Cats Claw Back Late, Top UW, 10-7

May 17, 2009

Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats

TUCSON, Ariz. – A furious eighth inning rally propelled the Arizona baseball team to a come-from-behind victory on Sunday night as the Wildcats topped Washington, 10-7, at Jerry Kindall Field.

A seesaw battle seemed to be turning against Arizona (26-24, 9-14 Pac-10), as the Huskies scored four runs in the seventh inning to take a 7-4 lead. But the Wildcats turned the tables an inning later with a six-run eighth inning to reclaim the lead and hold on for the victory.

Steve Selsky tripled to lead off the eighth and jump-start the UA rally. The freshman scored one batter later as pinch hitter Mike Weldon delivered an RBI single, forcing a second pitching change in two batters for the Huskies.

Reliever Brian Pearl came on with Weldon at first, but Husky catcher Brett Wilcox was unable to hang on to a pitch, which allowed Weldon to move to second on a passed ball. Weldon then scored as Hunter Pace reached base on a throwing error by second baseman Pierce Rankin, and suddenly UA trailed by only one run.

Dwight Childs was able to reach on an infield single that moved Pace, who advanced to second on the error, to third. Childs was pushed over to second on a groundout by Kyle Stiner, but Pace was held at third on the tapper back to the mound.

Bryce Ortega followed with a single up the middle that drove in Pace and tied the game at 7-7 and put runners at the corners with one out.

Washington (25-26, 13-10 Pac-10) then elected to intentionally walk the Pac-10’s leading hitter, Dillon Baird, to load the bases. The move backfired as Pearl hit Jett Bandy with a pitch, forcing in the go-ahead run.

A second pinch hitter in the inning, Rafael Valenzuela, drove home a run with a single, and Selsky, who led off the inning, drove in the sixth run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.

All told, the Wildcats scored six runs on five hits in the eighth inning to retake the lead and set the game at its final, 10-7.

Jason Stoffel made quick work of the Husky hitters in the ninth inning, retiring all three batters he faced to earn his ninth save.

Arizona jumped in front of Washington in the second inning on back-to-back home runs by Brad Glenn and Selsky.

However, the Huskies chipped away at the UA lead with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings off starter Kyle Simon.

Simon pitched a solid 5 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits while allowing just three runs. But, he left the game with the Wildcats trailing 3-2.

Arizona answered right back with Glenn’s second homer of the game to open the home half of the sixth. The next batter, Selsky, was hit by a pitch and later, after a sacrifice bunt by Bobby Coyle and a base hit by Pace, moved to third with one out. Childs then bunted home Selsky on a safety squeeze play that resulted in an infield hit.

Leading 4-3, Arizona saw its lead slip away in the top of the seventh.

After a leadoff single off Cory Burns, Rankin lined a triple to right field over an out-stretched and diving Glenn, which evened the game up.

Jake Rife gave the Huskies a 5-4 lead with a double, and Kyle Conley opened the game up with a inside the park home run to right field. Conley, the Pac-10’s home run leader, was able to round all four bases on a fly ball that kicked toward the right field corner after Glenn was unable to track the ball down near the fence in right field.

The Wildcats escaped further damage in the inning, and Bryce Bandilla turned in a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth to send the Wildcats to bat in the home half of the inning trailing 7-4.

The sixth-run eighth inning marks the second come-from-behind win for the Wildcats in the eight or ninth inning in their last three games. Last Monday, UA defeated Loyola Marmount on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Glenn.

The rubber match of the three-game series is set for Noon on Monday at Jerry Kindall Field.


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