Baird Leads Cats in Sweep of Ducks

May 24, 2009

Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats

EUGENE, Ore.Dillon Baird captured the Pac-10 batting title as he powered Arizona to a 5-2 victory and a series sweep at Oregon on Sunday afternoon at PK Park as the two programs closed out the 2009 regular season.

Baird, who went 4-for-5 in the game with two home runs, increased his batting average to .433 for the season, capturing the Pac-10 batting title. The junior first baseman became the first UA player to win the conference batting crown since Jeff Van Houten hit .413 in 2003.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, Arizona evened the game after Dwight Childs was hit by a pitch and Codi Harshman walked to open the inning. With on out, Dillon Baird extended his hitting streak to 22 games with an RBI single up the middle to plate Childs.

Arizona took a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning after loading the bases with one out. Childs, a part of the third inning scoring, lifted a towering fly ball to left field that Oregon left fielder Curtis Raulinaitis was unable to settle underneath of and the ball fell in front of the fence. The runners had to hold on the play, only allowing Childs to single, but Bobby Coyle and Steve Selsky scored.

Baird added an insurance run to the Wildcats tally with a solo home run to right field in the seventh, pushing UA’s edge to 4-1. The homer was Baird’s seventh of the season and the second in as many days following his grand slam on Saturday.

In the top of the ninth, Baird led off with his third home run of the series, a solo shot to right center field to extend UA’s lead to 5-1.

Like it did in the first two games of the series, Oregon claimed the early lead, scratching a run across in the first as Antony Kreitz drove home a run with a fielder’s choice groundout.

Starter Daniel Workman turned in a steady 5 1/3 innings as he scattered just three hits and allowed only one run. Workman improved his record to 3-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.86.

Bryce Bandilla relieved Workman, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, while striking out one before turning the game over to closer Jason Stoffel.

Stoffel, the Pac-10 leader in saves, earned his 11th save of the season, pitching the final two innings of the game. The junior right hander allowed a single run in the bottom of the ninth, which set the score at its final, 5-2.

The Wildcats, who have won 14 of their last 20 games, including 10 of 12 in the Pac-10, are hopeful their late-season surge can impress the NCAA selection committee and hold a slight hope they can sneak into the NCAA tournament. Their 30-25 overall record makes them eligible for selection.

The 2009 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship 64-team field, with first-round regional pairings and site assignments, will be revealed in a live, half-hour telecast on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, May 25. The 30-minute program will originate from ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut.


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