June 17, 2012
OMAHA, Neb.--Konner Wade pitched the 100th shutout in College World Series play and the 4-0 victory over UCLA on Sunday night kept Arizona in the winner's bracket.
A crowd of 19,198 in TD Ameritrade Park saw Wade pitch a complete game and walk none to keep a streak of 25 and one-third innings alive without issuing a free pass. He struck out four and scattered five hits to impove to 10-3 for Arizona (45-17) which now cools its heels for several days awaiting a date Thursday night against either UCLA or Florida State after elimination play continues.
The Cats used a four-run fourth to take control of the game and halt a 10-game UCLA (48-15) winning streak, plus build on their own streak of eight consecutive victories. Wade's shutout was only the second in 2012 against the Bruins, Pac-12 co-champions with Arizona this year.
Wade's shutout for Arizona was its first in CWS play since its second NCAA title year in 1980 when it beat Michigan 8-0.
The victory was Arizona Coach Andy Lopez's 400th at Arizona in his 11th season in Tucson, compiling a 400-246-1 record.
The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, and cashed in to open the scoring, batting around to score all the runs they needed.
Wade and UCLA's Nick Vander Tuig (10-4) pitched three-plus innings of perfect ball before Johnny Field got Arizona's first hit, a fading liner down the rightfield line. Alex Mejia followed with a single to right and Robert Refsnyder singled through the left side to put three aboard.
Seth Mejias-Brean then lined one over a leaping second baseman to drive in Field and Mejia, and reached second when right fielder Jeff Gelalich's throw skittered past shortstop Pat Valaika at the bag, putting two in scoring position. Bobby Brown followed with a two-run double into the corner in right field
Wade got into trouble right away. Valaika singled with two out in the fifth to right to break up his perfect game to that point, and Cody Regis followed with a single to left to bring out Arizona Coach Andy Lopez for a visit. Kevin Kramer hit an infield single to load the bases, but Wade got nine-hole hitter Kevin Williams to fly out to strand three.
Cody Keefer legged out an infield single to give UCLA a two-out baserunner in the sixth, but Wade struck out Bruin slugger Gelalich swinging.
The Bruins switched pitchers after Riley Moore singled off Vander Tuiig with one out in the seventh, bringing in lefty Grant Watson to pitch to Trent Gilbert, who sacrificed Moore to second. UCLA made another switch, bringing in David Berg to face the top of the order in Cats' center fielder Joey Rickard, who grounded to short.
Mejias-Brean started a 5-4-3 double play off a ground ball by UCLA leadoff batter Beau Amaral with one out in the eighth to give Arizona its' 13th ground-ball out of the game to that point. At game's end the total was 14. The play helped UA strand a total of only four base runners all night.
Wade threw 13 pitches in the ninth to get a ground ball and two fly balls to end the game. He threw 109 pitches in the contest, his fifth complete game of the year.
The Cats get a few days off while UCLA turns around and faces Florida State Tuesday night in an elimination game. The Seminoles eliminated Stony Brook, 12-2, in loser's bracket play in the game prior to the UA-UCLA contest.
--Johnny Field has a 13-game hitting streak and reached base in 26 consecutive games.
--Robert Refsnyder's single in the fourth gave him a streak of 36 games reaching base.
--Arizona scored multiple runs for the 17th time in an inning (4th) in the postseason. --Arizona has an extra-base hit in 61 of its 62 games in 2012.
--Arizona got at least seven innings from its starting pitcher for the seventh time in the postseason, each game.
--Arizona has won at least two games in nine of its 16 College World Series appearances and opened 2-0 for the third time (also in 1959, 1963 and 1986 -- when it opened 3-0).
--The eight-game winning streak matches the Cats' longest this year, accomplished March 2 through March 11.
--Arizona's 45th victory tied the 1989 and 1980 clubs for victories in a season, the fifth-most in history behind 1974 (58-6), 1976 (56-17), 1986 (49-19) and 1985 (47-22).
--Konner Wade's complete-game shutout without a walkwas the first in CWS play since 1972 (Craig Swan of ASU).
--Arizona has a 2.01 earned run average, 43 strikeouts, eight walks and four complete games in 67 innings of postseason play.
--Arizona is hitting just .219 in CWS action this year -- but has held opponents to a .176 average.
--Konner Wade has thrown 25.1 innings since his last walk.
-- Wade became the first UA pitcher to throw a shutout in a CWS game since Craig Lefferts (June 2, 1980) in an 8-0 victory over Michigan.