Defensive Miscues Cost Cats

Feb. 21, 2009


Final Box Score | Play-by-Play Summary

TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth, including four on a Dillon Baird grand slam, but it was not enough to overcome visiting Sacramento State, which prevailed 10-7 at Jerry Kindall Field on Saturday night.

Defensive miscues were the story of the game early and often for the Wildcats, as they committed six in the first three innings of the game and eight overall. Seven unearned runs allowed were too much for an Arizona team that struggled to put hits together throughout the game as it stranded nine runners.

Arizona starter Matt Veltmann allowed three first inning runs – all unearned – as the Hornets jumped on the Wildcats early.

Veltmann, making his Arizona debut, gave up a two-out, three-run homerun to Justin Lamb, which staked the Hornets to a 3-0 lead. The inning started off with an error by first baseman Dillon Baird, who could not handle a throw from second baseman Mike Weldon allowing Hunter Martinez to reach base.

Veltmann was able to record the next two outs, but then gave up a single to Dan McCarthy, which set up Lamb’s three-run home run.

In the second inning, the Hornets added four more runs. A Brad Glenn error allowed Blake Crosby to each base to start the inning, and two more Wildcat defensive miscues led the all four runs being unearned off Veltmann.

Arizona responded in the home half of the second with a run after leadoff double by Steve Selsky. With two outs and Selsky on third, a wild pitch to Daniel Butler brought Selsky home to score UA’s first run.

The Hornets added one run in the third to force Veltmann from the game. Veltmann was replaced by another Wildcat making his debut, freshman Bryce Bandilla.

Sacramento State continued to tack onto its 8-1 lead with two more runs in the top of the fourth as Wheeler singled and Crosby followed with a walk. Bandilla retired the next two batters, but gave up a two-out, two-run single to Powers to put the score at 10-1.

From there, Bandilla combined with relievers Cody Lewis and Joe Allison to hold the Hornets scoreless over the final five frames.

Arizona added a second run in the bottom of the fifth inning after a Daniel Butler lead-off double. Bryce Ortega singled home Butler, and Arizona loaded the bases with two outs later in the inning.

With Steve Selsky standing in with two strikes, the freshman took an inside pitch off his left leg. It appeared to bring home a third run and extend the inning, but home plate umpire Steve Corvi ruled that Selsky did not attempt to get out of the way of the pitch. The pitch was called a ball, and Selsky brought back to the box. He struck out swinging on the next pitch.

The Wildcats struggled to mount another series rally until the ninth, when a leadoff walk to Bryce Ortega was followed by a one-out single by Rafael Valenzuela. Brad Glenn then launched a deep fly ball that was caught for the second out, which left two outs for Bobby Coyle.

The sophomore outfielder kept things alive for the Wildcats as he drove in Ortega and advanced Valenzuela to second base. Hunter Pace then singled through the right side as Valenzuela was held at third to load the bases. Baird followed with his first homerun of the season – a towering opposite field shot to left field off reliever Nick Buchta.

The Hornets lifted Buchta, who pitched 3.2 innings of relief, allowing the five ninth inning runs and six strikeouts.

The Wildcats looked to continue their last-chance rally in the ninth, but Jett Bandy grounded out to end the game off Tommy Elrod.

Paced by the early runs, Hornet starter Jesse Darrah pitched five innings to earn the win, allowing only two runs on seven hits.

The two teams will wrap up the three game series tomorrow at Noon at Kindall Field.


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