STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford sophomore left-handed pitcher Kris Bubic struck out 11 batters over eight shutout innings and the Cardinal hit four home runs and scored in seven of eight innings in a 10-0 win on Thursday night in the NCAA Regional at Sunken Diamond.
The No. 1 seed in the region and No. 8 national seed, Stanford (41-14) advances to face No. 2-seed Cal State Fullerton on Friday night. Sacramento State (32-28) will play in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Friday against third-seeded BYU, which lost to Cal State Fullerton, 13-2, earlier Thursday.
"I thought Kris Bubic was outstanding tonight and had one of the best outings we've seen against us all year long," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "I was proud of the way (Justin Dillon) kept us in the game but we just couldn't get going offensively. Really credit Stanford, they're rolling right now and they're going to be tough to beat."
Playing in their second ever Div. I NCAA Regional, Sacramento State saw its eight-game winning streak come to a close after winning its last four games of the regular season before sweeping four games to win the WAC Tournament. Stanford now has an eight-game winning streak and won for the 22nd time in its last 24 games.
Dillon, a senior making possibly his last start as a Hornet, allowed just six hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 5.2 innings but was tagged with five earned runs. Stanford scored single runs in the first, second, third, and fourth innings with a pair of solo home runs. Dillon retired the side in order in the fifth inning but in the sixth the Cardinal scored a run on a wild pitch before Dillon exited.
In his first NCAA Tournament game freshman Ricky Martinez was 2-for-3 with a double. Ian Dawkins, Vinny Esposito, and Andrew McWilliam all had singles, with Dawkins reaching base for the 23rd consecutive game. Senior Chad Perry pitched 1.1 innings of relief and became the first pitcher in Div. I program history to make 100 career pitching appearances.
The Hornets did have scoring chances against Bubic. After his double Martinez reached third with two away in the third inning but was stranded. In the fourth inning Esposito singled with one out and James Outman lined a shot to the left side of the infield but third baseman Jesse Kuet caught the ball and doubled off Esposito at first.
In the eighth inning singles by McWilliam and Martinez put runners on the corners with two away but Bubic got the final out to close his eight scoreless innings. Stanford added one run in the sixth, scored four times in the seventh, and once more in the eighth.
Bubic allowed just five hits and did not walk a batter. Quinn Brodey was 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, 2 RBIs, and 4 runs scored. Matt Winaker and Jack Klein also homered for the Cardinal, who scored their 10 runs on just 13 hits and one walk.
Sacramento State and BYU have met just once before in the Div. I era, a 16-2 Hornet home win 2008. The Cougars won the West Coast Conference (WCC) title and are 37-20 this season.