Bob Drebin /

Stanford Drops Opener

LOS ANGELES – No. 2 Stanford dropped an 8-4 decision at No. 21 UCLA on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

"They played a better game than us tonight and we really struggled to capitalize with runners in scoring position," said Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer. "I thought Tristan battled through some tough breaks and we showed some fight in the ninth, but we have some things we need to clean up for the rest of the series."

The Cardinal (22-4 overall, 5-2 Pac-12) trailed for most of the game by one run before UCLA's five-run eighth inning. Stanford plated two runs in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough.

Beau Branton went 4-for-4, Tim Tawa had two RBI, and Tristan Beck battled for 6.1 innings despite picking up the loss. Beck finished allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out five, settling in after allowing three runs in the first four innings.

The Bruins (18-7, 7-3) jumped on Stanford early with a two-run double in the bottom of the third, but the Cardinal responded with a run in the next frame. Andrew Daschbach lined one into right field to score Maverick Handley from second. It was Daschbach's team-leading 25th RBI of the season and his fifth in the last two games.

UCLA got the run back the next inning with a softly-hit infield single that fell just between the reach of Beck and Nico Hoerner. Stanford had a response of its own the very next frame with Tim Tawa bringing home Christian Molfetta on a fielder's choice.

After the teams traded scoreless innings through the top of the eighth, UCLA raced to a six-run lead with a five-run bottom half. Four of the runs were charged to freshman Jacob Palisch, who finished allowing three hits, including a grand slam, in 1.0 innings.

Tawa drove in a run with a double in the ninth, followed by Nico Hoerner's sacrifice fly to right – Hoerner hit the ball hard several ties straight at Bruin outfielders.  

Stanford returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT for Game 2 of the three-game series. Kris Bubic (5-0, 0.96 ERA) takes the mound for the Cardinal against Zach Pettway (5-0, 2.23 ERA) of UCLA. Live statistics will be available at

Cardinal Notes

  • Maverick Handley threw out both stolen base attempts against him – on the season, he has thrown out 10-of-15 stolen base attempts this season.
  • Kyle Stowers reached base twice with two walks.
  • Branton's four hits were a career high – he extended his team-high hit streak to seven games, and has 13 hits in his last seven games.
  • The runs allowed by Palisch were the first since Feb. 17 – he had gone 19.1 innings across 11 appearances without allowing an earned run.