Zach Grech and three relievers combined on a four-hitter, Kyle Stowers homered and drove in three runs and third-ranked Stanford beat visiting BYU 5-1 in a nonconference baseball game Tuesday.
Stowers' two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth helped write a finish to another superbly pitched game for the Cardinal (40-8), which hosts Washington State in a three-game set beginning Friday at 6 p.m. Stanford's annual fireworks show follows.
Zach Grech/Stanford Athleics
"Midweek games are easy to lose, and it's a testament to this team's competitiveness," Stanford coach David Esquer said. "There's some great leadership on this team; no one takes a day off, and they haven't taken these Tuesday games lightly. All that matters is taking care of business and finding ways to win."
Stowers finished 3-for-4, launching his ninth home run of the season off the scoreboard in the eighth inning to bump Stanford's lead to 5-1. Nico Hoerner added two hits, one run and one RBI, and Andrew Daschbach scored twice while going 1-for-4.
Grech (3-0) got the win, with Austin Weiermiller, Will Matthiessen and Jacob Palisch, who picked up his fourth save, combining to give up an unearned run on four hits.
Stanford plated three runs in the bottom of the third, all unearned after a fielding error at third base. Hoerner's single scored Beau Branton before Stowers singled to score Hoerner. Daschbach then scored while Stowers was caught in a rundown between first and third to end the inning.
The Cougars (21-26) plated a run in the top of the seventh on a fielder's choice -- it was unearned after Brock Hale, who eventually scored, reached base on a strikeout and passed ball. Stowers restored Stanford's lead in the bottom of the eighth, sending a 1-1 pitch beyond the wall in right center.
"Great job by our pitching staff today," said Esquer. "Grech came in on short notice after [Brendan Beck threw his innings on Sunday, and it was a superb effort from start to finish from all of our arms."
No. 8 Stanford will compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, to be held Friday through Sunday, June 1-3, in West Windsor, New Jersey.
After earning an automatic qualifier for placing third at the Pac-12 Championships, the Cardinal will field a varsity eight and second varsity eight in the championship regatta. Stanford is one of 24 teams in the IRA field, which is comprised of 17 automatic qualifiers and seven at-large berths.
Stanford is a part of the 24-boat field in the varsity eight, and the 22-boat field in the second varsity eight.
The IRA Championships will be held at Richard J. Coffee Mercer County Park at Mercer Lake, hosted by the Princeton National Rowing Association. The regatta returns to Mercer Lake for the first time since 2016.
In last year's regatta, the Cardinal varsity eight placed second in its final.
Stanford earned its 10th consecutive bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships when selections were announced Tuesday.
Stanford has three boats entered in the competition: the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. The varsity eight earned a No 2 seed in Heat 2 among Navy, USC, Iowa and Washington State at 6:12 a.m on Friday, May 25.
The second varsity eight was named the No. 7 seed and will race in Heat 2 at 7 a.m. alongside California, Wisconsin, Gonzaga and Washington State. Stanford's varsity four will be a nine seed in the championship regatta, racing in Heat 1 with USC, Washington, Brown and Gonzaga at 7:36 a.m.
The Cardinal was one of 22 teams overall and one of 11 at-large bids to make up the NCAA Championship field. The NCAA Division I Rowing Championships will take place Friday through Sunday, May 25-27, at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida.
Stanford is coming off a third-place finish in the Pac-12 Championships this past Sunday at Lake Natoma in Gold River, California. The Cardinal's varsity eight earned a silver finish, while the second varsity eight, third varsity eight and fourth varsity eight each earned bronze.
Last season, the Cardinal varsity eight crew placed second, with Stanford finishing sixth as a team. The Cardinal's 105 points gave Stanford its fourth consecutive top-six finish in the NCAA Championships.
This is the 13th all-time appearance and 10th consecutive year Stanford has earned a bid to the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal last won the team title in 2009.