Beck Tames Trojans

STANFORD, Calif. – Tristan Beck pitched seven stellar innings and Stanford started Pac-12 play with a 5-1 win over USC on Friday night at Sunken Diamond.

"Beck looked really sharp tonight, from start to finish," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "I thought Maverick Handley was outstanding behind the dish, also coming up with a pair of big hits. Those are the kind of tack-on runs we'll need in the Pac-12, especially how this one ended."

The Cardinal (15-2 overall, 1-0 Pac-12) took a 5-1 lead into the ninth inning with sophomore Jack Little having completed one perfect inning. After loading the bases with one out, Little induced a game-ending double play for Stanford's perfect start to Pac-12 play.

Beck struck out nine over seven innings, scattering five hits and one walk while earning his third win of the season. Little finished the job, going 2.0 innings with two strikeouts, two hits and one walk.

Handley led Stanford at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two two-out RBI. Brandon Wulff was 2-for-4 with two runs – Wulff has reached base safely in all 17 contests in 2018. Beau Branton, Jesse Kuet and Kyle Stowers added one RBI apiece, with Nico Hoerner, Branton and Nick Brueser turning the game-ending double play.

"Little was once again fantastic and this is yet another situation he's been able to navigate," said Esquer, who replaced Mark Marquess in June after 41 years at the helm. "These Pac-12 games are always going to come down to the wire, and it's great for us to get conference play started on the right foot after a sizeable time without any games."

The Cardinal returns to Sunken Diamond tomorrow at 1 p.m. PT for Game 2 against USC. Kris Bubic (3-0) takes the hill for Stanford, with Erik Miller (0-2) set for Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale. Live streaming and statistics will be available at

Cardinal Notes

  • This is Stanford's best start to a season since 1998 when the Cardinal started 16-1-1.
  • Beck's season ERA lowered to 2.48.
  • Little didn't earn the save, but finished his eighth game of the season. In 16.0 innings pitched, Little has allowed 10 base runners with 17 strikeouts.
  • Stanford needed just 120 pitches for the win, forcing 160 pitches out of Trojan hurlers in just eight innings.