Gritty Card Downs Gonzaga

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 2 Stanford earned a hard-fought, 4-3 win over Gonzaga on Monday afternoon at Sunken Diamond.

"We really had to stick with it today," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "It's always a treat playing against one of my old teammates from Stanford in the opposing dugout, so we knew they were going to bring it for him today."

Tim Tawa hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth with Stanford trailing, 3-1, and Zach Grech earned the win after retiring all nine batters he faced. Jacob Palisch earned his second career save, Nico Hoerner finished 2-for-3 with the go-ahead RBI single and Kyle Stowers reached base four times in the win.

With the game tied, 3-3, Hoerner's two-out single to left field brought home Beau Branton for the game-winning run in the seventh. The Cardinal (21-3 overall, 5-1 Pac-12) needed stellar work in relief from Daniel Bakst, Grech and Palisch after falling behind, 3-1.

Jake Vieth's double to left in the first made it 1-0 before Stanford tied the game with heads-up base running in the second. Kyle Stowers broke for second base on a steal attempt, drawing a throw from the Bulldogs' (13-13, 4-5 WCC) catcher and allowing Andrew Daschbach to score uncontested.

Freshman Austin Weiermiller pitched 2.0+ innings, allowing three hits and two runs in his first career start before Bakst replaced him in the third. Bakst finished 3.0 innings, allowing one run via a solo shot to center in the fifth before making way for Grech. Grech was untouchable, retiring all nine hitters to bat with three strikeouts, a career high.

"The job our freshman have done, in particular Tim Tawa, has been a huge boost to us this season," added Esquer. "You love to get contributions from everywhere in the lineup, and Tim's today was as big as they come."

Palisch needed only 17 pitches to complete the job, earning his second career save in as many tries. The Cardinal returns to action tomorrow when it travels to face Santa Clara at 6 p.m. PT with freshman Brendan Beck expected to start for Stanford. Live streaming and statistics will be available at GoStanford.com.

Cardinal Notes

  • Stowers finished 1-for-1, reaching base four times with three walks.
  • Tawa's RBIs gave him 21, which leads the team.
  • Branton has hits in each of the past five contests and has reached base in seven straight – on the season, Branton leads the team with a .450 on-base percentage.