Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Hangs on for Wild 9-6 Win Over New Mexico
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 10, 2007
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            TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The top of the ninth inning, in which Arizona closer Daniel Schlereth walked the bases loaded but also struck out the side to earn his second save of the year, capped off a wild final three innings, as UA (6-0) hung on to defeat New Mexico (1-1) by a score of 9-6 at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium on Friday.


            The game featured 14 walks by the two pitching staffs, five hit batters by New Mexico, three total errors, three wild pitches, a passed ball and a run-scoring balk. The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth with only one hit in the frame and two in the eighth without recording a single base knock.


            Down 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats rallied for four runs to retake the lead when pinch hitter Travis Peep came through with the only hit in the inning, a two-out, three-run double to right field.


UNM starter Bobby LaFromboise hit Bill Rhinehart to lead off the frame and walked C.J. Ziegler and Brad Glenn to load the bases. After T.J. Steele struck out, freshman Erik Castro knotted the game at 3-3 with a one-out sac fly to score Rhinehart. Kevin Rodland then drew a two-out walk to re-load the bases for Peep, who lined the first pitch thrown to him down the right field line to clear the bases with a three-run double for a 6-3 UA advantage.


Aided by a wild pitch and a dropped fly ball in left field, New Mexico stormed back to tie the game in the top of the seventh with three runs on two hits.


Former Wildcat Drew McDonald notched the first run for the Lobos when he doubled off of reliever Cory Burns to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and came home on a Matt Foote ground out to second.


With Scott Gracey, who had walked after McDonald’s double, on third and one out, Jay Russell hit a shallow fly ball to left for what looked to be the second out in the frame, but Glenn dropped the ball for an error that allowed Gracey to trot home.


Another walk and wild pitch by Jason Stoffel paved the way for a game-tying single by Ian Hollick to make it 6-6 after six and half innings.


The wildness continued in the home half of the seventh. After Robert Abel was hit by UNM reliever Shane Dyer to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Glenn handed the Wildcats their third and final lead of the night with a two-out single through the left side of the infield to make it 7-6.


            The top of the eighth featured back-to-back one-out walks by Schlereth, but the left-hander worked out of the jam with a strikeout and pop out to second to hold the Lobos scoreless.


            In the bottom of the inning, Kevin Rodland reached on a fielding error by shortstop Gracey to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a sac-bunt by Daniel Butler. Reliever Brandon Hewett then hit Jon Gaston and the two UA runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball by reserve catcher Mark Rockey. Another walk, this time to Abel, loaded the bases for Rhinehart who delivered a sac fly to center field to make it an 8-6 UA lead.


            Ziegler was hit by another pitch in the next at bat to load the bases yet again for Glenn, who was plunked by Hewett on the first pitch thrown to him for his second RBI on the night. The final line for the Wildcats in the bottom of the eighth ?- two runs on no hits, one New Mexico error, one walk, three hit batters and three left on base.


            Not to be out-done, Schlereth made the ninth interesting by walking the first two hitters, Russell and Jordan Pacheco, striking out Daniel Stovall and loading the bases with a one-out walk to Hollick before striking out Matt Hibbits and Adam Courcha to end the game.


            UA starter Preston Guilmet, who did not factor in the decision, was the lone bright spot for the two pitching staffs after he followed up his one-hitter in the season-opener last Friday with six solid innings of work against the Lobos. He allowed just three runs on five hits and finished with four strikeouts and only one walk. Stoffel (1-0) was credited with his first career victory and Schlereth with his second save.


            UNM’s Dyer (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run to Glenn in the seventh.


            In what was a well-played game early, UNM’s Stovall hit a two-run homer in the sixth to hand the Lobos their ill-fated 3-2 lead.


            Arizona and New Mexico will meet up for game two of the three-game set on Saturday at 1 p.m. Left-hander Brad Mills is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.

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