Austin Slater continued his torrid pace with two hits and two RBI to help Stanford continue its winning ways with an 8-2 nonconference baseball victory over visiting Santa Clara on Tuesday night at Sunken Diamond.
Wayne Taylor hit a two-run home run in the fourth as part of a five-run outburst as the Cardinal (22-20) won for the 11th time in 15 games to push its way back into the conversation for postseason play.
"At this point in the season every game is the most important game of the year," Taylor said. "That is how we treated tonight."
Stanford looks to continue its run at Arizona this weekend, with a three-game series against the Wildcats scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Friday.
Zach Hoffpauir and Dominic Jose each had two hits and drove in a run. Tommy Edman also drove in a run in support of another solid pitching effort by the Cardinal pitching staff.
Brett Hanewick (2-4) pitched four innings, allowing a run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six. Marcus Brakeman, Chris Viall and Sam Lindquist combined to keep the Broncos at bay over the final five innings. The pitchers allowed a combined one run on three hits.
Slater has 11 hits in his past 23 at bats and leads the Cardinal with a .333 batting average and 50 hits. He also has a team-best 28 RBI and five doubles.
Hoffpauir has seven hits in his last 13 at bats and has driven in four runs. He's moved into second on the team with a .296 batting average.
Stanford opened the scoring in the first on a Broncos fielding error, allowing Edman to score an unearned run in the first.
Edman and Jose each singled home in the second to give Stanford a 3-0 edge.
Palo Alto grad T.J. Braff singled home a run in the third to pull Santa Clara within 3-1 but the Cardinal scored five times in the fourth to take charge of the contest.
Taylor hit his second home run of the season to spark Stanford's rally.
"It was actually a hit and run on that play," Taylor said. "I got a good pitch and was able to put the bat on it. We had a good wind tonight too; it helped me blowing out to left."
Slater drove in two with a single and Hoffpauir added an RBI single.