Stanford Cleans Up Yearly Awards

Pac-12 All-Conference Honors Opens in a new window

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford, the No. 1 seed in this week's Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, won four of the five major Pac-12 yearly awards - in addition to the batting champion - and put 12 players on All-Pac-12 teams, it was announced on Tuesday following a vote by Pac-12 coaches.
Stanford's Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer won Coach of the Year for the second straight year after guiding Stanford to the 2023 Pac-12 regular season championship – it's second in as many seasons. The selection is his third at the helm on The Farm after first winning the award in his inaugural season of 2018. The Coach of the Year is the 12th in program history after Mark Marquess earned nine in his tenure at Stanford. The selection is Esquer's fourth overall after being named Pac-10 Coach of the Year at California in 2001.
Junior Alberto Rios was named Player of the Year, becoming the first Cardinal to win the award since Jed Lowrie in 2004. It is the ninth selection in Stanford history. Rios has had a breakout year for the Cardinal after appearing in only seven games as a pinch-hitter last spring. The junior started 49 of 50 games played primarily in the outfield and became a powerhouse at the plate for the Cardinal. His .400 batting average ranked third in the conference and top-30 in the nation, while he was top-five in the league in slugging percentage (2nd, .742), on-base percentage (3rd, .504), RBI (2nd, 63), hits (4th, 76) and home runs (5th, 16). The Bellflower, Calif., native collected 21 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games and is riding a 15-game hitting streak heading into postseason play. Twice this year, Rios drove in nine runs or more in a game, with his 11 RBI in Stanford's 24-9 victory over CSU Bakersfield on March 5 setting a new Cardinal record and matching the Pac-12 record that was set by UCLA's Bill Scott vs. Washington in 1999. The Golden Spikes Award semifinalist earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks on May 8 and May 15 and was the only conference player to earn the award more than once in 2023.
Senior Quinn Mathews secured Stanford's third consecutive Pitcher of the Year honor, following in the footsteps of Brendan Beck (2021) and Alex Williams (2022). Electing to return to Stanford for his senior season after being drafted in the 19th round of the 2022 MLB draft, Matthews was key to the Cardinal's second straight Pac-12 title run, going 7-3 this season with a 3.20 ERA in 98.1 innings pitched. The lefty has 121 strikeouts, which is the best in the Pac-12 and ranks third in the country, and enters the postseason third in the league in ERA and opponent batting average (.225) and leads all Pac-12 pitchers in innings pitched. He has lasted five-plus innings in every start this season and has gone at least seven in his last nine straight. In Pac-12 play alone, Mathews pitched into the seventh in nine of 11 outings, which included a complete-game effort against Washington an April 21. During one stretch this season, the Aliso Viejo, Calif. native struck out 10 batters or more in six consecutive outings from March 31 - May 5 and walked just eight. He also earned a Collegiate Baseball Pitcher of the Week honor on April 10 after striking out 13 in a win over California on April 6, matching his career high. Mathews is the 10th Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in program history.
Freshman Malcolm Moore is the sixth Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in program history, including the second in as many seasons after Braden Montgomery was lauded a year ago. Moore started all 51 games for the 2023 Champions in his first season on The Farm and quickly became one of the top offensive threats in the league. He recorded a .300 batting average and was the top freshman in the Pac-12 in homers (12) and RBIs (50). His 14 multi-RBI games ranks second on the team behind only Rios, while his 19 multi-hit games are sixth-best among Cardinal hitters.
It took until the final game of the regular season, but Tommy Troy was named the Pac-12 Batting Champion for 2023 after finishing the regular season with a .404 average. The junior went 4-for-4 with a double and five runs scored in a 15-5 win to clinch the series sweep over Washington State in Pullman, with his infield in the ninth inning pushing him over the edge for the top average in the league. Troy finished the regular season with 61 runs scored, 14 doubles, four triples, 13 homers and 43 RBIs. He compiled 28 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI contests in the regular season. This is the second straight year a Cardinal has garnered the batting title after Brett Barrera was the batting average king a year ago.
In addition to the yearly award winners, 12 Cardinal players earned All-Pac-12 honors, with Ryan Bruno, Carter Graham, Mathews, Montgomery, Rios and Troy earning a spot on the first team. Drew Bowser, Owen Cobb, Joey Dixon, Drew Dowd, Moore and Eddie Park each landed on the honorable mention list.
Bruno has pitched to a 2-1 record with five saves and a 5.40 ERA over 28 1/3 innings and 24 appearances. The left-hander has pitched to a 2.00 ERA (4 ER in 18.1 IP) with 30 strikeouts while allowing seven hits over his last 13 appearances headed into the Pac-12 Tournament.
Graham, a 2022 All-American and All-Pac-12 first team pick a year ago, is one of the hottest hitters in the nation entering the Pac-12 Tournament, carrying an 18-game hitting streak. Graham has compiled a .323 average with 56 runs scored, 14 doubles, 14 homers and 62 RBIs while holding down first base for the Cardinal. Graham earned D1Baseball's National Player of the Week on May 15 after going 12-for-21 (.571) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs over four games against Santa Clara and Arizona.
Montgomery, the 2022 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, has had another strong season on The Farm as a sophomore, hitting .333 with 59 runs scored, 12 doubles, a triple, 14 homers and 50 RBIs. Montgomery launched seven homers and drove in 30 runs in Pac-12 play and has reached in all but five games this year. He has compiled 20 multi-hit games and hit safely in 37 of 51 games this season.
Bowser has hit .281 with 31 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 38 RBIs over his junior campaign. In Pac-12 play, the native of Los Angeles launched six homers, doubled five times and drove in 22 runs while hitting .300 (33-for-110). Bowser has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games, including stringing together a 12-game hit streak from April 23 to May 14.
Cobb, Stanford's starting shortstop throughout the year, is hitting .330 with 33 runs scored, six doubles, three triples, six homers and 30 RBIs. He strung together an eight-game hit streak from February 18-March 3 and has hit safely in 35 of 49 games played this year. Cobb has collected multiple hits in four of his last seven, and 18 of Stanford's 49 games he's played overall.

Dixon has turned in a strong junior campaign as a starter for the Cardinal this year, amassing a 6-0 record with a 4.87 ERA over 17 appearances and 11 starts. The right-hander has logged 68 1/3 innings while striking out 73 batters.
Dowd leads the Pac-12 in victories with nine, sporting a 9-2 record with a 4.41 ERA and two saves over 23 appearances and three starts for the Cardinal. The left-hander has logged 49 innings while striking out 67 batters.
Stanford's leadoff hitter, Park has batted .329 with 52 runs scored, 18 doubles, a triple, five homers and 40 RBIs. Park is reaching at a .402 clip. He has hit safely in 39 of 50 games this season while compiling 25 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI contests. Park hit .341 with 31 runs scored, 11 doubles, two homers and 19 RBIs in Pac-12 play.
In addition to their spots on the All-Conference team, Graham (first base) and Troy (third base) also earned All-Defensive Team selections.
Stanford will open its run at the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against California.