Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Beat Bucs, 6-4
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 28, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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April 28, 2012

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Arizona 6, ETSU 4 (Box Score)

TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 11 Arizona baseball team secured another weekend series victory, defeating visiting East Tennessee State, 6-4, on Saturday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.

Bobby Brown hit a solo home run to highlight a 13-hit offensive attack that pounded out five more extra base hits, and Konner Wade tossed 7.1 solid innings to improve to 6-1 on the season.

Arizona (28-13) has now won 10 of its 11 weekend series on the season, and 13 of 14 dating back to last May. The Wildcats will try for their fourth weekend sweep on Sunday at noon.

The Wildcats, who scored three first inning runs on Friday night, posted a pair of first-inning runs on Saturday. Johnny Field opened the frame with a single and scored on Alex Mejia's triple to left-center. Mejia scored on a groundout by Robert Refsnyder to push the early advantage to 2-0.

East Tennessee State (19-23) scored a run in the top of the third, before the Wildcats answered back with another pair of runs in the home half of the inning. Mejia reached on a leadoff single and moved to second on an error, before being bunted to third by Refsnyder. Seth Mejias-Brean then delivered a sacrifice fly to push home Mejia.

Brown followed with a deep blast over the right field fence. The solo shot was Brown's second homer of the season and of his career, but his first at home. It came on the heels of a 4-for-4 night on Friday when he was a homer short of hitting for the cycle.

The Buccaneers tightened the game with two runs in the fourth to cut UA's lead to 4-3. After giving up a two-run single to Clinton Freeman, Wade worked out of the jam with a pair of groundouts to strand the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.

After a shaky first few innings, ETSU starter John Long settled in and quieted the UA bats in the middle innings. He gave up just a single run in the fifth and pitched into the eight inning with his team trailing by just two runs.

But in the eighth, Trent Gilbert reached on an error and, one out later, Joseph Maggi delivered a hit-and-run single through the right side that put runners at the corners. Field followed with the Wildcats' first and only hit of the day with a runner in scoring position - a safety squeeze bunt down the first base line.

With Arizona leading 6-3, Long was lifted for reliever Jimmy Nesselt, who recorded a pair of groundouts to end the inning.

Releiver Stephen Manthei, who took over for Wade with one out in the top of the eighth, took the mound again in the ninth. The right-hander hit Chris Riopedre with a pitch to open the inning, the picked up a pair of strikeouts.

Dylan Platt then doubled to the wall in left-center to score Riopedre, which sent the nation's home run leader, Matthew Scruggs, to the plate as the potential tying run. Manthei induced a shallow fly ball to right field to end the game and preserve his second save of the season.

Wade improved to 6-1 on the season. The right-hander gave up three earned runs in 7.1 innings, striking out seven and walking just one.

Long suffered the loss to even his record at 5-5. The right-hander was charged for all six runs - five earned - in 7.1 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

The top four hitters in the Wildcats' batting order hit a combined 8-for-15 in the game with four runs scored and five RBI. Brown, who hit in the No. 5 spot, added the sixth RBI with his homer.

The teams combined for just 10 runs on 23 base hits a day after combining for 31 runs on 41 base hits in UA's 24-7 series-opening victory.

The series concludes on Sunday at noon at Hi Corbett Field. Arizona's James Farris is scheduled to pitch against ETSU's Kerry Doane.

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