Hochstatter pitches Stanford to conference win over Huskies


Stanford gave starting pitcher John Hochstatter a four-run lead before he threw a pitch and he made it stand up in helping the Cardinal avoid a sweep with a 6-3 Pac-12 Conference win at Washington on Sunday.

"Hochstatter pitched another great game for us," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "To get six runs in the first three innings was good. It took a little pressure off of us."

The offense improved Hochstatter's cushion to 6-0 with two runs in the third after the four-run outbreak in the first. The six runs tied the Cardinal's best output in a Pac-12 game this season.

Hochstatter, who became the first non-freshman to start on the mound for Stanford (12-16, 4-8 Pac-12) this season, allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out seven.

Zach Hoffpauir recorded a season-high three hits to lead an eight-hit attack. Hoffpauir has seven multi-hit performances in the last 10 games and leads the team with 11 multi-hit games overall.

Stanford jumped on Washington starter Jeff Brigham (4-1) early in the count to produce a different outcome than the previous two days. Each of the Cardinal's first four hits came on the first pitch of an at-bat, as Stanford piled on four runs in Brigham's 14 first-inning pitches.

Alex Blandino, Austin Slater, Hoffpauir and Brant Whiting all had hits in the first. Slater drove in two on a single up the middle, before Whiting put a double on the left field line for two more Cardinal runs.

Slater also singled and came around to score in the fourth on an Alex Dunlap hit. It was the second run of the inning after Hoffpauir provided a sac fly to right.

Washington (24-7, 12-3 Pac-12) did all of its damage on two home runs. Robert Pehl hit a solo shot in the fourth and Austin Rei sent a two-run homer to left in the seventh, both off of Hochstatter.

The Huskies left just three runners on, as Hochstatter and reliever A.J. Vanegas, who recorded his third save, worked through the Huskies' lineup with little trouble.

The defense also helped Hochstatter, with two double plays and some flashy play. Blandino turned in a highlight-reel worthy diving play in the third (video) and Drew Jackson made a sprawling, leaping grab in the fifth.

The Cardinal has committed three errors over its last 11 games after another errorless outing.

Vanegas shut the door in the eighth and ninth by allowing just one hit. He struck out two.

Stanford is home for four games in five days next week. Saint Mary's visits Tuesday evening, before Arizona State comes to town for a three-game series beginning on Thursday.

Women's crew

Just about everything ended the way the No. 7 Stanford would have wanted on Sunday.

"We've been racing top notch competition for three weeks now, and this was another great look into what the NCAA field will be like," Stanford coach Yasmin Farooq said. "I am so proud of the effort by each of our boats. The mindset to learn and improve with each race made the weekend extremely valuable."

It was the final day of the Lake Natoma Invitational and Stanford was looking to sustain the momentum gained from great racing on Saturday. They would have to do so against No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 20 University of San Diego.

The Cardinal swept the three races to finish third in the team standings behind No. 1 Cal and No. 6 Brown.

The race that finished the sweep for Stanford was the varsity eight. It was a solid race from start to finish for the Cardinal as they crossed the finish line in 6:24.7, five seconds faster than Notre Dame and 15 seconds ahead of USD.

The first race of the day was the varsity four race. Right from the start, the Cardinal jumped out to a lead.

As the race went on Notre Dame tried to fight its way back. However, the Cardinal had built a big lead in the first 1,500 meters and would hold off the Fighting Irish for a victory.

Stanford (7:23.0) finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Notre Dame for its fifth win in seven races this spring.

"We were pretty pumped this morning to race and see if we could find our rhythm again," said sophomore Ellie Parker. "We came off the start in the lead which hasn't happened to us yet. We knew it was going to be a tough race and were prepared to fight in the back half. Notre Dame made a move, but we held it together and executed in the sprint."

The second varsity eight earned its fourth victory over a ranked team and did so in impressive fashion. Stanford shot out of the gate to gain the lead in the first 250 meters and by the 500-meter mark had already extended it to an open water advantage.

The Cardinal never let up and cruised to a near nine-second victory over the Fighting Irish. Stanford posted a time of 6:34.2.

"It was really exciting that we carried over the success from yesterday afternoon," said junior Amanda Lorei. "We made a lot of progress in the way we race. I think we learned a lot from facing stiff competition. We have a mature boat and that showed in how we handled tough racing situations."

Stanford will have a weekend off from racing before hosting USC in a dual meet on Saturday, April 26 at Redwood Shores.

Men's crew

No. 12 Stanford and host No. 18 Oregon State made the most of three boat races Sunday, with all three decided by three seconds or less.

"We had a working weekend with some fast racing at Washington on Saturday and three really close races against Oregon State," Cardinal coach coach Craig Amerkhanian said. "We led in all three races today and were disappointed that we lost two of them, but credit goes to Oregon State for fighting back on us. There was great effort by both teams."

The Cardinal varsity eight emerged victorious in the final race of the morning. Stanford posted a time of 5:49.49 after leading from start to finish. Oregon State followed the Cardinal across the finish line with a time of 5:51.95.

"Oregon State has the strongest crew they have had since I have been at Stanford and I feel like we have the most talent in our boat in my four years," Stanford senior Austin Hack said. "It was a good race and we continue to improve."

Stanford, still putting the pieces together, raced for the third consecutive weekend. The four freshmen in the varsity eight have seen a sharp learning curve.

"It is a big difference between high school and college rowing," said Hack. "The guys on our team with more experience are trying to bring the other guys along. We are learning to race our race and stay within ourselves."

The JV eight race went to Oregon State by a margin of just 2.1 seconds. Stanford led for the majority of the race, but the Beavers rallied late to overtake them in the final 20 meters.

Stanford fielded a frosh eight in the first race of the day. The group of newcomers squared off against Oregon State's 3V8. Just like the 2V8, the Cardinal freshmen were overtaken near the finish for the one-second victory. Stanford had a time of 6:06.64, while Oregon State posted a 6:05.61.

The Cardinal will be at home for the first time this season when they host the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

"It is always a great weekend when we are at home on the course we practice on all the time and see familiar faces," said Hack. "It is also fun to see teams we might not otherwise see."

Sand volleyball

The Stanford sand volleyball team defeated Sacramento State, 3-2, Sunday at Raney Sand Courts in Stockton, and then fell to host Pacific, 4-1.

Against the Hornets, Stanford (3-8) won at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 to pick up its third win of the season. Sophomore Madi Bugg and freshman Kelsey Humphreys started things off with a 21-13, 21-14 win over Lauren Aikels and Chelcy Motes at No. 3.

Sophomore Inky Ajanaku and junior Kyle Gilbert posted a 21-17, 21-19 win at No. 4 against the Hornets' Kendall LaVine and Morgan Stanley for a 2-0 lead in the match.

Junior Morgan Boukather and sophomore Megan McGehee clinched the win for the Cardinal at No. 5, defeating Courtney Dietrich and Lexie Skalbeck, 21-17, 21-19.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics


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