March 31, 2012
Arizona 4, Stanford 2 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Konner Wade threw a complete game three-hitter to the delight of 3,506 fans at Hi Corbett Field on Saturday, as eighth-ranked Arizona upended second-ranked Stanford, 4-2, for the second night in a row to secure a series victory over the Pac-12 preseason favorite.
Wade (4-0) carried a 1-0 lead and a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The right-hander had retired 17-of-18 batters, including 11 consecutive, before he surrendered his first hit of a game - a comebacker off the bat of Lonnie Kauppila that Wade was unable to corral after it deflected off his foot.
Jake Stewart then doubled down the left field line the put two runners in scoring position. A sacrifice fly by Tyler Gaffney put one run on the board, and a second scored on an error as the Cardianl took a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats suddenly found themselves trailing in a game for the 14th straight time, but they wasted no time regaining the lead.
Bobby Brown, who delivered the game-winning hit on Friday night, pulled a double down the left field line to open the bottom of the sixth. Trent Gilbert placed a bunt back to the mound that Stanford hurler Brett Mooneyham threw away at first base to allow Brown to score the tying run. Later, Gilbert scored the go-ahead run when Joey Rickard reached on another error.
The 3-2 lead proved to be enough for Wade, who took matters into his own hands the rest of the way. Wade struck out five over the next two innings, including the side in order in the top of the eighth.
In the home half of the eighth, the Wildcats added a key insurance run. Brandon Dixon reached on a one-out single and moved to third when Rickard doubled off reliever David Schmidt. After the Cardinal intentionally walked Johnny Field to load the bases, Schmidt hit Alex Mejia to force in a run.
Robert Refsnyder grounded into an inning-ending double play to thwart a big rally, which was a theme for UA. The Wildcats left 12 runners on base in the game and were a combined 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Wade worked a clean ninth inning, inducing a pair of flyouts and, fittingly, a tapper back to the mound to seal the victory.
The complete game was Wade's first in his career. He allowed the three sixth-inning base hits, walked just one and hit a batter to go with seven strikeouts.
Mooneyham (5-1) suffered the loss for Stanford, his first of the season. The left-hander threw 7.1 innings, allowed nine hits, walked four and struck out seven.
Stanford (16-5, 2-3 Pac-12) did not put a runner in scoring position in the first five innings. It threatened to take a lead in the seventh when a walk and a two-out error put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, before Wade struck out Stewart to end the inning.
The Wildcats, who put at least one base runner on in all eight innings they came to bat, were staked to a 1-0 lead thanks to the first of three Cardinal errors. Mejia's two-out doubled was followed by a double down the left field line by Refsnyder. Gafney was unable to come up with the ball cleanly, which allowed Mejia to head home for the game's first run.
Arizona (20-7, 6-2) improved its weekend series record to 7-0 on the season, including three straight in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats took two-of-three from Washington State in Tucson two weeks ago, and won a pair of games at Oregon State last weekend.
The two clubs conclude the three-game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Hi Corbett Field.