Brett Hanewich took the mound in what might have been a hopeless situation and allowed the Stanford baseball team to regain some momentum in an 11-6 setback to host Vanderbilt in the first game of the NCAA Super Regional in Nashville on Friday.
"I thought Hanewich really did a good job," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "I was very proud of him for the way he pitched for us."
Stanford and the Commodores (45-18) play game two of the best-of-three set Saturday at noon (ESPN2) with the Cardinal needing a win behind scheduled starter Cal Quantrill (7-5, 2.69) to force a third game Sunday.
John Hochstatter (10-3) had trouble finding the strike zone and was unable to record an out in the second inning. He allowed five runs on one hit and five walks. He struck out two of the nine batters he faced.
"He has pitched phenomenal, we wouldn't be here without him," Marquess said. "We just gave them too much early. You can't give a quality team like Vanderbilt as many free base runners as we did."
Vanderbilt added five more runs against Chris Viall before Hanewich, who threw 92 pitches, including 62 strikes, came in to settle things down.
Hanewich's performance allowed the Cardinal to preserve its bullpen for the rest of the weekend. He's allowed one earned run in 12 2/3 innings (0.71) during the postseason.
Stanford valiantly rallied to close the gap, with Wayne Taylor driving in two runs with a triple in the third against Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the Major League First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
Palo Alto resident Alex Blandino, a first-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds, singled against Beede to start the rally. Austin Slater followed with a single ahead of Taylor's two-out hit, which one-hopped the center field fence.
Slater was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the draft on Friday, the 238th player picked overall.
Menlo School grad Danny Diekroeger went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 10th round of the draft. Older brother Kenny Diekroeger is with the Kansas City Royals organization. Stanford reliever A.J. Vanegas went in the 11th round to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cardinal added four runs in the fifth, helped by walks to Tommy Edman and Diekroeger to start the inning. After an out, Slater was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Zach Hoffpauir singled to score one run and Brant Whiting followed with a sacrifice fly.
Dominic Jose singled, on a 0-2 pitch, into center field to drive in two more runs and end Beede's day.
"There is a lot of fight to Stanford," Commodores' relief pitcher Tyler Ferguson said. "We knew that. They came back to win a couple of games against Indiana. You have to play the game and not play the scoreboard."
Slater extended his hitting streak to 23 games, matching Kenny Diekroeger (2010) for the fifth-longest hitting streak for Stanford since 1988. Blandino has reached base in 29 straight games.
"It definitely put a sour taste in our mouths," said Diekroeger. "We're looking forward to coming out tomorrow."
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