The first time the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils met on the diamond this year, UA's starting pitcher failed to record an out.
This time, UA's starter failed to allow a baserunner for the first six innings. The Wildcats would go on to win the game 8-0, improving their record to 27-14 on the year.
Kevin Ginkel, a twice-drafted junior RHP, had a perfect game through six innings against ASU.
"Absolutely," Ginkel said if he knew he was perfect through the first two-thirds of the game. "I think the more it went on, I got a little nervous, but wasn't trying to think about it too much. As a pitcher, you want to maintain the same focus and go out and complete your task, be aggressive, and be around the zone."
"Once you do that as a pitcher, you're going to be successful anywhere you play."
The six innings of perfect baseball was the longest Ginkel has ever gone without allowing a baserunner.
"I don't think too many people have perfect games in the balance like that," he explained. "It was awesome. I just made one mistake with a ball down the middle."
That mistake was the first Sun Devil hit, a comebacker by Andrew Snow that bounced off Ginkel's glove and into center field to lead off the seventh.
Call this a Snow Mo' No-Nohttps://t.co/bsJgkDDaCT— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) April 27, 2016
"Hats off to him," continued Arizona's pitcher. "It was a good AB."
"It was coming in kind of hot," Ginkel said of the play. "It got my glove, but it was just a second late. As a pitcher for me, it was kind of disappointing, but at the same time, you're out there doing your job, trying to be the best you can be, and it was definitely awesome how this outing went."
Snow would be erased on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to end the 7th, keeping Ginkel's status of facing the minimum intact.
"I had good fastball velocity today," Ginkel explained of his success. Pac-12 Networks had him touching 97 MPH on the radar gun at one point. "I was just working the ball in and out, and I'd throw a couple changeups in there to keep 'em honest, and my slider, I spiked a couple, but I think it was a good two-strike pitch."
The second and final hit for ASU came in the 9th, giving Ginkel a two-hit shutout. He only needed 91 pitches to do the deed, striking out seven Sun Devils along the way.
"I'm just really happy with tonight. It was awesome."
"It was pretty good," Ginkel joked about having ice dumped on him. "I kind of had a feeling it was going to happen, but I wasn't expecting it. It was a little refreshing. I was kind of getting hot the more the game went on."
Arizona recorded a ton of hits on the night...16 to be exact. The team went 8-for-26 with runners on base.
But with Ginkel's performance, they didn't need a ton of runs anyway.
It started with a Ryan Aguilar RBI single in the first, bringing Zach Gibbons around to score.
Aguilar gets us on the board in the 1st with a bullet single up the middle to score Gibbons! 1-0 Cats. #BearDown https://t.co/gG9kt3ieTT— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) April 27, 2016
ASU pitcher Reagan Todd would keep the Wildcats at bay for the next couple innings.
Then the fourth happened, and Arizona decided to put the game out of reach early.
JJ Matijevic, after a baserunning blunder earlier in the game, hit an RBI single in the fourth to make it 2-0.
Matijevic gives us a 2-0 lead with an RBI single to left! #BearDown #MLBTrainingGround https://t.co/kcvyn9a1Sj— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) April 27, 2016
James Ryan took over for Todd with one out in the fourth. The first batter he faced was Louis Boyd. The Canadian added an RBI single of his own, welcoming Ryan into the game in a very rude way.
Louis Boyd stays hot and produces an RBI single to score Matijevic. 3-0 Cats! #BearDown #MLBTrainingGround https://t.co/NXl2SIrSGU— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) April 27, 2016
In the next inning, Arizona kept the offensive firepower going, but this time it was a familiar name that's been struggling.
Bobby Dalbec blasted one to dead center, sailing the baseball out towards the Phoenix Zoo, giving the Wildcats a big 5-0 lead at the halfway point.
We told you Dalbec loves to hit at this park! 2-run shot! Cats lead 5-0! #BearDown #MLBTrainingGround https://t.co/7wIIYubjB8— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) April 27, 2016
Arizona's sixth run of the night came on a Dalbec strikeout of all things. With two down in the top half of the eighth, ASU pitcher Fitz Stadler struck out the slugger with a breaking ball in the dirt, but the catcher's throw was away from the bag, allowing Dalbec to reach base safely, which also let Justin Behnke score from second (!!!).
Dalbec eventually scored after stealing a base, a single, and a ball off the pitcher's glove.
The 8th Arizona run of the game came in garbage time in the 9th.
The Wildcats continue their seven-game road trip Thursday night when they head to Los Angeles to face the USC Trojans. That game is scheduled to start at 7 PM PT, and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.