Beck Shines in Opener
STANFORD, Calif. – Senior Brendan Beck turned in another impressive start to open Pac-12 play and a three-game series with Utah on Friday night, matching career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts to guide Stanford (11-2, 1-0 Pac-12) to a 4-2 win over the Utes (3-9, 0-1 Pac-12) from Sunken Diamond.
Beck dealt eight innings, allowing just two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out 11 Utah hitters. Friday marked the third time in Beck's career that he has gone eight innings, including the first since February 28, 2020 vs. Grand Canyon. He also reached 11 strikeouts for the third time in his career, including the first time since striking out 11 against Kansas State on March 6, 2020.
Beck got through the eighth with the game tied at 2-2, but Stanford's offense plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to push him into the win column for the third time this year (3-0).
Sophomore Kody Huff broke the stalemate in the eighth inning, punching an RBI-single into left field to bring home Tim Tawa and hand Stanford a 3-2 advantage. Freshman Drew Bowser added an insurance run with a single later in the frame, capping a 3 for 4 night that included a double.
The three-hit game was the first of Bowser's career.
Stanford grabbed an early 1-0 lead by way of a run in the second as Nick Brueser contributed a two-out RBI-single to plate Vincent Martinez.
Martinez would finish the game 2 for 3 with the run scored and a walk.
Beck did not allow a hit until the sixth inning as Vinny Zavolta homered to left field to tie the game at one apiece. The Utes would add a second run on a wild pitch in that frame, claiming a 2-1 lead, but the advantage proved short lived.
Sophomore Brock Jones responded quickly by homering in the home half of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. The round-tripper was Jones' team-leading sixth of the year.
Following the two-run eighth, fifth-year senior Zach Grech entered to pitch the ninth. The right-hander limited the Utes to just an infield single as he converted his national-best sixth save of the year.
Pitching opposite Beck on Friday night, Utah's Justin Kelly logged seven innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits and two walks to take a no decision. Ian MacIver was saddled with the loss after being charged with two runs on two hits and a walk in the eighth. The loss dropped the reliever to 0-1 on the season.
Stanford and Utah will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 2:05 p.m.