April 22, 2012
Washington 6, Arizona 5 (12 Innings)
SEATTLE - The 13th-ranked Arizona baseball team saw its bid for a series sweep slip away in the eighth inning, then rallied to force extra innings in the ninth before host Washington prevailed with a 6-5 victory in 12 innings on Sunday afternoon at Husky Ballpark.
Branden Berry provided the game-winning hit, a two-out single with runners on second and third off reliever Stephen Manthei in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Washington (20-17, 6-9) scored three runs in the eighth inning to overcome a 4-2 deficit and claim a 5-4 lead. In the top of the ninth, Arizona (26-13, 12-6 Pac-12) scored an unearned run to force extra innings, its first extra-innings contest of the season.
The Huskies' winning rally began when Michael Camporeale hit a sharp grounder in the hole on the left side that shortstop Alex Mejia was unable to corral on a diving attempt. The ball skipped towards the left field line and allowed Camporeale to reach second on a double.
Manthei then intentionally walked Jacob Lamb to set up a force play. Caleb Brown attempted to move the runners with a bunt, but chopped back to Manthei who threw to third to retire Camporeale and leave runners at first and second with one down. Trevor Matsui grounded out and moved the runners to second and third, before Berry delivered the walk-off base hit.
Trailing 5-4 and down, Seth Mejias-Brean hit a two-out double and moved to third base on a wild pitch for the Wildcats. Bobby Brown then reached on a fielding error by Mitsui at first base, which allowed Mejias-Brean to score the tying unearned run.
The Huskies had rallied to tie and take the lead just an inning earlier. Releiver Mathew Troupe came in from the bullpen with a runner on first and no outs and issued a walk to Lamb to put runners on second and third. Chase Anselment then doubled to left-center to drive in both runners and tie the game 4-4.
Manthei replaced Troupe and quickly allowed a single to left field by Matsui that pushed pinch runner Caleb Brown to third base. Berry then gave the Huskies the lead with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Caleb Brown for a 5-4 lead.
The late-innings rallies by Washington spoiled a gritty starting performance by UA starter James Farris. The right-hander gave up two first-inning runs, but pitched into the eighth inning.
Arizona scored an unearned run in the top of the first. Mejia singled and stole second with two down, before Robert Refsnyder reached on error by second baseman Robert Pehl. Mejias'Brean followed with a single to center to drive in Mejia and spot the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies wasted no time claiming their first lead in the bottom of the first. Jayce Ray doubled to lead off and moved to third on Joe Megg's sacrifice bunt. Jacob Lamb then tripled to centerfield to drive in Ray, and Anselment followed with a groundout to score Lamb and give UW a 2-1 lead.
Farris wiggled out of a major jam in the bottom of the third. A walk and a single to open the inning were followed by a one-out walk that loaded the bases. But Farris didn't give in, striking out Anselment and getting an inning-ending flyout by Mitsui to leave the bags packed and keep the Wildcats within a run.
After facing the bases-loaded jam in the third, Farris went on to retire 15 of the next 16 UW hitters he faced, including 13 straight from the fourth through the eighth innings. With one down in the eighth, Farris hit Meggs with a pitch to signal the end of his outing.
Manthei worked a bit of magic in the 10th inning, too, facing a bases loaded situation. After a Meggs single to open the inning, Caleb Brown later doubled to right field with one down to put runners at second and third. Mitsui was then intentionally walked to load the bases, and Manthei struck out Berry and Ty Afenir to strand three runners.
In the top of the fourth, the Wildcats capitalized on their own bases loaded situation. Bobby Brown singled off UW starter Jeff Brigham to open the inning, before the right-hander issued walks to Riley Moore and Trent Gilbert.
Zach Wright relieved Brigham and was able to strike out Brandon Dixon for the first out. But Johnny Field hit a two-run double to left-center and Joseph Maggi followed with an RBI groundout to five UA a 4-2 lead.
Manthei (5-4) suffered the loss in relief for the Wildcats. Tyler Kane (3-1) earned the win out of the bullpen for Washington.
Despite the loss, Arizona remains in first place of the Pac-12 following losses by UCLA and Oregon, both of which trailed UA by a game in the standings and also lost on Sunday.
The Wildcats step out of conference action next week to host East Tennessee State. The series begins on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz.