Tailing 3-2 and five and half innings, the Wildcats finally broke through for a pair of runs in the sixth and three in the seventh before withstanding a SUU rally in the eighth for the two-run win.
Freshman T.J. Steele tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth with a RBI single after Derek Decater walked to lead off the inning, Brad Glenn singled and Konrad Schmidt advanced the pair to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Steele’s hit plated Decater to even the score and placed runners on the corners.
The Thunderbirds then handed
Freshman Brad Glenn’s two-run homer to left, his team-leading sixth HR of the year, highlighted UA’s three-run seventh, and junior Bill Rhinehart chipped in with a RBI-single in the inning to cap off the scoring for the Wildcats.
Perry (2-0), who replaced starter Mike Colla in the fifth, picked up his second career victory with three innings of relief. He surrendered the two runs in the eighth and gave up two hits in the game, while finishing with four strikeouts.
Schlereth tallied his fourth save after working a scoreless final 1 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out one and walked one.
SUU’s Jason Gillins (5-1) was charged with his first loss of the year after giving up five runs on six hits in two innings of work.
The sluggish Wildcats went hitless through the first three innings, before Rhinehart laced a one-out triple down the right field line in the fourth. His fourth triple of the year extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 straight games and led to UA’s first run on the afternoon.
Glenn followed Rhinehart with a fly ball to center field that would have plated his teammate from third on a sacrifice, but SUU outfielder Justin Sotelo dropped the ball for a two base error, one of four defensive miscues on the afternoon for the Thunderbirds.
Trailing 1-0, Southern Utah battled back and took advantage of a pair of Arizona errors and collected four hits to force starter Colla from the game and take a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth.
The Wildcats appeared to be in good shape in the frame after recording a double play on a Robbie Richards ground ball for the first two outs. However a bunt single by Greg Marshall and base knock by Keli’I Zablan placed runners on first and second with the top of the order due up.
The pair of base runners advanced 90 feet on a double steal, and leadoff hitter Charlie Hahl plated them both for 2-1 lead with a single through the left side of the infield.
After Perry replaced Colla on the mound, Hahl stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Schmidt on the play. Trevor Dimick followed with a run-scoring grounder to the left side that was misplayed by Colt Sedbrook at third for the second defensive miscue in the inning.