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Arizona baseball hangs on to beat Southeastern Louisiana after bullpen implodes

arizona-wildcats-baseball-southeastern-louisiana-lions-recap-bullpen-vannelle-price-2021 Mike Christy, Arizona Athletics

At this rate, Preston Price and Vince Vannelle may have to pitch in every game in order for the Arizona Wildcats to win. And that’s not a good thing.

The UA’s ace relievers were needed once again at the back end of Friday’s game, a 13-11 win at Hi Corbett Field that was 13-5 before Southeastern Louisiana scored six times in the eighth inning.

Price came on with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth after Dawson Netz and Gila Luna had already allowed three runs on three hits, a walk, a hit batter and a throwing error. The senior right-hander induced a pop out before walking in a run and making way for fellow righty senior Vanelle, who yielded a 2-run single but then struck out SE Louisiana’s Christian Garcia to end the rally.

Vannelle then breezed through the ninth, getting a strikeout to end it for his second save. He and Price, who got the save in Thursday’s 7-4 win, have combined for 10.2 innings of work without allowing an earned run, though each has had to appear in four of the first six games.

Arizona (4-2) committed three errors, leading to four unearned runs scored by the Lions (3-2).

The Wildcats trailed 2-0 after the top of the first inning but then scored three runs in both the second and third and another six in the fourth to lead 12-3. Branden Boissiere had the first of his two home runs in the third, a 2-run shot, then hit a solo bomb in the fourth.

Boissiere was 3 for 5 and is hitting .429 so far this season.

Freshman catcher Daniel Susac hit a 2-run homer as part of the 6-run fourth, going 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. The Wildcats posted season highs in runs and hits (15), including solo homers from Jacob Berry and Blake Paugh in the seventh.

Chandler Murphy got the win, allowing five runs (three earned) and nine hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.

Arizona played the game without junior centerfielder Donta’ Williams, who suffered a bruised hand in Thursday’s game. He could return to action Saturday when Arizona and SE Louisiana meet in the third game of their 4-game set at 1 p.m. MST.