April 26, 2009
Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats
PALO ALTO, Calif. – The Arizona baseball team took an early lead, then staved off several Stanford rallies, including a major threat in the eighth inning, to win, 6-3, as the Wildcats captured their first Pac-10 series victory of the season on Sunday at Sunken Diamond Stadium.
In relief, junior Jason Stoffel took the reigns of a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning. But UA’s all-time saves leader did not make things easy on himself.
Stoffel allowed a base hit, a walk and hit two batters, which allowed the Cardinal to cut UA’s lead to 7-6. But a low line drive off the bat of Zack Jones was caught by Dillon Baird at his shoelaces, getting the Wildcats out of the inning with no further damage.
In the ninth, Stoffel overpowered the No. 8-9-1 hitters, retiring the side in order to give Arizona (19-20, 5-13 Pac-10) its seventh consecutive regular season series victory over Stanford.
Bryce Ortega led the Wildcats from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Steve Selsky, who made his first career start in left field, went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
Daniel Workman pitched four plus innings in his second career start, but Cory Burns picked up his first victory of the season out of the bullpen.
Burns came in to replace Donn Roach, who allowed the first two runners to reach in the sixth. Burns got the Wildcats out of the inning with only one run allowed, then shut down the Cardinal in order in the seventh before handing the game over to Stoffel.
Arizona staked itself to an early two-run lead as Bobby Coyle reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on a sharp single to left field off the bat of Jett Bandy. Coyle came in to score on a Dillon Baird RBI double down the right field line, and Bandy scored on an RBI ground out by Brad Glenn.
The Wildcats quickly answered a first-inning Stanford run with a single run in the top of the second. Steve Selsky opened the frame with a sharp single to centerfield and moved to third after Kyle Stiner singled to right. Bryce Ortega then layed down a safety squeeze that safely brought home Selsky from third.
Toby Gerhart’s second home run of the series to lead off the bottom of the third set up a two-run inning that tied the game, 3-3. Later, Workman allowed an unearned after Bandy couldn’t handle a chopper that would have resulted in the third out of the inning.
In the fifth inning, Cardinal starter Jeffrey Inman allowed a leadoff single to Ortega and was lifted in favor of Brian Busick.
Busick proceeded to hit the first two batters he faced to bring up Glenn with one out. Glenn lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, which pushed UA ahead 4-3.
Workman pitched into the fifth inning, but issued his second walk of the game to lead off the fifth. He was replaced by Donn Roach, who induced a double play and later escaped trouble leaving a pair of Cardinal runners on base.
The Wildcats played small ball early in the sixth inning before forcing Busick from the game. Selsky singled down the third base line to open the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dwight Childs and scored on an RBI single to centerfield by Kyle Stiner.
The Cardinal (18-18, 8-10 Pac-10) brought in Max Fearnow with one out in the sixth. With Ortega at bat, Stiner was thrown out attempting to steal second. But two pitches later, Ortega launched his third home run of the season over the left field fence to extend UA’s lead to 6-3.
Stanford wasted no time getting back into the game. Roach walked the first batter he faced in the sixth, then allowed a single before the Wildcats went to the bullpen.
Burns came on in relief, but he was unable to stop the Stanford rally. The Cardinal drove home both of the runners Roach allowed, and threatened to tack on more, but Burns settled in and struck out a pair of batters with two runners on the end the inning and get UA back to the dugout with a 6-5 lead.
Arizona will return home for a short four-game homestand. The Wildcats will host Arizona State in a non-conference game on Wednesday, April 29 at 3 p.m., before continuing Pac-10 play against California May 1-3 at Jerry Kindall Field.