No. 22 Stanford Takes Opener at No. 12 UCLA
LOS ANGELES – Freshman Braden Montgomery launched a towering three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to highlight a 9-1 victory for No. 22 Stanford (19-10, 10-6 Pac-12) over No. 12 UCLA (23-10, 8-5 Pac-12) on Thursday to open a Pac-12 series.
Montgomery's homer, his eighth of the year, was the second for Stanford in the series opener, as Carter Graham connected for his team-leading ninth of the season in the third inning to hand Stanford a 3-1 advantage.
Senior Alex Williams settled in after allowing a first-inning unearned run on a sacrifice fly. The right-hander worked out of a few jams to eventually log five innings with eight strikeouts. Williams moved to 4-1 with the victory.
Sophomore Joey Dixon was outstanding out of the bullpen for Stanford, contributing three scoreless innings of relief while striking out two and allowing just one hit. With the Cardinal leading 9-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth, Cody Jensen entered and closed the door on the Bruins.
Stanford's offense stayed hot on Thursday night, plating nine runs on 15 hits. All but one starter collected a hit in the victory, including six with a pair.
Graham finished the game 2 for 4 with the homer, two runs scored and four RBIs. Montgomery's three-run homer came as part of a 2 for 5 night. Graham has now homered in back-to-back games, while Montgomery has connected for a homer in four of his last five.
The Cardinal got to UCLA starter Jake Brooks, tagging the right-hander for six runs on nine hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. Brooks did manage to record nine strikeouts before dropping to 6-3 with the loss.
Stanford will look to secure the series victory on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 as part of Jackie Robinson Day across baseball.