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Opening Day Homers Guide Cardinal

Feb 25, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. – Powered by four home runs and a strong start from senior Brendan Beck, Stanford (1-0) secured a 10-7 victory over Santa Clara (1-3) on Opening Day Thursday from Sunken Diamond.

The four home runs are the most for the Cardinal since hitting four against Sacramento State on June 2, 2019 in the NCAA Regionals.

Junior Christian Robinson was the first to connect on a long ball for the Cardinal, launching an opposite-field grand slam in the bottom of the first inning. The grand slam, Robinson's first career home run and the first grand slam for the Cardinal since Duke Kinamon's on April 28, 2019 against Arizona, came with two out as the Cardinal hung five two-out runs on the board in the opening frame.

A pair of two-run homers highlighted the fourth inning for Stanford, as Brett Barrera and Tim Tawa each connected for a long ball. Barrera sent his homer off the batter's eye in centerfield, while Tawa hit a towering blast that hugged the foul line in left.

The home run was the first of Barrera's career, while Tawa's was the 17th of his career – the most for a Pac-12 team among all active players in the conference. Both players finished with a pair of hits and two RBIs.

Leading 9-2 headed to the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Brock Jones added an insurance run with a solo homer to right field to stretch the lead to 10-2.

After surrendering a two-run home run to Jake MacNichols in the first inning, Beck settled in nicely to eventually log 6 1/3 innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with nine strikeouts. Beck allowed just one hit from the second inning through the sixth. The right-hander, who made his third consecutive Opening Day start, picked up the victory and moved to 1-0 on the season.

Stanford's pitching staff did not allow a free pass, as Beck, Max Meier and Zach Grech each took the hill for the Cardinal. Grech entered a 10-7 game with two out in the seventh and carried the Cardinal the rest of the way to earn his fifth career save. The right-hander did not allow a baserunner over the final 2 1/3 innings while striking out three.

Stanford and Santa Clara will continue a four-game series on Friday as the series shifts to Santa Clara's Stephen Schott Stadium for a 6 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore Quinn Mathews is slated to get the start for Stanford, opposed by right-handerr Freddie Erlandson for the Broncos.