Cardinal Falls in Opener

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 2 Stanford dropped a series-opening 4-3 decision against California on Thursday night at Sunken Diamond.

"This was a tough ball game and we knew they were going to come at us hard, probably even harder considering they need big wins at the moment," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "Their big three in the middle of the lineup is what hurt us, and we knew we would have to play very well to beat them."  

The Cardinal (31-6 overall, 12-4 Pac-12) took the lead with three runs in the fifth inning, but the Golden Bears (24-15, 10-9) responded with four runs in the next two frames to seize the lead. Nico Hoerner finished 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI, and Beau Branton, Tim Tawa and Christian Robinson added one hit apiece with Branton and Tawa also scoring.

Stanford's three runs came in the fifth, all unearned with two outs. Branton scored on a throwing error before Tawa came home on Nico Hoerner's single to left. Hoerner eventually came home from second base on a stolen base and wild pitch. Cal responded with two home runs in the top of the sixth, followed by another run in the seventh.

Starter Brendan Beck went 5.1 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, all earned, while striking out three. Fellow freshman replaced him in the sixth, going 1.2 innings and picking up the loss. Zach Grech relieved Palisch for the final two frames, striking out three and allowing no base runners in 2.0 innings.

Stanford returns to action tomorrow evening for Game 2 against California, set for 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks. Tristan Beck is expected to start for the Cardinal with Jared Horn on the hill for the Golden Bears.

Cardinal Notes

  • Hoerner's multi-hit game was his team-leading 13th of the season.
  • The loss for Palisch was the first of his career.
  • Kyle Stowers' reached-base streak extended to 16 games, the longest of any Cardinal this season.