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Arizona baseball: Wildcats split UC-Riverside series with walk-off walk

Some more late game magic

Ryan Aguilar watches a pitch go by vs. Tulane
Ryan Aguilar watches a pitch go by vs. Tulane
Jason Bartel

For the second time in five days, the Arizona Wildcats ended a series against a University of California school with a walk-off win.

On Saturday against UCLA, a five-run 9th led to a series win for the Wildcats vs. the Bruins. On Wednesday, a bases loaded walk let the Wildcats salvage a two-game split against the UC-Riverside Highlanders.

After taking an early 3-0 lead, Arizona gave up single runs to UCR in the 4th, 5th and 7th innings to let the Highlanders tie the game up at three.

Riverside head coach Troy Percival went to Jacob Worrell to pitch the 9th. Louis Boyd welcomed him to the game with a bunt single to third base. Boyd moved to second on a Cesar Salazar groundout, then went to third on a Worrell wild pitch.

Jared Oliva was then intentionally walked, and Cody Ramer was walked on four pitches to load the bases for Ryan Aguilar. Worrell only managed to throw one strike to Aguilar, walking home the winning run, making the final score 4-3, and allowing Arizona to split the series.

The Wildcats are now 17-8 as they hit the road for Utah to take on the Utes for three games plus a bonus game against BYU on Monday.

Here are a few other notes from Wednesday's game:

  • Gibby reaches seven: In each of the last seven games, Zach Gibbons has had at least two hits. The senior went 3-for-4 on Wednesday, improving his season batting average to .376.
  • Rubick is rolling: Star freshman Austin Rubick was dealing with an injury heading into the season, keeping him off the mound until just five days before the season-opener. Given that, it wasn't surprising when he started off slowly. But now, he's cooking out there. He entered the game with no outs and runners on the corners in the 7th. While the tying run did cross the plate on a groundout with him out there, he did record three-straight outs to at least keep Arizona from falling behind. Rubick's velocity looks much better, and his confidence has to be soaring. He could be a huge asset out of the pen as Pac-12 play ramps up.
  • Dalbec dominates on the mound: Yes, Bobby Dalbec struck out five times in the two games against UCR. But after hitting the first batter he faced in the eighth inning, he retired the next four Highlanders, and chalked up another win, pushing his record to 5-2.
  • Boyd bops: It's been a struggle of late for Louis Boyd at the plate, but a 2-for-4 game should help that. Boyd's defense is what Arizona really needs, but if he can get something going in the batter's box too, it'll be easier to have him out there. It's no accident the Wildcats didn't commit any errors on Wednesday after committing two huge ones on Tuesday.