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Huskies Drop Extra-Inning Thriller to No. 13 Arizona

May 14, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. -- After 10 innings and nearly five and a half hours, the Washington Huskies dropped a 17-16 thriller to the No. 13 Arizona Wildcats on Friday night in Tucson.

The game saw the Huskies put up season highs in runs (16) and hits (19), but the top offense in the Pac-12 was too much to overcome in a game that had 11 half innings with multiple runs scored, including a combined 7-run 10th inning. 

After UW scored 4 unanswered runs to force extras and take a 16-13 lead in the 10th, the Wildcats rallied for 4 runs of their own to walk it off.
Back in the first inning, Arizona wasted no time getting on the board, as the Wildcats strung together four singles against UW starter Gabe Smith to take a 2-0 lead. 

The Huskies would answer in the top of the third, as Noah Hsue hit an RBI single to score Braiden Ward. Johnny Tincher would score later in the inning on a double-play to tie the game at 2-2, kicking off a wild, back-and-forth affair.

In the bottom of the frame, Arizona would re-take the lead with a leadoff solo home run. A passed ball and groundout plated two more runs to make it a 5-2 lead for the Wildcats. 

Once again, UW would have a quick answer. With two outs, Braiden Ward laced a single into right field that scored Michael Snyder and put Michael Brown on third. Ward went to the second on the throw. Johnny Tincher then hit a ground ball to second base, but a wild throw scored Brown and Ward to tie the game at 5-5.

The teams would exchange blows for the next four innings, capped off by Arizona scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to take a 13-12 lead. 

Needing a run to extend the game in the top of the 9th, Braiden Ward got the team going with a leadoff single. He stole second, good for his 30th of the season, and would go to third on a sac bunt by Michael Petrie. With Ward 90 feet away, Noah Hsue placed a perfect bunt up the first base line for a safety squeeze to score Ward and tie the game at 13-13. Davis Delorefice would throw a scoreless bottom of the ninth to help force extra innings. 

Will Simpson led off the 10th with a double to start another UW rally. With Dalton Chandler pinch-running, Michael Snyder hit an infield single to third base, but the Wildcat third baseman threw the ball away, allowing Chandler to score and Snyder to go to third. After Christian Jones was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game, Kaiser Weiss hit a perfectly-placed double down the third base line to score Snyder and put Jones on third. A Noah Hsue infield single later in the inning would score Weiss and give the Huskies a 16-13 lead. 

With the top of the order due up for Arizona in the bottom of the 10th, they led off with a walk, prompting UW to call in Dylan Lamb from the bullpen. After striking out the first batter he faced, a throwing error gave the Wildcats runners on second and third with one out. He struck out the next batter, but a two-out single scored those two runners to make it 16-15. A double into the right-center gap would tie the game at 16-16. After the Huskies elected to intentionally walk the bases loaded, a single up the middle would walk it off.