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Simpson Walks off New Mexico to Give UW 4-3 Win

Apr 23, 2021

SEATTLE -- A 10th-inning single down the third-base line by Will Simpson walked off the New Mexico Lobos (8-15) and gave the Washington Huskies (16-17) their sixth win in the last seven games. 

UW starter Logan Gerling gave the Huskies another strong effort, delivering his 10th straight start allowing two or fewer runs, which accounts for all of his starts this year. He battled through 5.0 innings, yielding seven hits, but allowing just one run in the second inning and striking out three. He stranded five Lobos on the bases in his outing. 

"It's great to win a one-run game," said head coach Lindsay Meggs. "That's always something that you can build. In extra-innings, that's also something you feel good about."

Batting leadoff for the first time since March 29 against Oregon State, Braiden Ward was a force in the box and on the base paths. He led off the first inning with a bunt single, went to second on a balk, stole third and scored on a Ramon Bramasco sac fly in the first.

With the game tied 1-1, Ward led off the third with an infield second, stole second base, went to third on a sac bunt and scored on a Christian Jones RBI double. A Will Simpson sac fly would score Jones and give the Huskies a 3-1 lead. 

In the top of the seventh, the Lobos dropped a two-out single into left field to make it a 3-2 game. With runners on the corners and two outs, an errant throw on a stolen base attempt allowed them to tie the game at three. 

After the Huskies couldn't score with runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth, the game went to extra innings. New Mexico used a leadoff hit-by-pitch, bunt single and wild pitch to put runners on second and third with no outs. Ramon Bramasco made a diving stop on a grounder at shortstop to hold the runners and get the first out of the inning. Gabe Smith then entered for Dylan Lamb looking to end the rally.

On an 0-1 count, the Lobos tried a suicide squeeze play, but the batter didn't make contact and Michael Petrie ran down the runner on third for the second out of the inning. On the next pitch, Smith got a swinging strikeout to end the half inning.

Ward got his third hit of the game to lead off the 10th, a single up the middle. After Ward went to second on a sac bunt, Carson Blatnick was hit by a pitch, making way for Will Simpson, who led the team in AVG, HR and RBI. After going ahead in the count 3-0, Simpson battled it to a full count before ripping a 3-2 fastball down the third-base line into the corner. Ward scored easily from second, his third run of the game, and the Huskies walked it off for a 4-3 win. 

"The whole approach today was to be ready for the fastball and try to hit a hard ground ball somewhere and it turned out to work," Ward said. "That's my number one job. Get on base and have Will hit me in, that's our bread and butter."

Game two between Washington and New Mexico is scheduled for Saturday afternoon with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch.