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Bats come alive late at Washington State as Arizona baseball snaps Pac-12 road skid

arizona-wildcats-baseball-recap-wsu-cougars-losing-streak-offense-kiko-romero-tony-bullard-pac12 Arizona Athletics

Held scoreless the first five innings, and down 4-1 after six frames, Arizona was staring a 14th consecutive Pac-12 road loss dead in the face on a cold, windy Sunday afternoon in Pullman, Wash.

Then the Wildcats remembered they have the best offense in the conference.

Arizona scored 13 runs over the final three innings, including a game-deciding 7-run seventh, to pull out a 14-8 win at Washington State. It was just the second road win all season for the Wildcats (18-15, 6-12) and first in Pac-12 play since last May at USC.

Tommy Splaine’s 2-run single up the middle gave the Wildcats their first lead in the seventh at 6-4, with Tony Bullard capping off the 7-run rally with a 2-run home run. Bullard would add a 2-run single to finish off a 5-run eighth, going 3 for 5 with four RBI.

Also driving in four was Kiko Romero, whose solo homer in the sixth got Arizona on the board after it had 10 baserunners in the first five innings but couldn’t score, including having bases loaded with no out in the fourth. Romero was 2 for 2 and was on base all five times, walking three times, and his 27 RBI in Pac-12 play puts him ahead of Nick Quintana’s school-record 43 conference RBI pace in 2019.

Bullard, Mac Bingham and Nik McClaughry each had three hits for Arizona, which cranked out 18 while also drawing seven walks and three hit batters.

The UA is hitting .311 in Pac-12 play, averaging 7.33 runs per game. Despite the 6-12 record, the Wildcats have an even run differential (132-132).

Derek Drees got the win for Arizona despite allowing a solo homer in the sixth that gave WSU a 4-1 lead. He came on after Aiden May went the first five, allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Eric Orloff, Trevor Long and Chris Barraza followed out of the pen but each allowed at least one run. Long, though, prevented the Cougars (21-13, 7-10) from getting closer than 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh when he struck out the potential go-ahead run on a 3-2 slider.

Arizona returns home for its next five games, starting with a nonconference clash Wednesday against ASU. The Wildcats were swept on the road by the Sun Devils in late March but have a 13-6 record at Hi Corbett Field.