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UCLA Drops Opener to Stanford

Apr 14, 2022
Ethan Gourson (photo: Eric Hurd)

LOS ANGELES – Sophomore right-hander Jake Brooks struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning, but No. 12 UCLA dropped a 9-1 decision in Thursday night's series opener against No. 11 Stanford.

The result marked the first loss at Jackie Robinson Stadium for the Bruins (23-10, 8-5 Pac-12) since Mar. 19 against Harvard. The Cardinal improved to 19-10, 10-6.

UCLA drew first blood in the game, plating a run in the bottom of the first. Graduate left fielder Jake Palmer – one of three Bruins to reach base multiple times on Thursday – opened that run-producing rally by wearing a 3-2 fastball to get on base. He was able to move to third after the Stanford right fielder kicked an Ethan Gourson ground single for an error, then scored on a sac fly to left from Kyle Karros.

The Bruins continued to grind out at-bats against Stanford starter Alex Williams despite not scoring any additional runs off him, forcing the Cardinal senior to throw over 100 pitches in just five innings.

UCLA's best chance to add to the lead came in the third after loading the bases on a Tommy Beres cue single and a pair of walks, but Williams bounced back to post a zero.

Stanford was led by first baseman Carter Graham (2-4, four RBIs) and right fielder Braden Montgomery (2-5, three RBIs), who each hit three-run home runs. Williams picked up the win for Stanford, while Joey Dixon (3 IP, 1 H) and Cody Jensen (1 IP, 1 H) both performed well out of the bullpen.

Brooks was solid for UCLA other than allowing a three-run shot to Graham, picking up nine strikeouts over the course of the evening. That was the second-highest K total for Brooks in his career.

UCLA and Stanford resume the series on Friday night starting at 7:00 p.m. PT in an ESPN2-televised battle.