Cats Walk Off With Series Sweep
May 11, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. – Senior Brad Glenn drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Wildcats rallied from a ninth inning deficit to complete a series sweep of Loyola Marymount on Monday evening at Jerry Kindall Field.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth, Glenn stepped to the plate following a pair of intentional walks to teammates Dillon Baird and Jett Bandy, respectively. Down 0-1 in the count, Glenn lifted the second pitch he saw into centerfield, which was deep enough to score Bryce Ortega from third to give UA a thrilling 7-6 come-from-behind victory – only its second of the season when trailing after eight innings.
Arizona (25-23) trailed 6-5 entering the final frame as pinch hitter Mike Weldon was hit by pitch to lead off the inning. Ortega attempted to sacrifice Weldon to second, but LMU pitcher John Lally’s throw to first base sailed high, scoring Weldon from first and moving Ortega, the game’s winning run, to third.
The Lions (29-24) then brought in Chris Eusebio, who issued the pair of intentional walks. Glenn’s walk-off sacrifice fly followed, the senior’s second walk-off of the season and the 15th sacrifice fly in his career.
The Wildcats began their late inning comeback bid in the seventh inning, when they trailed 5-2. Like in the ninth inning, a UA batter – Hunter Pace – reached base to open the inning by being hit by a pitch. Pace later scored on an RBI double by pinch hitter Rafael Valenzuela.
Baird, the Pac-10's leading hitter, then delivered a clutch two-out, RBI triple to score Valenzuela and put UA within one run of the Lions.
But LMU scratched an insurance run on the board in the top of the eighth off UA reliever Bryce Bandilla to extend its lead to 6-4.
Arizona answered with a single run in the home half of the inning as Glenn collected his 100th career extra base hit – a double – to open the inning. Pace followed with a two-out, run-scoring single.
The Wildcats fell behind early as UA starter Daniel Workman was roughed up for four runs before being lifted with two outs in the first inning. Workman, who started despite having strep throat, turned the game over to Joe Allison, who was masterful in relief.
Allison tossed 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one run while scattering four hits to keep UA within striking distance. The 6-foot-4 right hander struck out four in his second longest performance of the season.
Bandilla pitched a perfect seventh inning, but issued a leadoff walk in the eighth before being replaced by Cory Burns, who made his 35th appearance of the season to match Tod Brown (1993) for the single season school record. The Lions tallied their sixth run of the game – charged to Bandilla – later in the inning.
Jason Stoffel pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning to set up the last-chance rally in the home half of the inning.
Stoffel earned his second save of the season, while Lally was hit his third loss of the season.
The Wildcats’ late-inning heroics spoiled an outstanding start by LMU’s Ramiro Carreon, who kept UA off-balance at the plate throughout the first six innings. The right hander struck out six UA hitters, while scattering just five hits in six innings of work, turning a 5-2 lead over to his bullpen.
UA’s only early success was back-to-back doubles by Baird and Bandy, who rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the Pac-10 in doubles, as UA posted a run in the bottom of the first.
While the Wildcats did not score again until the fifth inning, LMU managed just four hits over the final eight innings against UA’s bullpen.
Arizona will return to Pac-10 Conference play next weekend as it hosts the Washington Huskies May 16-17. The Wildcats will honor their senior class in the series opener on Saturday at 7 p.m.