Sports


Solid relief pitching allows Caps to protect 1-0 victory

 

Incoming Stanford freshman Brendan Beck took the mound with two runners on and no outs in the bottom of the sixth and proceeded to set down 12 of the final 13 batters he faced, seven by strikeouts, and the PUF Caps squeezed a 1-0 victory over the host Humboldt Crabs in a California Collegiate baseball game Saturday night.

The Caps (29-8) lost in their season finale Sunday, dropping a 14-6 decision the Crabs (34-8).

The game's only run came in the fifth. Donta Williams singled with one out and raced to third on Steven Rivas' single. Cody Stevenson put down a nice bunt that the second baseman had to field, allowing Williams to score.

The Crabs stranded six runners, three of them at third.

Starter Gabriel Ponce took a no-hitter into the fifth. He gave up singles to the first two hitters but then got two outs on ground balls, one a comebacker that cost the Crabs a run at the plate. Ponce struck out the final batter.

In the top of the sixth, Zach Presno doubled with two outs. After Beck was hit by a pitch, Drew Williams singled into center. Presno was thrown out at the plate on a close call.

After the first two batters walked in the sixth, Beck struck out two batters and got an infield grounder to end the threat.

The only baserunner against Beck reached on an error. It didn't matter. In addition to seven strikeouts, he recorded five outs on infield grounders to complete the four-inning save.

Four Caps are headed to Stanford this fall, including Beck, right-hander Carson Rudd, infielder Nick Brueser and outfielder Tim Tawa, who had an 11-game hitting streak snapped. Tawa hit seven home runs during the streak.

Michael Mercado, another Stanford commit, was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays and signed with them just after Dave Esquer was named baseball coach at Stanford.

Mercado has appeared in three games with the Gulf Coast League Rays and has an ERA of 1.35. He's made three starts, his longest a three-inning stint on Friday night.

Menlo School grad Griff McGarry was also on the Caps' roster this summer, though he never appeared in a game.

Drafted in the 31st round by the Texas Rangers, McGarry remains unsigned, an indication he's likely committed to attending Virginia in the fall.

Stevenson will be playing at San Jose State in the fall. He graduated from Kennedy High in Fremont.

"Cody should contribute to our program as a second baseman who has the ability to contribute to our team on several levels," San Jose State baseball coach Jason Hawkins said. "He brings a competitive and scrappy style of play to the team."

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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