Bob Drebin /

Pac-12 Title Within Reach

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 3 Stanford heads to Seattle for a three-game series at Washington and a chance to clinch its first Pac-12 Conference Championship since 2004.

The Cardinal (41-8 overall, 21-6 Pac-12) sits 2.5 games ahead of Oregon State atop the Pac-12 standings and 3.0 ahead of UCLA and Washington with three games to play. Stanford would clinch the conference title with one more win in league play.

Thursday's series opener will start on 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks. Friday's contest airs at 7 p.m. with Saturday's regular-season finale set for 3 p.m. Live statistics for all three contests will be available at

Weekend Opponent, Washington
• Stanford owns a 55-26-0 (.671) all-time record against the Huskies (28-22, 18-9), who enter the week tied in third place with UCLA behind the Cardinal (21-6) and Oregon State (18-8-1) in the Pac-12 standings.
• Joe Wainhouse leads Washington with 13 home runs and 49 RBI, and Mason Cerrillo leads the team in batting average (.354) and on-base average (.418). Right-handed pitcher Joe DeMers paces the staff with a 6-3 record and a 2.34 ERA.
• Last season, Stanford swept Washington, 3-0, at Sunken Diamond, capped by Jesse Kuet's walk-off single in Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball Mark Marquess' final regular season home game after 41 seasons in charge of the program.

Championship Within Reach
• The Cardinal sits atop the Pac-12 conference standings at 21-6-0, 2.5 games ahead of Oregon State (18-8-1) and 3.0 ahead of UCLA and Washington (18-9-0). Stanford would clinch the Pac-12 championship with one win at Washington – it would be the Cardinal's 18th conference championship and first since 2004.
• Stanford checks in at No. 3 in D1 Baseball's final regular season top-25 poll. The Cardinal also ranked top-three in the Baseball America (3), Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (1), NCBWA (2) and Perfect Game (3) polls. Stanford also enters the series at No. 2 in the NCAA RPI behind Florida and ahead of Georgia (3), Arkansas (4) and Texas Tech (5).

As Good As Advertised
• Junior shortstop Nico Hoerner has lived up to his billing as a preseason All-American, carrying a .342 batting average while leading the team in hits (69), doubles (15), triples (5), stolen bases (13), at-bats (202) and sacrifice flies (5). Hoerner also ranks second on the team in total bases (100) and runs (43).
• Hoerner's 13-game hit streak was the longest of any Cardinal this season – he is widely considered one of the top infield prospects for the MLB Draft.

Pac-12 Leading Pitching Staff
• Stanford's ranks third in the NCAA in ERA (2.77) and fourth in WHIP (1.15). Stanford leads the Pac-12 in ERA, opposing batting average (.222), saves (21), hits allowed (371) and walks allowed (151).
• Kris Bubic (8-1) leads the starting staff with a 2.55 ERA in 13 starts. Bubic's 86 strikeouts rank third in the Pac-12, while his opposing batting average (.201) ranks second.
• Friday night starter Tristan Beck returned to the mound on Opening Day after a 630-day absence due to injury. Beck is 8-3 with a 2.79 ERA in a team-high 77.1 innings. Brendan, the younger brother of Tristan, owns a 2.48 ERA in 58.0 innings across 14 appearances, including 11 starts.
• Erik Miller, typically Stanford's Sunday starter, is 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA. Miller will start Thursday's contest, having last appeared at Utah on May 6.
• Closer Jack Little highlights Stanford's set of bullpen arms – Little carries a 0.69 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .165 average. In 39.0 innings across 22 appearances, Little has allowed just 29 base runners (22 hits, seven walks) while striking out 50. With 15 saves in as many opportunities, Little ranks second on Stanford's all-time single-season saves list behind Colton Hock (16 in 2017).
• Other arms frequently used out of the bullpen include Jacob Palisch (1.74 ERA in 23 appearances), Will Matthiessen (1.84 ERA in 11 appearances), Zach Grech (2.84 ERA in 26 appearances) and Austin Weiermiller (2.87 ERA in 21 appearances).

Super Sophomores
• Sophomores Andrew Daschbach and Kyle Stowers have established themselves as leading offensive players for the Cardinal, starting all 51 games and ranking one-two in several offensive categories.
• Daschbach's 16 home runs are the most in a season since Sean Ratliff homered 22 times in 2008. His 60 RBI rank third in the Pac-12 and are the most since Ratliff (71) and Jason Castro (73) led the team in RBI in 2008. Daschbach also leads the team in total bases (114) and slugging percentage (.600).
• Stowers ranks second on the team in slugging percentage (.600), on-base percentage (.397), RBI (41), home runs (9), triples (3). He leads the team with 27 walks and ranks third with 97 total bases.
• Will Matthiessen has started at designated hitter in Stanford's last 12 contests, totaling six home runs, 17 RBI and 11 runs during that span. Matthiessen also has 12 relief appearances, owning a 1.84 ERA and a .161 opposing batting average.

#1 in our ??, #1 on @sportscenter. @andy_dash #GoStanford

A post shared by Stanford Baseball?? (@stanfordbsb) on May 21, 2018 at 12:09pm PDT

Next Man Up
• Stanford has relied heavily on supporting roles all season long with several injuries to key players.
• Beau Branton stepped in for Duke Kinamon at second base, leading the team in batting average (.383) and on-base percentage (.463) in the leadoff spot. Branton set a career high with five hits in Stanford's win at Oregon State on May 13, tying a career high with three runs scored.
• Alec Wilson and Christian Robinson have helped fill in for the absence of Brandon Wulff, who missed seven weeks starting on March 29. Wilson is batting .326 in Pac-12 play, with Robinson carrying a .283 clip.
• Christian Molfetta has started Stanford's last six games at catcher in place of Maverick Handley, who remains sidelined with an arm injury. He scored a career-high three times, tying a career high with three hits in Stanford's 10-1 win over Washington State on May 18.

