Cats Fall Behind, Storm Back to Top UM, 9-7
March 14, 2009
Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats
TUCSON, Ariz. – One day after outlasting Michigan in a pitchers duel, Arizona was forced to rely on timely hitting and another dominating closing effort by Jason Stoffel to prevail, 9-7, on Saturday evening before 1,309 fans at Jerry Kindall Field.
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the third, the Wildcats rallied with six runs on only three hits in the inning. Michigan starter Eric Katzman walked Bryce Ortega, hit Brad Glenn with a pitch and walked Dillon Baird to load the bases with no outs.
Katzman was lifted in favor of Matt Gerbe, but the flood gates had yet to open for the Wildcats’ offense. Rafael Valenzuela capped the inning with a two-out, bases-loaded double down the right field line to bring the final three runs of the inning home and give UA a 6-5 lead.
UA freshman Kyle Simon, who came on in relief of starter Matt Veltmann, cooled down the Wolverine bats that exploded for two runs in the top of first and three in the top of the third to stake UM to a 5-0 lead. Simon pitched four shutout innings in relief while scattering four hits to earn his second win of the season.
The Wolverines threatened to regain control of the game in the top of the fifth inning, putting runners at first and third with no outs. But Simon went to his bag of tricks to get out of the inning unscathed.
With Tim Kalczynski at the plate, Simon faked a pickoff throw to third base and turned to try and pick off Nick Urban at first base. Urban headed for second on the move, and Simon threw to Dillon Baird at first who tossed to shortstop Bryce Ortega. As Ortega prepared to close in to tag out Urban, Mike Dukef sprinted towards home from third base. Ortega fired a throw to Dwight Childs who applied the tag on Dufek for the first out of the inning.
On the play, Urban scampered safely back to first base, but Simon quickly picked him off at first later in Kalczynksi’s at bat. The right hander then got Kalczynksi to strike out to end the inning, capping an unconventional 1-2-3 inning.
Arizona added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a monster two-run home run to right field off the bat of Baird to push UA’s lead to 9-5.
Burns, who made his 13 appearance of the season, turned in 1.1 scoreless innings and two strikeouts.
Stoffel earned his second consecutive save and fifth of the season, pitching 1.2 innings of hitless baseball while striking out all five of the batters he faced.
The Wildcats will look to complete their first three-game sweep of the season in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Jerry Kindall Field.