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NCAA Baseball Tournament results: Arizona forces deciding game against Louisiana-Lafayette

The new Killer B's: Bunts and Bannister

Jason Bartel

Nathan Bannister started Friday night's game, and threw 96 pitches in the win over Sam Houston State.

So it seemed unlikely that he would pitch again on the weekend. But that ended up being so far from the truth.

In an elimination game for the Arizona Wildcats, their senior ace took the mound and gave the team more than it could have ever asked for. Bannister threw seven-plus innings against Louisiana-Lafayette, forcing a deciding Game Seven. Arizona won Monday afternoon's game 6-3.

In Bannister's first start, the Wildcats blasted a season-high three home runs. But Monday was the exact opposite of that.

The game started with a Cody Ramer single, Zach Gibbons getting hit by a pitch and an Alfonso Rivas walk to load the bases. Ryan Aguilar followed that with a two-run double, forcing Cajun starter Evan Guillory out of the game before recording an out.

That was basically the last time Arizona would not score on a bunt as well.

Later in the inning, the Wildcats tried to run the ol' two-run squeeze play with Bobby Dalbec. Aguilar, who would have been the second run to score on the play, was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with a 3-0 lead.

The bunts kept coming in waves.

Another safety squeeze in the second made it 4-0. An actual Ramer single to center made it 5-0.

Another squeeze from Louis Boyd made it 6-0 after Jared Oliva reached on a bunt in the previous at bat. Just bunts on bunts on bunts.

The Ragin' Cajuns would finally get on the board in the 7th. Louisiana led the inning off with a double, and a pair of wild pitches from Bannister allowed the runner to make his way home.

After a single and home run to start the eighth, Bannister was finally removed from the game. He ended up throwing a combined 198 pitches on Friday and Monday.

Rivas, who recorded the final two outs of Sunday night's game, took over on the mound for the Wildcats. Unfortunately, he loaded the bases while recording just one out.

That forced Jay Johnson to bring in Kevin Ginkel, who had his own struggles on Sunday. But the big righty induced an inning-ending double play to allow the Wildcats to get out of the threat.

Ginkel worked a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the deal.

Arizona and Louisiana-Lafayette will meet in the Regional-deciding game at 5 PM PT Monday night on Watch ESPN.