SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP)Carter Graham hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to give top-seeded Stanford the lead for good and the Cardinal beat Arizona 5-4 Saturday to advance to the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Stanford plays the winner between No. 2 seed Oregon State and third-seeded UCLA in Sunday’s first-ever Pac-12 title game.
With the temperature approaching triple digits, Brock Jones walked to lead off the bottom of the third, stole second base and then scored when Graham – who went into the game 0-for-9 in the tournament – hit his conference-leading 20th home run of the season to make it 3-2.
Mac Bingham – who late three-run triple helped the fifth-seeded Wildcats beat Arizona State on Friday to advance to the semifinals – singled, Nik McClaughry hit the next pitch for a double and Daniel Susac followed with a single that scored Bingham in the top of third. McClaughry scored from third on a wild pitch by Joey Dixon to give Arizona (37-23) a 2-1 lead.
Tommy Splaine pulled an RBI triple down the line in left that and scored on Bingham’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to trim the Wildcats’ deficit to 5-4 but Tyler Casagrande fouled out to third, stranding to base runners, to end the threat.
Jones led off the game with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout by Brett Barrera before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Braden Montgomery to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.
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