WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The West Coast League's single-season hits leader and 2011 league MVP is returning to Walla Walla. Alex Stanford will return to the valley on June 16 to throw out the ceremonial first onion when the Walla Walla Sweets take on the Portland Lobos.
Stanford, a senior at Gonzaga this spring, broke the league record with 66 hits last summer and was named the WCL MVP following the season. On the season, Stanford hit .340 with 12 doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI and 25 runs scored. He added 15 stolen bases and finished second in the league batting title race. In all, he played in 59 games last summer and collected 81 hits and hit three home runs. A staple up the middle for the Sweets last summer and a WCL All-Star, Stanford strung together a stretch of three-straight three-hit games in early August as the Sweets were battling for a playoff spot. His tenth inning home run against Cowlitz put Walla Walla on the brink of its first playoff appearance in team history, a spot they would secure the next evening.
Prior to the contest with the Lobos, the Sweets will honor Stanford for his achievements and he will throw out the first onion.