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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats outlast Cal Golden Bears in 13 innings

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Pac-12 After Dark, baseball style

Ryan Aguilar hit a 13th inning home run for Arizona on Saturday
Ryan Aguilar hit a 13th inning home run for Arizona on Saturday
Jason Bartel

With only one game of the Arizona Wildcats' three-game series at Cal being televised, thank goodness it was this one.

It took 13 innings, and there was some weird-ass stuff that happened on the way, but the Wildcats clinched the series against the Golden Bears with an 8-5 victory.

In a 5-5 game in the 13th, and with two Arizona runners on base, Cal brought in injured star Alex Shick from the bullpen for his first appearance of the season.

His first hitter faced in 2016 was Ryan Aguilar.

Aggy promptly welcomed him to the season with a three-run homer off the right field foul pole.

The bottom half of the 13th was uneventful, with Bobby Dalbec finishing out 5 2/3 innings of relief appearance, sealing the Arizona victory.

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The 12th inning was the most fun though.

Arizona loaded the bases with two outs for Justin Behnke. Behnke worked a full count after falling behind 1-2, but then let strike three go by him. It was a pitch that was right down the middle.

Then in the bottom half of the 12th, with runners on the corners, Cal called for the suicide squeeze and executed it perfectly.

Well, we thought it was perfectly for about two seconds.

The home plate umpire called Brian Celsi out, citing that his foot was on home plate when he laid the bunt down. Replay showed that did indeed happen, but this image is still hilarious:

Dalbec would get the third out of the inning and escape the jam with a grounder to third.

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Cal's Robbie Tenerowicz was a thorn in Arizona's side from the seventh inning on.

In the 7th, his antics actually benefited the Cats. Running from first to second, he stuck his arm out as the Wildcats were attempting to make a play at first. The ball got away, but the inning ended when the umpire called Tenerowicz out for interference.

Just two outs away from a nine inning Arizona win, Tenerowicz was back at the plate. He dropped a single into left-center, sending the game to extra innings.

Then when the Wildcats were one out away from an 11 inning win, up came this guy one more time. He absolutely destroyed a Dalbec pitch, sending it over the scoreboard in left-center. He tripped coming out of the batter's box, but as he was rounding third, did a hesitation move, showing up the Arizona dugout along the way.

He finally went away quietly with a foul pop up to catcher Ryan Haug in the 13th for the second-to-last out of the game.

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Arizona should have never been in this position though.

Cal starting pitcher Jeff Bain needed 34 pitches to get out of the first inning, giving up two runs on four Arizona hits. JC Cloney came out and responded with a nine pitch bottom half of the inning.

The Cats tacked on another in the second. Zach Gibbons, who head coach Jay Johnson said on Friday was put on this Earth to get two-out RBI, hit a two-out, RBI double, making the score 3-0.

Then it began to unravel a bit.

Behnke lost a two-run double in the lights in the third. Then an error on Dalbec in the fifth led to the third unearned run of the night, tying the game at three.

Arizona took the lead right back in the 6th with a Louis Boyd single to center. That was the end of the scoring until the craziness started going down in the 9th.

Cloney, who was taken out of the rotation last weekend due to internal issues, looked like the dominant pitcher we're used to seeing from him now. He did not give up an earned run in 7 1/3 innings, scattering six hits and a walk along the way. He threw exactly 100 pitches, 66 for strikes.

These two teams will meet again about 12 hours after this game ended. The series finale is scheduled to start at 1 PM. Since Dalbec pitched a ton of innings on Saturday, I'd expect Cameron Ming to get the start, since Cal does not matchup well with lefties. He'll likely face Bears LHP Matt Ladrech.