Stanford pitchers combine to blank Sacramento State in Regional opener at Sunken Diamond
STANFORD — Brendan Beck and Cody Jensen combined to throw a four-hit shutout as Stanford pounded Sacramento State, 11-0, to open the Palo Alto Regional on Friday afternoon.
After trading zeroes for the first two frames, the Cardinal broke through on a Will Matthiessen sacrifice fly, proving to be all that the region’s top seed would need on the afternoon.
Entering the game hitting .281 as a team, Stanford (42-11) posted 13 hits against the Hornets, including home runs by Matthiessen, Maverick Handley, Nick Oar and Andrew Daschbach. The Cardinal entered the game ranked No. 14 nationally in home runs with 75.
Stanford had four players with two hits apiece — Kyle Stowers, Brandon Wulff, Matthiessen and Nick Bellafronto — with each driving in two runs.
“Bats came alive there at the end, ” said Stanford coach David Esquer. “We are driven a little bit by our offense. It’s good to come out in a regional and score some runs and get relaxed at the plate a little.”
Despite the offensive exploits, the day belonged to the Cardinal hurlers.
Beck (5-3) didn’t allow a runner past first base, giving up only three singles and three walks over seven innings, tallying five strikeouts over 101 pitches.
Jensen was efficient over the final two frames, surrendering just a single hit in the top of the ninth inning.
Combined, the hurlers threw 64 percent of their pitches for strikes, a key formula in the NCAA Tournament.
“Great effort by Brendan on the mound, that’s the Friday night effort that we have to have,” Esquer said.