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Baseball travels to Texas for four-game series

Junior right-handed pitcher Tristan Beck is back on the field after an injury that prevented him from playing last year. Beck has been an essential component of the Stanford team since his return. (BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

Election results aren’t the only thing coming to Austin, TX.

No. 7 Stanford baseball (11-1), fresh off a series win against Michigan, will face its first true road trip when it heads to No. 23 Texas (8-4) for a four-games series starting on Thursday.

The Cardinal’s unbeaten streak to start the season had to finally end against the Wolverines. In Game 3, Stanford offense was fooled by Michigan’s pitchers for 13 strikeouts, and it could not generate a single run in a 5-0 loss.

The perfect season would have ended in Game 2 if it were not for the heroics of freshman Tim Tawa. Down 2-0, and with the runners at the corners, Tawa turned on the very first pitch he saw for a three-run walk-off home run. The win extended Stanford’s streak to 10 before losing in Game 3.

Junior right-handed pitcher Tristan Beck (2-0) delivered his best performance of the season to earn his second Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week award. He tossed seven innings, gave up two hits, struck out eight batters and allowed no runs.

Beck gets the nod for the Thursday game while southpaws junior Kris Bubic and sophomore Erik Miller take the Friday and Saturday games, respectively.

The starter for Sunday’s game is to be announced, but it will probably be freshman Brendan Beck, who has started the fourth game in every series so far.

The offense was ho-hum for most of the series against Michigan. The Cardinal usually relied on big scoring innings to generate their offense. However, during Saturday’s doubleheader, Stanford’s batters came up empty, except for Tawa’s walk-off shot.

Texas is coming off a series win against Northwestern, where the Longhorns dropped the first game, but won the next three by a combined score of 38-11. They also dropped a series to No. 22 LSU on the road.

The Longhorns offense has been quite prolific in 12 games — .282 batting average, nine home runs and 69 RBI as a team.

The Stanford batters will have to be weary of sophomore righty Blair Henley. Through 17.0 innings pitched, he has the lowest ERA (0.53) among eligible pitchers in the Big-12 and has won the Big-12 Pitcher of the Week after tossing six shutout innings against LSU.

“That’s kind of the name of the game. Good teams can win at home, but great teams win on the road,” Stanford head coach David Esquer said of the challenge of playing Texas. “It’s going to be a test, and I think part of growing our maturity is learning how to win on the road.”

Cardinal and Burnt Orange will battle each other starting on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. All games will be broadcast by the Longhorn Network.

 

Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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