Burton for the Win
STANFORD, Calif. – Junior Grant Burton entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth inning, but proved to be the hero on Monday night, as he delivered a walk-off RBI-single to hand No. 15 Stanford (29-12) a 7-6 victory over California (26-23) in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Burton finished the game 2 for 2 with a triple and the walk-off single. The native of Dana Point, Calif. led off the bottom of the 11th with the triple, but was ultimately stranded there as California escaped the jam to force a 12th.
Sophomore Kody Huff, who finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs, got the game-winning rally started in the 12th, chopping a one-out single through the left side. Adam Crampton followed with a walk before a wild pitch pushed the runners to second and third with Burton at the plate. Burton, who worked the count to 3-1, lifted a deep fly ball that fell out of the reach of the drawn in outfield to chase home Huff and the game winning run.
The walk-off victory is the fourth of the season for Stanford, including its third since May 7.
Senior Jacob Palisch was credited with the victory after tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. The lefty allowed just one hit while striking out three to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Austin Kretzschmar joined Burton and Huff with multiple hits, going 3 for 5 with a run scored while hitting second in the lineup.
Stanford trailed 5-0 headed to the bottom of the fourth inning, but managed to plate three runs on three hits to cut the deficit to 5-3. Nick Brueser contributed a sacrifice fly to get the Cardinal on the board, but it was Huff's two-out, two-RBI double that did the real damage in the fourth.
Stanford took a 6-5 lead after five innings, plating three more runs in the fifth – highlighted by a game-tying two-run home run from Brock Jones.
The home run was the 12th of the season for Jones, and was the second in as many games for the Fresno, Calif. native.
Senior Austin Weiermiller was a major cog in keeping Stanford on top in the middle innings, logging 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The left-hander allowed just two hits and handed the ball over to Zach Grech with two out and nobody aboard and Stanford leading by a run in the eighth.
Grech hit the first man he faced, setting the table for a game-tying RBI-double into the right field corner from Cole Elvis that ultimately forced extra innings.
Ben Lake, the ninth California pitcher used on Monday, was saddled with the loss, allowing the game-winning run over a third of an inning of work. Lake dropped to 0-1 on the season with the decision.
Stanford will return to Pac-12 play this weekend when it travels to No. 6 Oregon for a crucial three-game series.