With bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona Wildcat shortstop Dayton Dooney knocked down a ground ball but couldn’t make the throw to first in time, allowing ASU (25-1, 8-1) to score the winning run in a 17-16 game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
It was the seventh straight loss for the Wildcats, who are 13-14 overall and 2-7 in Pac-12 play.
Dooney’s error, his second of the day, occurred five hours and ten minutes into a game with more than 40 baserunners as well as 426 pitches thrown by a combined 14 pitchers.
Arizona’s potent offense showed in earnest for the first time in nearly two weeks on Sunday. The Wildcats scored four runs in the first, three in the second, two in the fourth and fifth, one in sixth and four in the eighth. All but one Wildcat with at least two at-bats got a hit.
Designated hitter Tate Soderstrom shined the brightest of all Arizona hitters. He had four hits in five at-bats including two doubles, driving in five runs, while catcher Matthew Dyer also had four hits.
Cameron Cannon, Austin Wells and Nick Quintana each had two hits, with Quintana hitting his fourth home run of the season—a three-run shot—in the second.
The Wildcats pitching could not take advantage of the production their offense was giving them. As has happened so many times this season, the Arizona starter could not go deep in the game, and the bullpen struggled to stop the opponent’s scoring.
Andrew Nardi lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs (five earned) with six walks before coach Jay Johnson pulled him. Jonathan Guardado replaced Nardi and allowed two runs in a little over an inning of work. Randy Abshier followed Guardado and allowed six runs.
Arizona, which issued 15 walks, has allowed an opponent to score fewer than five runs just twice since Feb. 24.
The Wildcats will look to bounce back next weekend when Washington comes to Tucson.