The Weekly Run-down: The Spring Break Return
After a week off for spring break, it’s back to recapping UArizona baseball and their results. Since I missed the week three games, I will just quickly state the scores. Arizona dropped two of three to visiting Texas State, taking game one 7-2 on March 4th before dropping the next two 6-2 and 7-3 respectively. On Tuesday March 8th, they knocked down New Mexico 12-5. In this recap of week four, we will cover from 3/10 to 3/16 in which the Wildcats went 3-1.
3/11 - #16 Arizona (10-3) at Cal (6-6)
Entering their first road series of the season, Arizona found themselves in solid form. Despite dropping two to Texas Tech the prior weekend, the Tuesday night game against New Mexico displayed the potential to keep the rebound going. As for Cal, they found themselves in similar shape, dropping two of three the previous weekend to #10 Florida State on the road and then losing on Tuesday night to Santa Clara at home.
Starting off, the Golden Bears took the lead in the 1st on a solo HR from N. Marotell before bolstering the lead in the 2nd with a N. Manning solo HR. In the 4th inning, Arizona scratched back three runs to take a 3-2 lead as an off-line throw helped extend the inning and let Mac Bingham score. The next inning, Bingham hit a bases loaded single to score Daniel Susac. In the sixth, a Tanner O’Tremba triple and Tommy Splaine two-RBI single made it an 8-2 ballgame. It looked like Arizona might be in control, but Cal would begin to make moves. In the bottom of the 6th, the Golden Bears scratched two runs back. In the bottom of the 9th, the game would unravel for Arizona as Cal would score four runs, all on wild pitches and passed balls. It would be a walk off wild pitch to end the blown game, Cal winning 9-8 in exciting fashion for the home crowd.
Cal reliever C. Stamos picked up the win, his first of the year, on the final 1.1 innings of work in which he blanked the Wildcats, a perfect outing with two strikeouts. Holden Christian, Arizona’s closer, was given the loss, his first on the year, as his one full inning of work ended the collapse with a hit, four runs (two earned), two walks, a strikeout, three wild pitches, a passed ball, and a hit batter. To say the least, his control was not there that night, and the team paid the price.
3/12 – Game 2
In game two, the Wildcats came out and displayed the form more expected of them. To start, Cal took the early one run lead in the 1st of an RBI groundout by D. Beavers. Mac Bingham responded in the 2nd with a solo HR to tie it up. Later in the 5th, Daniel Susac’s RBI double gave the team a 2-1 lead before Cal’s T. Tishenkal hit a solo HR in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 2-2 ballgame. In the 7th, Arizona’s Chase Davis blasted a three-run homer to make it 5-2 Wildcats. After the stretch, Cal scratched back two runs, making it 5-4 going into the 8th. Arizona fully took control at this point, notching three runs in the 8th and two more in the 9th to finish off the ballgame ahead 10-4.
Arizona’s Irvin Garrett improved to 2-1 on the year with a solid outing, pitching six innings with five hits, four runs (three earned), two walks, a wild pitch, and six strikeouts. Cal reliever N. Proctor fell to 1-1 on the season as his two innings of work included five hits, three key runs that opened the door for Arizona, and two strikeouts.
3/13 – Game 3
In a crucial rubber match against a Pac-12 rival, Arizona once again came out and played the well-rounded game expected of a Top 25 team. In the top of the 1st inning, before most could even fully settle into their seats at the Evans Diamond, Arizona came out and pounded in nine runs, batting through the order while Daniel Susac hit two HRs in the same inning, picking up 5 RBIs. In the 2nd, already 9-0, Noah Turley nailed a HR to left field to make it 10-0. In the 3rd, Cal finally got on the board as a solo HR from C. Crawford made it 10-1. In the 6th, Tyler Casagrande brought Tommy Splaine in on an RBI single before Cal brought in two runs in the bottom half. In the 7th, Tommy Splaine and D. Beavers traded homers to make it 13-4. In the 9th, Cal would cross the plate one final time on a C. Lomavita single, making the final score 13-5.
Arizona’s Dawson Netz improved to 2-0 on the year on six innings of work where he surrendered six hits, three runs, two walks, and picked up a strikeout. Cal’s H. Reinertse fell to 2-2 on the season as he only lasted 0.2 innings in which he gave up two hits, three runs, and hit two batters. C. Sullivan, who pitched in relief for him, gets a dishonorable mention for getting absolutely shelled, surrendering nine hits, eight runs (four earned), a walk and a wild pitch on only 1.1 innings of work.
3/14 - #16 Arizona (12-4) at University of the Pacific (7-8)
Arizona didn’t have to travel far to make this game, heading out to Stockton, California to play Pacific at Klein Family Field. The Pacific Tigers were in solid form entering the Monday night game, having taken two of three from CSU Bakersfield at home the days before and a 14-4 win at UC Davis the previous Tuesday.
In the 1st, Arizona took a quick 2-0 lead that would last only a half-inning as Pacific responded with a three-run bottom of the inning to make it 3-2. In the 2nd, Pacific’s T. Gavello hit a two-RBI double to make 5-2. The next inning, Noah Turley’s RBI single made it a two-run game. With the momentum in hand, the Wildcats scored four in the 5th and another five in the 6th, taking a strong 12-5 entering the 7th. The Tigers would mount a rally that ultimately fell short as a three-run 7th would make it 12-8, Pacific being kept from scoring the remainder of the game. For added security, Arizona would score in the 9th on an error by the 3B that allowed Garen Caulfield to score, making the final tally 13-8.
Both teams would go through a major portion of their bullpen in this game, with Arizona reliever Quinn Flanagan ultimately coming out on top to make his record 2-1. He pitched a strong two innings where he gave up three hits, no runs and notched a strikeout, a key set of innings to calm down the Pacific bats. Pacific reliever J. Fortner dropped to 0-1 on the year as he gave up a hit, four runs, two walks, and a hit batter on only 1.1 innings of work, the runs key in the Wildcat win.
With another week complete, Arizona now turns to what could be one of their key series of the season. This weekend from 3/19 (Saturday) to 3/21 (Monday), the Wildcats will return to Hi Corbett Field in order to face #12 Stanford, a key Pac-12 rival and early litmus test to their authenticity as a competitor this year. Saturday’s game to open the series will also be the 10th Anniversary of the 2012 National Championship Team, an event likely to draw a crowd, plus championship banners will be given away. The very next day will also be the Hi Corbett Car Show, so expect to see some nice cars alongside some good baseball with a chance to pick up a giveaway toy car. After the Stanford series, the Cats will head out to Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque, NM to play New Mexico in another one-off matchup on Wednesday, March 23rd. With this in mind, let’s hope for some good baseball and bear down.