Beck Twirls Gem to Take Opener
STANFORD, Calif. – Senior Brendan Beck turned in a dominant performance for the Cardinal on Friday, logging 7 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out 10 as Stanford (18-5, 5-2 Pac-12) posted a 6-2 win over No. 17 UCLA (16-10, 5-5 Pac-12) from Sunken Diamond.
The right-hander allowed a one-out home run to Matt McLain in the first inning before settling in to post zeroes in the second through seventh. Improving to 5-0 with the victory, Beck had strings of six and eight straight batters retired over his body of work.
Three consecutive one-out singles in the eighth inning spelled the end of Beck's day, but fifth-year senior Zach Grech entered the 5-2 game and retired the next two hitters to put out the fire. Grech would go on to close out the victory in the ninth to secure his Pac-12-leading ninth save of the year.
As it has all season, Stanford used the long ball to back Beck. Freshman Drew Bowser erased the early 1-0 deficit with a two-run homer in the fifth inning. The round-tripper was Bowser's second of the season and came on the heels of a leadoff double from Nick Brueser.
Brueser finished the game 3 for 4 with two doubles and the run scored.
UCLA starter Zach Pettway had allowed just one hit over the first four innings of work, but the Cardinal tagged him for three runs in that fifth inning – capped by a Tim Tawa RBI-double to centerfield to chase home Kody Huff.
Huff finished the contest 2 for 3 with two runs scored while hitting out of the eighth spot in the order.
Stanford would get to Pettway again in the seventh as Adam Crampton connected on a two-run homer to left field. For Crampton, the home run was the second of the season.
Pettway would eventually be saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight, but dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
After UCLA plated the run in the eighth, junior Vincent Martinez got it right back for the Cardinal in the home half. The native of San Marcos, Calif. crushed a no-doubt home run to left field for his fifth round-tripper of the season to push the Stanford advantage to 6-2.
Stanford will look to secure the series win on Saturday as the two teams clash once again at 2:05 p.m.