2018 Season Recap
• The Cardinal wrapped up its home schedule at 30-3 after a three-game sweep of Washington State on May 18-20. Andrew Daschbach finished the series with two home runs, while his spectacular barehanded catch in Friday's 10-1 win was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter.
• Stanford finished the season 9-0 in midweek games after a 5-1 win against BYU on May 15 – the Cardinal pitching staff allowed no earned runs on four hits and Kyle Stowers finished with a home run, three hits and three RBI.
• The Cardinal salvaged a win in its three-game series at No. 3 Oregon State, overcoming a 6-1 deficit in Sunday's thrilling 9-6 comeback win. Nick Oar's third consecutive pinch-hit home run tied it in the ninth before Will Matthiessen's three-run double in the 10th set up a Stanford win.
• Will Matthiessen struck out the side in the top of the eighth before hitting a home run in the bottom half of a 9-0 win over Santa Clara (May 8).
• Stanford claimed a 3-0 series win at Utah on May 4-6 – the Cardinal set a program record with 28 hits in a 25-5 win in Game 2, taking over first place in the Pac-12 with UCLA being swept by Arizona.
• The Cardinal struck out a season-high 15 in a 5-2 win over San Francisco on May 1.
• After dropping the series opener, 4-3, Stanford captured the final two games against California for a 2-1 series win on April 26-28. The Cardinal erupted for 14 runs in Game 2, including 10 in the third inning, moving into a tie with UCLA at 14-4 atop the Pac-12 standings.
• Stanford extended its win streak to eight with a 5-2 win over Pacific on April 24.
• No. 2 Stanford made it seven in a row with a three-game sweep of Arizona last week in Tucson. The Cardinal came from behind in all three games, starting with Game 1 – The Cardinal erupted for five runs in the seventh inning after trailing, 2-0 for most of the contest. In Game 2, Stanford twice came from behind, ultimately overcoming a 6-3 deficit in the bottom of the ninth with five runs – the Wildcats plated a run in the bottom half but Brendan Beck shut the door with his first career save before Stanford's emphatic 7-2 win on Sunday.
• The Cardinal made it four in a row with a three-game sweep of Arizona State on April 13-15. The Cardinal won by scores of 3-1, 11-6 and 10-3 – Andrew Daschbach led the Cardinal with two home runs, and Nico Hoerner had six hits in the series.
• Stanford returned to Sunken Diamond after a four-game road trip with a 7-2 win over UC Davis on April 10. It was the Cardinal's 18th straight Tuesday win, a streak that dates to 2014.
• The Cardinal dropped its first series of the season, 2-1, at UCLA on April 6-8. Andrew Daschbach led Stanford with three home runs on the series, including two in Game 2.
• Stanford defeated Santa Clara, 16-8, on April 3 to improve to 22-3. Brendan Beck (4-0) earned the win in six solid innings, and Andrew Daschbach and Kyle Stowers each homered.
• After falling behind, 3-1, the Cardinal surged back with a two-run home run from Tim Tawa and a go-ahead RBI single from Nico Hoerner to defeat Gonzaga, 4-3, on April 2.
• Stanford improved to 5-1 in Pac-12 play with a 2-1 series win over Oregon. The Cardinal won the final two games after dropping the opener.
• The Cardinal kept its momentum going with a 3-0 win over San Diego on March 27 – Brendan Beck, Jacob Palisch, Will Matthiessen and Jack Little combined to allow three hits.
• Stanford outscored USC, 34-2, across a three-game sweep on March 23-25. Tristan Beck, Kris Bubic and Erik Miller were each fantastic in wins, and Stanford's pitching staff surrendered 15 hits all weekend.
• The Cardinal claimed an emphatic 3-1 series win at No. 23 Texas on March 8-11. Stanford dropped the opener, 8-6, before dominating the final three games by scores of 7-1, 9-3 and 11-1.
• Stanford continued its winning start to the season with a 3-1 series win over Michigan, highlighted by Tim Tawa's walk-off, three-run home run in Game 2, a 3-2 win. The Cardinal lost its first contest of the season, 5-0, bouncing back with a 7-4 win in Sunday's finale.
• Stanford improved to 8-0 on the season with a four-game sweep of Rice on Feb. 22-25.
• The Cardinal made it four in a row to start the year with a 3-2 win at UC Davis on Feb. 19.
• No. 13 Stanford opened the season with a three-game sweep over No. 17 Cal State Fullerton. Tristan Beck earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors in his first start in 630 days after missing his sophomore season through injury.

A New Era
David Esquer was named Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball on June 16, 2017. Esquer is the 21st head coach in program history, succeeding Mark Marquess, who retired after 41 years at the helm.
• Esquer served as an assistant under Marquess from 1991-96 before spending the past 18 seasons as the head coach at Cal, where he was the 2011 National Coach of the Year and led the Golden Bears to five NCAA Regionals and the 2011 College World Series.
• Esquer accrued a 525-467-2 (.528) record at Cal, mentoring 81 Major League draft picks and 13 All-Americans.