Cardinal Strikes Early to Secure Series
STANFORD, Calif. – Securing a series win over No. 17 UCLA on Saturday, Stanford (19-5, 6-2 Pac-12) scored six runs in the first inning to set the tone in an 11-6 victory over the Bruins (16-11, 5-6 Pac-12) from Sunken Diamond.
Senior Nick Brueser led the way for the Cardinal, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a pair of homers – his first career multi-home run game. The round-trippers were the fourth and fifth of the year for Brueser.
Stanford scored six runs on six hits in the first inning, with the big blow coming from freshman Drew Bowser. The Cardinal third baseman came to the plate with two men aboard and fell behind 0-2 before eventually evening the count at 2-2 and connecting for a three-run homer on the eighth pitch of the at bat.
Bowser finished the game 2 for 5 with three RBIs.
Stanford opened the game with five straight singles to put UCLA starter Jesse Bergin on the ropes early. Bergin managed to record just one out in the game, ultimately being saddled with the loss and dropping to 3-2 after being charged with six runs on six hits.
Stanford used six pitchers in the victory, beginning with starter Quinn Mathews. The left-hander lasted two innings and was charged with four runs on six hits as UCLA refused to roll over on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Brandt Pancer was credited with the win and moved to 4-1 after tossing two innings before handing the ball over to Joey Dixon. Dixon logged 1 1/3 scoreless before Tommy O'Rourke contributed 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts. Senior Jacob Palisch pitched a scoreless eighth, eventually passing the baton to closer Zach Grech for a 1-2-3 ninth in a non-save situation.
With three more home runs on Saturday, Stanford has now connected for a Pac-12-best 39 through 24 games this season.
Stanford will look to sweep the Bruins on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. The series win over UCLA is the first for the Cardinal since 2016.