May 5, 2012
Arizona 12, Oregon 6 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Tyler Crawford pitched marvelously out of the bullpen and No. 11 Arizona pounded out 15 hits en route to a 12-6 victory over No. 10 Oregon to even up the best-of-three series on Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field. The victory moved the Wildcats within a half-game of the league-leading Ducks in the Pac-12 standings.
Arizona (30-14, 13-7 Pac-12) fell behind 3-0 in the top of the second inning, but erupted for six runs in the home half of the inning to take its first lead of the series. Oregon (33-14, 15-8 Pac-12) answered back with two runs in the third and eventually chased UA starter Konner Wade from the game in the fifth inning, before Crawford entered to shut down the Ducks.
After Kyle Garlick tripled to lead off the fifth against Wade, Crawford induced three consecutive groundouts to end the inning. Ryan Hambright's grounder to second base pushed across Garlick to cut UA's lead to 8-6.
From there, Crawford would pitch into the ninth inning. Crawford (1-1) earned his first career pitching victory in 4.1 shutout innings. He allowed just four runners to reach base and did not allow a base hit to the first 15 batters he faced until one out in the ninth, when he consecutive singles brought Stephen Manthei in to record the final two outs and preserve the 12-6 win.
The Wildcats roughed up Oregon starter Jake Reed in the bottom of the second. Trailing by three, Robert Refsnyder led off the inning with a double, then moved to third on an infield single by Seth Mejias-Brean. A walk to Bobby Brown loaded the bases for Riley Moore.
The freshman catcher fell behind 0-2, but evened the count 2-2 and fouled off five consecutive pitches before it ran full. On the 11th pitch of the at-bat, Moore delivered a two-run single to put the Wildcats on the board.
With Moore on first and Brown on second, Brandon Dixon dropped down a bunt in front of the mound and Reed's diving attempt to catch it came up short. Catcher Connor Hofmann hurried to corral the ball, but his late throw to first was wild and allowed Brown to score the tying run.
With runners on second and third, Trent Gilbert's groundout scored Moore and pushed Dixon to third base. Joey Rickard followed with a run-scoring single. He was later driven in on a single by Johnny Field and suddenly the Wildcats had a 6-3 advantage.
The Ducks made it a one-run ballgame with two runs in the third, before the Wildcats tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth. Gilbert opened the frame with a single and Rickard drew a walk, before both runners moved up a base on a passed ball. An RBI groundout by Field and an infield RBI single by Mejia re-extended UA's margin to three runs.
It was in the top of the fifth that Wade was forced from the game after the leadoff triple. He finished with just four-plus innings and was charged with six earned runs on nine hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Arizona collected its first two-out RBI of the series in the bottom of the fifth. With two down and Brown on third base, Gilbert slapped a single through the left side for a key two-out hit that five the Wildcats a three-run edge.
Reed exited the game after Gilbert's hit. The right-hander, who suffered the loss and dropped to 5-3 on the season, was charged for nine runs - eight earned - on 10 hits and three walks over 4.2 innings.
The Wildcats scratched across another run in the sixth to take a 10-6 lead, then added two insurance runs in the eighth. Field opened the eighth frame with his first home run of the year, a solo shot to left field. Later, Dixon drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in another and set the score at its final, 12-6.
The Wildcats, who were just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in the opener, were more timely with their hits on Saturday. They were 7-of-12 in the contest with two two-out RBI in the game, with Oregon was just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
The rubber match is set for noon on Sunday at Hi Corbett Field. The winner will claim first place in the Pac-12 standings heading into next week.