue their success at home in Sunken Diamond, where the team owns a solid 15-9 overall record. Looking onward in the season, however, Stanford will need to find a way to perform better off The Farm, as a crucial 2 out of the last 3 conference series are on the road.
After the series victory over Cal, Stanford sits in a five-way tie for fifth place in the Pac-12, only three games behind first-placed Washington. In this position, despite owning a under-.500 record, the Cardinal has the potential to seize a higher place in the standings and position themselves for a postseason push.
Tuesday’s game against Santa Clara will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.
Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu.