Stanford's Brandon Wulff homers. (Eric Sorenson)


Stanford Doubles Down On Cal State Fullerton


FULLERTON, Calif. — Man alive. This was a big big sweep for the Stanford Cardinal. Very impressive. Head coach Dave Esquer is always a leader who tries to challenge his team as often as he can in non-conference play and taking his team down to Fullerton early in the season is certainly part of that M.O. And it paid off tonight as the Cardinal took a pair of games from the Titans, a 4-3 nail biter and an 8-1 blowout.

Check back with us in June and see how impressive this sweep looks.

It could be argued, but the second and third-best college baseball programs in the West would be Stanford and Cal State Fullerton, certainly since the turn of the century at least. The Cardinal and Titans have played each other 112 times since 1979, with Stanford winning 62 of them and Fullerton taking 50.

But at the same time take this DH sweep and series-locking wins with a sizable grain of salt. Because in the last two years, the Titans have lost the regular season series to Stanford and then won the more important matchup, eliminating the Trees from their own home Regional.

Tonight was a new chapter in the rivalry as the Cardinal and Titans played a doubleheader, due to expected rain on Saturday. Before we get to what I saw at Goodwin Field, let’s look at a bigger view of things in our sport on this Friday.

A few things I noticed about the day in college baseball.

– The Blowout.
Oh you KNOW the score that jumped off the page to everyone in college baseball. Texas 8, LSU 1.

Other than this Stanford-Fullerton DH, the only other matchup of ranked teams was No. 25 Illinois taking on No. 20 Coastal Carolina and No. 2 LSU going to No. 22 Texas. Well, neither game was worth its price of admission… unless you were the home team that is. Both games were woodshed jobs as the Chanticleers blew out the Illini 11-3 and even more stunning, the Longhorns crushed the Tigers 8-1. This game being played in front of a hostile Longhorn crowd, the Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one inning, but from then on, it was all Horns. Their two pitchers – Bryce Elder and Kamron Fields – held the nation’s fourth-best offense to just four hits, while striking out eight (seven by Elder). Masen Hibbeler and Duke Ellis both collected two RBI to lead the Burnt Orange offense.

Check out Kendall Rogers’ write up from this Friday night showdown…

– The Next Mize
Auburn’s Tanner Burns did his best Casey Mize impression and because of it, he helped the Tigers to a 5-0 skunking of Cincinnati. In the win, Burns matched Mize’s school record with 15 punch outs in the game as he went the distance, giving up just two hits and not a single walk along the way. Mize may be missed from last year’s squad, but Burns is doing his best to make up for it by pitching is arse off.

– Damn you Bluejays
Creighton took leads in both games of a chilly doubleheader at Wichita State, but a four-run sixth inning in both games would supply the Shockers with a pair of come-from-behind wins, 7-5 and 4-3. It’s as if Gene Stephenson is back in the dugout tormenting the poor boys from my home town.

– If Lodolo becomes Lodolo, oh my.
I agree with Mike Rooney on this one, if TCU ace Nick Lodolo pitches like the first round draftee he was coming out of high school, this Frogs team becomes doubly dangerous to make it to the second week in Omaha. Today, he threw 13 Ks and allowed just two hits in 7.0 innings of work in the 10-6 win over Houston. When Lodolo exited the game, the Frogs led 10-1.

– If I had a “Three Down” for today, Rutgers would lead that charge.
With today’s game at cold and soggy Old Dominion tied 2-2 and with men on 1st and 3rd, the Scarlet Knights brought in Tommy Genuario to shut down the rally. But before he even threw a pitch to the next batter, Genuario threw a pick off throw to 1st base to nab the runner leaning off. Problem was, there was nobody covering first base, so the winning run waltzed home with the winning run to score. ODU 3-2 final. Ouch.

Monarchs head coach Chris Finwood would say afterward, “That’s a crappy way to end a good ballgame but we’ll take it.”

Another great early season showdown between these two traditional powers. But the Trees took the fight to Fullerton with more vigor.


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