Cardinal Qualifies for Pac-12 Tournament Despite Loss

LOS ANGELES – Needing a win at UCLA or a Washington State loss at Oregon at some point over the final three games of the regular season to clinch a spot in the 2024 Pac-12 Tournament, Stanford got the latter on Thursday night as the Ducks defeated the Cougars 9-2.

The Cardinal (20-30, 11-17 Pac-12) was unable to earn the spot by way of a victory on Thursday, dropping an 8-3 decision to UCLA (17-33, 7-21 Pac-12) from Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Stanford struck first in the top of the first inning as Charlie Saum singled home a run and came around to score all the way from first on a double off the bat of Brandon Larson.

Responding immediately, UCLA answered Stanford's two-run first with a three spot in the home half of the inning. A single, a walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with nobody out before a run-scoring ground ball and a two-RBI single from Dean West with two outs put the Bruins on top for good at 3-2.

Sophomore Matt Scott (4-9) struggled in his outing for the Cardinal, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks over three-plus innings. UCLA made the right-hander work, forcing him to make 89 pitches over the three frames.

Pitching opposite Scott, junior right-hander Luke Jewett (2-5) was stellar for UCLA, allowing three runs over eight innings with six strikeouts. Jewett got some help defensively as UCLA turned a pair of double plays and a triple play behind him to escape jams.

Already leading 3-2 headed to the bottom of the third, UCLA added three more runs in the inning to extend the lead to 6-2. Cody Schrier's two-RBI double highlighted the frame for the Bruins.

Neither team was able to mount much of an offense in the middle innings, with freshman Ben Reimers logging three shutout frames of relief with five strikeouts for the Cardinal.

Stanford managed to make things interesting in the eighth inning, scoring a one-out run on a Cort MacDonald RBI-single to cut the deficit to 6-3. Stanford would ultimately load the bases on the ensuing play, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate, but Jewett induced an inning-ending double play to thwart the rally.

UCLA tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth before Justin Lee tossed a scoreless ninth inning to secure the 8-3 victory.

Stanford will look to snap an eight-game losing streak on Friday as the three-game series continues at 6 p.m. The eight-game skid is the longest for Stanford since dropping eight straight from March 24-April 5, 1982.