13th Inning Lucky For Wildcats
March 3, 2010
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TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team snapped its three-game losing streak in dramatic fashion as it rallied to win a long, if not wild, non-conference game against UNLV, 5-4, in 13 innings on Wednesday afternoon at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
After falling behind 4-2 in the 12th inning, the Wildcats rallied with two runs in the home half of the frame and won the game an inning later on a defensive miscue by the Rebels.
With the game tied 4-4, Bobby Brown singled to open the 13th inning. The Wildcats, who had sacrificed a handful of runners from first to second earlier in the game, instead put on a hit-and-run with Alex Mejia at the plate. Mejia swung through the pitch, but Brown was safe at second on the steal attempt.
Mejia then tried to move Brown over to third and successfully put a bunt down between the third base line and pitcher’s mound. UNLV reliever Jared Lee fielded the bunt, but his throw to first was wild and Brown scored all the way from second to give the Wildcats the victory.
Just an inning earlier, the situation was more precarious for the Wildcats. UNLV second baseman Travis Feiner hit a two-run home run off UA’s Tyler Hale to give the Rebels a two-run lead.
But the Wildcats’ bats, unusually silent most of the day, awoke just in time for some late-inning heroics in the bottom of the 12th.
Ethan Chavez, who made his first start of the year at DH, led off the frame with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jett Bandy, who collected four of UA’s 11 hits on the day, singled home Chavez to cut the deficit to one run.
Robert Refnsyder sacrificed Bandy, the tying run, to second base, and Bandy moved over to third base on a ground out by Steve Selsky.
With two outs, Las Vegas native Joey Rickard stepped to the plate and delivered the game-tying single to left field, giving the Wildcats an extra life.
Arizona reliever Joe Allison, who replaced Hale in the top of the 12th, pitched a perfect 13th inning, including two strikeouts to set up the lucky bottom half of the inning for the Wildcats.
Allison picked up the win, going 1.2 hitless innings with three strikeouts. Despite a pair of balks, Allison allowed no runs and struck out three.
The Rebels opened the scoring in the top of the first with a single run off UA starter Daniel Workman. But Workman settled in over the next three innings and allowed just two hits and the one run in 4.1 innings of work on the day.
An inning later, UA scratched across another run as Bandy scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Rickard, who narrowly beat the throw and potential double-play at first.
A pair of hits off Vincet Littleman in the eighth inning allowed the Rebels to tie the game with a single run. Littleman, who saw his first action of the season, otherwise pitched well in relief, as he struck out four and allowed just the one run in 3.1 innings.
Nick Cunningham pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief thereafter to thwart any further UNLV threats until the 12 inning.
Arizona (4-3) will now turn its attention to No. 18 Cal State Fullerton. The Wildcats and Titans will clash in a three-game series this weekend, which begins on Friday at 6 p.m. at Kindall/Sancet.