On Friday night, 13 was Stanford’s lucky number. It was the bottom of that inning when sophomore center fielder Brock Jones ended the game at Sunken Diamond. He hit a walk-off single into shallow right field to score sophomore shortstop Adam Crampton.
Jones’s hit put the No. 16 Cardinal (25-9, 10-5 Pac-12) over No. 9 Arizona (31-12, 15-7 Pac-12) in a 5-4 victory over the Pac-12’s top team.
Senior right-hander Brendan Beck started on the mound for the Cardinal and threw out the first pitch at 6:06 p.m. PT, but quickly got in hot water. Beck let two of the first four batters he faced reach base on singles, before walking another batter and letting Arizona’s freshman catcher Daniel Susac put Arizona on the board with a single. After escaping the inning, only allowing one run, Beck settled in and pitched five scoreless innings.
Meanwhile Arizona’s sophomore starting pitcher Chase Silseth let the Cardinal tie the game in the bottom of the bottom of the fifth. He walked freshman left fielder Eddie Park with the bases loaded but, like Beck, escaped, stranding three baserunners. Despite the win, the Cardinal continue to leave runners on base. They out-stranded the Wildcats 13 to 11 on Friday, which brings their total left on base to 278 on the year, while their opponents have only stranded 263.
An inning later, back-to-back leadoff doubles from senior right fielder Christian Robinson and freshman third baseman Drew Bowser helped the Cardinal take the lead. Silseth added to that lead by hitting junior Vincent Martinez with a pitch and retiring from the game. His replacement, freshman Dawson Netz, let the designated hitter score on a wild pitch three batters after Martinez.
Arizona tied the game in the seventh after a wild throw from Robinson let an extra batter score off an RBI single; Beck was taken out with only one out. Beck’s substitute, senior Jacob Palisch, conceded another RBI single before ending the inning, leaving the Wildcats with a 4-3 lead.
A fielding error by Arizona’s second baseman tied the game at four apiece in the bottom of the eighth, and Stanford entered the bottom of the ninth inning with energy on the bench. That energy was magnified when Robinson and Bowser hit back-to-back singles, but the Cardinal could not cash in. Both were stranded and the momentum died down for the next two innings.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Brandt Pancer was awarded the win for his work in the top of the 13th inning. Despite letting the go-ahead run reach base on a single and advance to third after a stolen base and sacrifice fly, Pancer struck out the other two batters, setting up the walk-off single from Jones in the bottom of the frame.
The Cardinal take to Sunken Diamond again on Saturday with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. PT for the second game of the weekend series.