Cats Beats Ducks, 8-4; Reach 20 Wins

March 27, 2010

Final Box Score (PDF)

TUCSON, Ariz.Bryce Bandilla turned in the longest pitching performance of his career and Steve Selsky collected four hits with three runs batted in as the Arizona baseball team grinded out an 8-4 victory over Oregon on Saturday evening at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.

While continuing their overall winning streak to 15 games – one shy of the 2007 team’s 16-game streak – the Wildcats won a second-straight Pac-10 game to improve to 20-4 overall and 2-0 in the Pacific-10 Conference.

The win did not come easy, though.

Oregon starter Justin LaTempa kept the Wildcats off balance over the first five innings of the game as he  took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning. But the Arizona offense began to chip away in the sixth and as the Wildcats scored seven runs with two outs over the next three innings.

Alex Mejia delivered a clutch two-out single to right field to bring home Bobby Brown and Robert Refsnyder, giving UA its first lead of the game, 3-2.

In the seventh, Jett Bandy’s only hit of the game was a two-out single off LaTempa with the bases empty, which sparked a four-run rally.

With Selsky coming to the plate, the Ducks opted to bring in Scott McGough to replace LaTempa. LaTempa pitched 6.2 innings and struck out eight batters, but allowed four runs on nine hits.

Selsky doubled down the left field line to score Bandy and give the Wildcats a two-run cushion. After a walk to Refsnyder, Brown laced a double down the right line, which plated two more runs. Seth Mejias-Brean followed with a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 7-2.

The Ducks fought back with a pair of runs in the eighth inning off relievers Stephen Manthei and Jared Forestieri. But Nick Cunningham entered with two outs to stop the bleeding and keep UA’s lead at 7-4.

Arizona added another two-out run in the home half of the eighth as Jake Meskin reached on a two-out walk and later scored on Selsky’s fourth hit of the game.

Cunningham closed the door on the Ducks in the ninth, earning the first save of his career and preserving the victory for Bandilla, who improved to 3-1 on the season.

Bandilla allowed just two runs – one earned – in 6.1 innings of work, which surpassed his previous career-long outing of six innings from a week ago against Sacramento State. He struck out six and scattered five hits.

Oregon (17-8, 0-2 Pac-10) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after a leadoff walk came in to score. The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Steve Selsky’s second home run of the season, a solo shot to right center field.

The Ducks reclaimed the lead in the fifth with an unearned run off Bandilla.  From there, however, the Wildcats’ bats took over as the they collected nine hits and scored seven runs in the sixth-eighth innings.

Arizona will try for the series sweep as it hosts Oregon in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is set for Noon at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.


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