Feb. 26, 2010
Final Box Score (PDF)
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team dropped its first game of the season to Long Beach State, 8-7, on Friday evening at Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium.
The Wildcats (3-1) jumped on top 4-0 in the first inning and took a 7-4 lead into the seventh inning, but Long Beach State rallied with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings and two in the ninth to overcome the home team.
Arizona starter Kurt Heyer struck out seven 49ers on the evening, but allowed 11 hits and four runs in 5.2 innings pitched. Even so, the freshman handed over a three-run lead to the Wildcat bullpen that was nearly flawless a week ago.
The 49ers began to chip away at the lead in the seventh against Nick Cunningham. The freshman right hander allowed a one-out hit to LBSU shortstop Devin Lohman. A balk by Cunningham moved Lohman to second, who then advanced to third on a groundout. Cunningham then walked a batter before committing his second balk of the inning, which brought home Lohman to cut the UA lead to 7-5.
Arizona called upon sophomore Bryce Bandilla in the eighth inning to try and close out the game, but walked LBSU first baseman Steve Tinoco to start the inning. Tinoco came around to score later in the inning on a fielder’s choice groundout by centerfielder Jordan Casas.
Clinging to a 7-6 lead, the Wildcats threatened to add insurance runs in the home half of the eighth inning. But with the bases loaded, LBSU reliever David Brown struck out UA’s Seth Mejias-Brean to end the inning.
In the ninth, right fielder TJ Mittelstaedt hit a one-out triple to spark the 49ers. The next batter, left fielder Jonathon Jones, drove home Mittelstaedt with the tying run to set up the game-winning double by Tinco one batter later.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats went to down in order.
Arizona roughed up LBSU ace Jake Thompson for seven runs over the first five innings. But, after collecting 11 hits off Thompson, UA mustered just three more over the final four innings off LBSU relievers Jason Markovtiz, Cris Trout, Ryan Donohue and Brown (1-0).
The Wildcats left 11 runners on base in the game and had just two extra base hits in the game out of 14 total hits.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday evening for the second game of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.