By Alexa Gold
After losing their first weekend series in nine outings to Cal, the Cardinal (29-12, Pac-12 13-8) returned to Sunken Diamond to rematch against the Golden Bears (26-23, 12-12 Pac-12) for non-conference play. While the Cardinal threatened with bases loaded and one out in the eleventh inning, it wasn’t until the twelfth that a walk-off RBI single from junior Grant Burton cemented the 7-6 Stanford win.
The Golden Bears took the lead in the third inning thanks to a three-run homer from senior Connor Mack. They were able to post two more runs in the fourth before the Cardinal’s bats finally found their rhythm. Freshman third baseman Drew Bowser singled through the left side, allowing sophomore left fielder Brock Jones — who had drawn a walk to reach base — to advance to third base. Jones then scored on a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Nick Brueser before sophomore catcher Kody Huff doubled to right center field, driving home sophomore designated hitter Brett Barerra and Bowser.
The Cardinal went on to take a 6-5 lead over the Golden Bears in the fifth inning, starting when Jones scored again — this time via a two-run homer that scored junior second baseman Austin Kretzschmar. Two innings of scoreless play ensued until the Golden Bears tied it up with a run in the eighth. This tie would last all the way until the twelfth inning — but before that, Stanford threatened with a big inning in the eleventh. It started when Burton, brought in as a defensive replacement for center field, tripled down the left field line and Jones and senior right fielder Christian Robinson were intentionally walked to load the bases. However, despite three men on base and just one out, an incredible pitching performance by junior Ian Villers got the Golden Bears out of that jam.
One inning later, Burton connected for his second big hit of the night, driving a pitch into right-center field to score Huff and finish off the game with a walk-off single.
The Cardinal will face off against the Ducks (33-11, 17-7 Pac-12) this weekend in Oregon for their penultimate regular season series. First pitch is set for Friday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. PT.