Widgets Magazine

Despite Hanewich heroics, Stanford loses 2 of 3 to Bruins

Stanford baseball (18-23, 5-13 Pac-12) faced its toughest test of the season this weekend, hosting No. 3 UCLA (31-9, 16-5). Winners of three of their last four games, the Cardinal carried their momentum into the series opener. Stanford shocked the Bruins with a resounding 6-1 win Friday night that featured masterful pitching and timely hitting.

“It was the best game of the year,” said head coach Mark Marquess.

The Cardinal were not as fortunate in game two of the series, however, as UCLA responded with a blowout 10-0 win. The Bruins once again jumped out to an early lead in game three, and the Cardinal were unable to claw their way back, falling 9-3.

In response to these performances, Marquess noted that his team simply “gave the Bruins too much, making too many errors and too many mental mistakes” in the series’ closing games.

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Sophomore Brett Hanewich (above) had all his stuff working, picking up eleven strike outs, a complete game and most importantly, the win. (J. ELLIS KIRKLAND/stanfordphoto.com)

UCLA came into the series having won five of their last six games but were stymied by a dominant pitching performance from sophomore Brett Hanewich. Hanewich threw 111 pitches in his second career complete game, recording a career-high 9 strikeouts and allowing just 1 run. The Bruins jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the second and were in position to tack on more runs in the third, but Hanewich struck out consecutive batters to close the inning.

Stanford tied the game in the fourth inning with a single from center fielder Jack Klein, who drove in clean-up hitter Zach Hoffpauir. Hoffpauir once again led the charge for the offense with 4 hits and 2 RBIs.

The Cardinal then took the lead in the fifth and never looked back, pushing 4 runs across the plate via 5 hits. A balanced offensive attack supported Hanewich’s strong outing and yielded 15 hits, tying Pac-12 season-high for the Cardinal.

Seven of the nine Stanford starters recorded a hit, including the 1-2 hitters, Drew Jackson and Jesse Kuet, who combined to go 5-for-8. Stanford tallied all 6 runs off of UCLA ace James Kaprielian, while Hanewich retired the last ten batters he faced to close the game.

UCLA rebounded from a shocking one-sided affair in the series opener with a dominant response of its own in game two. The Bruins drove in 10 runs on 11 hits and four Bruins combined to pitch complete-game shutout.

However, it was the sloppy Cardinal defense that was the decisive factor. A season-high 5 errors resulted in 7 unearned runs and an insurmountable deficit.

Stanford received another strong outing from their starting pitcher, Marc Brakeman, but did not have the defense to back it up. Brakemen tossed 5.2 innings in a losing effort and allowed 5 runs, only 1 of which was earned. Throwing errors from third baseman Jesse Kuet and second baseman Tommy Edman in consecutive innings gave the Bruins the early 2-0 lead in the fourth. Stanford then turned to its bullpen in the sixth, but failed to stop the bleeding as a result of the shaky defense. UCLA added 8 more runs to its total between the sixth and eighth inning, putting to rest any notions of a Stanford comeback.

In the closing game Stanford turned to lefty Chris Castellanos, who came into the game having tossed 12 consecutive hitless innings. Sunday’s outing, however, would not go as smoothly as Castellanos’ first career start on Tuesday, in which he pitched 7 innings of no-hit baseball. Castellanos only lasted 2.1 innings this time around, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits.

Stanford had a chance to take the early lead in the first, but Kuet was thrown out at home on a Beau Branton single to right field. Branton’s single extended his hit streak to 11 games, the longest streak for a Stanford hitter this season.

A two-run homer from left fielder Jonny Locher gave the Cardinal a brief 2-1 lead in the second inning, but the Bruins quickly regained the lead with 4 runs in the third. UCLA then added 2 more runs in the sixth inning, gaining a comfortable 7-2 lead that the Cardinal were unable to overcome. Stanford chipped away at the UCLA lead in the seventh inning with an RBI single from Kuet, but left the bases loaded without recording any more damage.

Stanford had several chances to cut further into the lead, but stranded too many runners on base when it mattered most, going 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

On Tuesday Stanford faces San Jose State in a one-game series. Opening pitch is at 5:30 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.

Contact Michael Woo at mtwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Michael Woo

Michael works on men's baseball coverage for The Daily. He is an economics major and plans on minoring in communication. He hopes to work in the sports industry, either with a team or in a league office. Having lived in Massachusetts his whole life, Michael is a diehard Boston sports fan, supporting the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox.