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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats fall to Oregon State in walkoff fashion for second time

Ever seen a walkoff strikeout? Well, now you have

Nick Quintana bats for Arizona
Rachel Huston

For the second consecutive day, the Arizona Wildcats lost in walk-off fashion to the top-ranked Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis.

Arizona dropped this one 5-4 after coming back to tie the game up in the top half of the ninth.

Cory Voss was called upon to pinch hit against star Beaver closer Max Engelbrekt, and Voss delivered in the biggest way possible, launching a poorly located ball over the left field fence.

This was the first hit given up by Engelbrekt all year. He had thrown 6 13 innings in six prior appearances, recording five saves before Saturday’s contest.

After the home run, Kyle Lewis reached first base thanks to a catcher’s interference call, which brought up pinch-hitter Seve Romo.

Romo flew out to center, which brought up another pinch-hitter in the form of Sawyer Gieseke. He grounded back to Engelbrekt, who tried to commit all the errors on the play, but still threw Gieseke out at first to end the inning.

The bottom half of the inning started with a throwing error by Lewis, who shortarmed the ball when charging in on a bouncer to short.

On a broken hit-and-run play, OSU moved Preston Jones up to second.

With the count 2-2, Cody Deason struck out Adley Rutschman swinging, but the ball got away from Voss, who was forced to take over at catcher after his pinch-hit homer.

Voss couldn’t find the ball up against the backstop, and Jones came all the way around from second to end the game.

Another game where defense came back to bite Arizona in the butt, it just happened to be the only reason OSU had anything going in the final frame. Frankly, all the pinch-hitting in the top half left the Wildcats in a precarious position in the bottom of the ninth. Not only was Voss catching, but Gieseke was in right field and Romo was at second base. Anything hit to the right side could have done enormous amounts of damage.

Arizona is now 2-3 in conference play while the Beavers improve to 5-0. All three of UA’s conference losses have come via opposing team’s walkoff heroics.

Oregon State was able to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, but Arizona responded how they usually do.

Jared Oliva drew a one-out walk, then advanced to third on a wild pitch compounded with a throwing error by the catcher. JJ Matijevic was able to fly a 1-1 pitch to left field just long enough for Oliva to tag and score, tying the game up.

The very next pitch, Nick Quintana drove a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Wildcats the lead on their first hit of the game.

U of A was able to add another run in the fifth off of another sac fly, this one by Alfonso Rivas. Cesar Salazar was on third after leading the inning off with a single, then Mitchell Morimoto coming up with a one-out double.

But then the Beavers changed everything in the sixth.

Randy Labaut, who got the start for Arizona on Saturday, let the first two batters he faced in the 6th reach base, which forced UA to replace him with Austin Schnabel on the mound. And just like the previous night, Oregon State got to Arizona’s bullpen in a big way.

After a bunt single that loaded the bases, OSU scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball up the middle.

Then with two out, Zak Taylor came up and laced a double to left center with the runner on first already in motion, allowing the Beavs to easily take a 4-3 lead.

Things stayed scoreless from there until the final frame. Deason looked very good in the 7th and 8th innings. He struck out five Beavers and gave up just one hit. Unfortunately, his defense let him down in a big way in the 9th to hand him the loss.

Arizona will look to salvage a game on Sunday. These two teams are scheduled to start at 11 AM PT. The game will be shown on Pac-12 Network.