John P. Lozano/isiphotos.com

Long Balls Back Williams

STANFORD, Calif. – Senior Tim Tawa connected for a pair of home runs to back a strong pitching effort from junior Alex Williams as No. 7 Stanford (34-14) defeated North Dakota State (41-18) 9-1 to open play from the Stanford Regional and Sunken Diamond.

Tawa broke a 1-1 game with his first homer of the day in the fourth before connecting for a three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh to extend the Cardinal lead to 8-1.

The native of West Linn, Ore. finished the game 3 for 4 with three runs scored, his eighth and ninth homers of the season, and four RBIs. The multi-homer game is the third of Tawa's career, including his second of the season (March 28 vs. Fresno State).

The Cardinal launched four home runs to match a season-high, with Tommy Troy and Kody Huff also homering in the victory.

Troy's solo shot off the batter's eye in centerfield, his seventh of the year, was Stanford's first hit of the game and handed Stanford the 1-0 advantage after three innings.

Huff followed Tawa's homer in the fourth with a two-run shot of his own. The round-tripper was his third of the season.

The home runs proved plenty enough support for Williams as the right-hander dealt seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out nine batters. Williams improved to 3-2 with the victory.

Freshmen Drew Dowd and Brandt Pancer each logged a scoreless inning of relief to secure the victory.

Bennett Hostetler provided the only damage for NDSU, connecting for his ninth home run of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.

Bison starter Max Loven was saddled with the loss after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander dropped to 3-3 with the decision.

The Cardinal will now face the winner of UC Irvine and Nevada at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the winner's bracket.