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Photo courtesy StanfordPhoto.com
Round One
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/03/2014

Stanford (4-7) at California (8-2)
March 4, 2014 • 6 p.m. PT
Berkeley, Calif. • Evans Diamond (2,500)
Pac-12 Networks • KZSU 90.1 FM

STANFORD, Calif. – Mark Marquess will continue his search for win No. 1,500 when Stanford travels across the Bay to take on California Tuesday evening. The head coach in his 38th season will become the sixth coach in NCAA history to break the 1,500-win mark if the Cardinal can come up with a win on Pac-12 Networks at 6 p.m.

Stanford, which battles California five times in 2014, will have to get its bats going in order to beat the Bears, who own the Pac-12's best ERA (1.88) and have produced three shutouts entering Tuesday. “We didn’t do much with the bats,” said Marquess after the Vanderbilt series, as the Cardinal was limited to four runs over three games.

Alex Blandino and Austin Slater have highlighted the lineup with hitting streaks of nine and eight games, respectively. Blandino, who is hitting a team-high .385 had his run end Saturday, but Slater (.368/.474/.381) is still on his career-best streak.

Freshman Alex Dunlap was Stanford’s best hitter last week, as he raised his batting average to .500 (7-14) with a 5-for-9 showing during four games. “He has really played well,” Marquess said. “He has gotten hits when he has played, got on base and got a couple sacrifices down, so he has done a really good job.”

Stanford will look for the staff to limit the number of free passes issued to Cal with Tyler Thorne getting the start on the mound. The Cardinal was doomed by four walks and a hit batter that produced two runs after the score was tied 2-2 in the eighth inning of the Sunday game at Vanderbilt.

The first thing Marquess said of the series was, “we walked too many people.” He continued, “we pitched a little bit better, the freshmen pitched better, but still too many walks.”

Freshmen have received the starting nod on the mound in each game this season and have thrown 61.2% of innings. The Cardinal remains the only team in the nation to pitch a freshman starter in every game.

Tuesday's game will be broadcast on all seven Pac-12 Networks with Ted Robinson and J.T. Snow on the call. 

Stanford returns to Klein Field at Sunken Diamond for a three-game set against Kansas (11-1) this weekend. Friday’s series opener begins at 6 p.m. PT.


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