A potential postseason berth and the Territorial Cup Series are on the line at Hi Corbett Field this weekend, and Arizona is off to a good start.
The Wildcats beat ASU, 6-4, in Thursday’s series-opener to improve to 31-20 overall and 11-14 in the Pac-12.
Arizona and ASU are currently tied in the Territorial Cup Series and the UA likely needs to win at least two of three to clinch a victory. Otherwise, the Sun Devils will likely win it for a consecutive year.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and every game from here on out can tip the scale in or out of their favor.
ASU appeared to be in good shape when a two-run homer by freshman phenom Spencer Torkelson gave it a 4-3 lead in the fifth, but UA rallied for three runs in the seventh to win.
A suicide squeeze by Cameron Cannon plated the tying run, then Arizona scored the go-ahead run a batter later when Alfonso Rivas knocked the ball from the ASU catcher’s glove on a flyout by Cesar Salazar.
Matt Fraizer then singled through the right side to score an insurance run.
Arizona’s bullpen tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless ball in relief of Cody Deason, who allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in 6.2 innings.
ASU led 2-0 in the fourth inning, thanks to a two-run single by Carter Aldrete but Arizona immediately countered with three runs. Two came via a Fraizer double, while the third scored on a sacrifice fly by Cal Stevenson.
Arizona’s RPI improves to 42 with the victory. The Wildcats will go for the series win Friday at 7 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.