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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats drop fifth straight Pac-12 game, lose to Stanford 4-3

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Alfonso Rivas leads off third base
Rachel Huston

For the fifth consecutive time, the Arizona Wildcats lost a Pac-12 game when they fell to the Stanford Cardinal on Friday night by the score of 4-3.

Arizona is now 9-11 in conference play, while Stanford improves to 10-7.

After not pitching last weekend, Arizona ace JC Cloney returned to the mound for this one, but it was not a friendly welcoming at Sunken Diamond.

On the very first pitch of the game, Stanford first baseman Matt Winaker took a pitch right over the middle well over the fencing in Palo Alto.

This was the only run on the board for a while, and then the fun started.

Cory Voss picked up Arizona’s first hit of the night off of Cardinal starter Andrew Summerville in the fifth inning. A few hitters later, Louis Boyd came up and delivered the signature Arizona safety squeeze bunt to tie the game up at one.

However, Cloney would be unable to keep this game tied for very long. He walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the fifth, and then Winaker was ready to do more damage.

He hit a lined single over the extreme Arizona shift to drive home Brandon Wulff to give Stanford the one-run edge again.

Arizona came right back. Cal Stevenson, who made a spectacular catch in the fifth after Winaker’s single, led the top of the sixth off with a walk.

Jared Oliva reached after an error on his sac bunt attempt, bringing JJ Matijevic up to the plate with no outs and runners on the corners.

Matijevic lined one to the right side, easily scoring Stevenson and tying the game at two.

Alfonso Rivas followed this up with a nubber off the end of the bat. The ball slowly rolled up the third base line, which scored Oliva from third, giving the Wildcats their first lead of the night.

Stanford would bring Tyler Thorne out of the bullpen after this, and he would keep the Arizona lead at one with a sac bunt, a check swing strikeout by Nick Quintana, and a Cesar Salazar pop out.

The Cardinal tied the game back up right away with Daniel Baskt’s first career home run, which was a lined shot over the left field wall on the second pitch of the sixth.

Thorne mowed down Arizona in order in the 7th, giving Stanford an opportunity to retake the lead after the stretch.

And they did just that.

With two down in the inning and Rio Gomez now on the mound, Winaker kept his hot night going with a check swing single to left.

Another single went to left, but it got through Rivas’ legs, allowing Winaker to score and Nico Hoerner to get to third, giving the Cardinal a 4-3 lead.

The Arizona dugout called for an intentional walk, which would be the last better of Gomez’s night — his first relief appearance of the year.

Tylor Megill would induce a fly ball to end the threat, keeping Arizona within one this time.

Thorne retired the side in the top of the eighth, giving him a perfect nine up, nine down outing. The combination of Megill and Robby Medel allowed the Wildcats to stay within one heading into the ninth inning.

That’s when Stanford closer Colton Hock took the mound for the second straight night. Hock, who picked up a two inning save on Thursday night, allowed a walk and infield single, but struck out pinch hitter Mitchell Morimoto looking on a nasty pitch on the outside corner to end the game.

Arizona and Stanford finish the three-game series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2 PM PT. It will be streamed here. The Cardinal are likely to start LHP Chris Castellanos. Arizona will probably either throw Randy Labaut or Cody Deason based on how the first two games have gone.

Pac-12 Notes

  • Oregon pitcher David Peterson struck out a program record 20 ASU batters on Friday as the Ducks took down the Sun Devils 2-0
  • Drew Rasmussen made his season debut for Oregon State, picking up a two-out save in a 3-1 win against USC. Luke Heimlich allowed just one hit over eight innings, and has only surrendered three hits total in his last two outings.
  • Washington scored three times in the eighth to down Cal 5-2

Pac-12 Baseball Standings

Team Conference record Overall record
Team Conference record Overall record
Oregon State Beavers 27-3 46-4
Stanford Cardinal 19-9 38-14
UCLA Bruins 18-10 29-24
Arizona Wildcats 15-12 36-17
California Golden Bears 13-14 23-28
Washington Huskies 13-15 27-25
Utah Utes 12-15 24-24
Oregon Ducks 11-17 29-24
Washington State Cougars 10-18 24-27
Arizona State Sun Devils 8-19 23-29
USC Trojans 7-21 20-33