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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats hang on for series win against Washington State

Another road series win

Jason Bartel

Things didn’t come easy for a lot of people and teams around sports on Masters Sunday, and Arizona Wildcats baseball was certainly no exception.

But after many threats by the Washington State Cougars late in the game came and went, Arizona was on top at the end of the day, winning Sunday’s rubber match 6-5 and taking their second road Pac-12 series of the year.

Arizona is now 7-5 in Pac-12 play and 23-8 overall.

The Wildcats got on the board early thanks to this Ryan Haug RBI single in the second that scored Nick Quintana.

WSU would issue back-to-back walks to Louis Boyd and Alfonso Rivas after this, letting Arizona score a second run in the second frame.

The next time Boyd came up was in the fourth inning, and he would extend Arizona’s lead to three with a one-run double down the left field line that scored Haug.

But that’s when the Cougars started to respond.

With Rio Gomez still on the mound in the bottom half of the fourth, WSU was able to get two runners in scoring position with just one out thanks to a hit batter and a walk.

James Rudkin came up and smacked a two-run single, cutting the deficit to one.

Gomez would give up another single before getting replaced by Cody Deason, who came on with runners on the corners.

Deason walked the only two hitters he faced, and a wild pitch mixed in there let the Cougars tie the game up at three. Cameron Ming would get the final out of the extended bottom half of the fourth.

In typical Arizona fashion, they answered right back. Mitchell Morimoto hit a go-ahead RBI single after a couple of walks in front of him.

After yet another walk issued by WSU pitching, Kyle Lewis hit a sac fly to score the second run of the at bat. Haug then smacked his second RBI single of the day, this one with two out in the inning, to put Arizona up 6-3.

It was a huge run, and another example of good two-out hitting by this team. The Wildcats were 4-for-12 with two down on Sunday, and were 5-for-14 with runners on base.

That sixth run was huge because WSU would come back and put two more runs on the board in the seventh. Justin Harrer hit a one-out, two-run double to left, cutting Arizona’s lead back down to one. But Ming would get a couple of groundballs in the infield to get out of the inning with a lead.

The first two WSU batters in the eighth reached, putting two guys in scoring position with no out. Ming responded in a big way, getting two strikeouts swinging. Jay Johnson decided to lift Ming for Tylor Megill to get the final out of the frame, and a groundball later, that decision paid off.

In the ninth, Megill allowed a two-out single to bring the winning run to the plate again, but a grounder to second ended the game.

Arizona doesn’t get a break after this one. The team will fly back to Tucson Monday morning before taking on the Grand Canyon Antelopes in Phoenix on Tuesday night. UA and GCU played a 3-2 game two weeks ago, and the Lopes are now 8-1 in WAC play after another series win this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM PT, and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and CW6.

Series notes:

  • After saying Michael Flynn would be available to pitch this weekend after suffering a forearm injury last weekend, Flynn did not see any action. This combined with the potential loss of JC Cloney will be interesting to watch.
  • Jared Oliva led the way offensively, going 6-for-14 with six runs scored and three RBI. JJ Matijevic was 6-of-12, scored four, and drove in six (all on Friday).
  • Ryan Haug reached base four of the five times he went to the plate (2-for-3, 2 BBs). Cesar Salazar was only 1-for-7 and now has the lowest on-base percentage (.378) among regulars.
  • Arizona only committed one error in this series. They had committed 45 in the previous 28 games.

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