Stanford (1-2) started the year with back-to-back losses against the nationally ranked Owls, but bounced back for a 12-3 win Sunday afternoon in the series finale. The Cardinal used 14 hits, three more than the team had in the first two games combined, to dismantle Rice.
Brett Michael Doran shined in the third game. He had three hits, including a home run, as he set a new career high with seven total bases. Doran enters Tuesday’s contest as the Cardinal’s leading hitter at .571 (4-7).
Wayne Taylor and Zach Hoffpauir also homered in the third game. Hoffpauir’s second blast of the year equaled his total hit count from his freshman year. He leads the team with two homers and five RBI.
Stanford expects to start Tyler Thorne on Tuesday for what would be the Cardinal’s fourth straight freshman starter to open the season. Thorne threw 0.2 innings and surrendered one run as the first pitcher out of Stanford’s bullpen in the season opener.
The Cardinal is the only team in the country to have started a freshman every game this season and it’s the first time Mark Marquess, The Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball, has ever given the ball to three freshmen in the team’s first three games in his 38 years. Stanford is also tied for the nation’s lead with Rutgers for having used a total of six true freshman pitchers in 2014.
Stanford travels to Austin, Texas, for a three-game set with the Longhorns this weekend.
• Stanford dropped two out of three to Rice to start the season for the second straight year.
• The series was the only one in the country between two teams ranked in USA Today’s top 25.
• Stanford came in ranked No. 25, while Rice was No. 15.
• The Cardinal had more hits in the third game of the series (14) than the first two combined (11) en route to a 12-5 win.
• Nine freshmen saw action for Stanford during the first series, including six pitchers.
• The Cardinal is tied with Rutgers for the most true freshmen pitchers used in 2014.
• Rutgers has used a total of nine freshmen pitchers, but three are redshirt freshmen.
• Stanford was the only team in the country to start freshmen pitchers in the first two games and the first three games.
• Mark Marquess gave the starting nod to three freshmen for the first time in his 38 years.
• Cal Quantrill became Stanford’s first freshman starting pitcher on opening day since Mike Mussina in 1988.
• The 1988 team went on to win the Cardinal’s second straight NCAA title
• Stanford has used the same starters at every position except catcher, left field and designated hitter.
• Career highs accomplished during Sunday’s 12-3 win against Rice (freshmen not included):
• Brett Michael Doran - Seven total bases; three RBI (tied); three hits (tied)
• Drew Jackson - Six assists
• Danny Diekroeger - Three runs scored (tied)
• Former Stanford assistant Dave Nakama is in his second year as head coach at San Jose State.
• He served two stints as an assistant coach at Stanford (1997-98, 2002-09).
• In Nakama’s 10 seasons at Stanford, the Cardinal won four Pac-10 championships, five NCAA Regional crowns and appeared in the College World Series four times (1997, 2002, 2003, and 2008).
• Nakama was an assistant when current Stanford assistant Ryan Garko was a player for the Cardinal.
• Last year, Stanford beat the Spartans 10-8 (April 9) and 17-2 (April 23) with the first meeting being at Municipal Stadium and the second taking place on The Farm.