"We wanna be where we were last year, are we gonna be there this year? I don't know. We gotta get in first."
Tonight was the first step to getting back to where they were last year as Arizona (32-21, 13-15 PAC-12) beat USC (20-34, 10-18 PAC-12) by a score of 4-3 in ten innings after a Zach Gibbons walk-off single to center.
"That's a Friday night game in the PAC" said head coach Andy Lopez. "That's really good baseball...this is what a Friday night game is supposed to feel like."
Konner Wade (ND) was fantastic on the mound, going 9 1/3 innings on 126 pitches, giving up just three runs on eleven hits and no walks.
"He had good location tonight, very good location."
"All around I felt pretty good about it" said Konner Wade.
"I've been sick the past couple of days so I felt kind of dead. I wanted to go out there and get seven strong innings for my team and ended up going nine and a third so I'll take it."
All Wildcat fans will definitely take it.
Arizona scored two in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead over the Trojans. Kevin Newman had a two-RBI single to left in the fifth followed up with a Joseph Maggi RBI single in the sixth.
But USC answered in the seventh, getting two off Wade to tie the game up at three. In the top of the ninth, the Trojans got two hits. The first hit was from Dante Flores, but he got thrown out trying to steal second by Riley Moore, his tenth runner thrown out this year.
Then Timmy Robinson hit a single to right. But he made a huge turn at first while Konner Wade snuck in behind him. Scott Kingery made the heads-up play to throw it to Wade and get the third out of the inning with a 9-1 putout. "I don't think I've ever seen that play" said Wade.
Kingery came up big again in the field in the tenth. After a hit batter and a failed sac bunt, Mathew Troupe (W, 6-0) replaced Wade on the mound.
On Troupe's very first pitch, Adam Landecker popped one out to right. Kingery ran it down and made a diving catch down the line, then doubled off Garrett Stubbs at first to send it to the bottom of the inning.
Kevin Newman started the bottom of the tenth by getting hit by a pitch. Riley Moore moved him to second on a sac bunt for Zach Gibbons.
Gibbons took a Kyle Davis pitch right back up the middle to win the game. A huge hit with a season hanging in the balance. And only fitting that three freshman: Newman, Gibbons and Kingery were the main factors outside of Konner Wade.
Arizona continues its quest for a series sweep on Saturday at 6 PM at Hi Corbett. James Farris will pitch for the Wildcats against a currently undetermined pitcher for USC. You can also check in on how some of the other bubble teams have been faring this week with my constantly updating results here