April 17, 2010
Final Box Score (PDF)
TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 21 Arizona baseball team fell behind early but surged past visiting Washington State for a 13-6 victory on Saturday night at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
Kyle Simon pitched eight innings to improve to 6-2 on the season and the Wildcats rapped out 16 base hits, including nine for extra bases. Rafael Valenzuela and Steve Selsky combined to go 6-for-10 with nine RBI and three runs scored.
After pitching a complete game three-hitter against Washington last Sunday, Simon appeared to be on his way to another dominating performance as he turned away the Cougars in order in the first inning. The next two innings posed some trouble, however.
Washington State (19-13, 3-5 Pac-10), put its first two runners on in the top of the second and took a 2-1 lead on a two-run double by Matt Argyropoulos.
The Wildcats had claimed a 1-0 lead in the first after Joey Rickard led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by Steve Selsky, the first of four runs batted in on the evening for the sophomore.
The Cougars extended their lead to 4-1 in the third inning in similar fashion. Two singles set up a two-run double off the bat of Michael Weber. From there, it was all Wildcats as the home team scored 12-unanswered runs over the next three innings.
Arizona (25-9, 6-5 Pac-10) scored three runs to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the third, prompted by an error by WSU centerfielder Garrt Kuykendall, who dropped a fly ball hit by Rickard, which put UA’s centerfielder on second base with no outs. Rickard scored on Selsky’s second hit of the game, and Robert Refsnyder drove in a pair of runs later in the inning.
WSU starter David Stilley ran into more trouble in the fourth inning as the Wildcats strung together five consecutive one-out hits, including three doubles and a triple. Stilley was responsible for the first three runs and was lifted after 3.1 innings of work in which he allowed seven runs on eight hits.
Alex Mejia started the hit barrage with a double before Rickard blasted an RBI triple to right centerfield. Valenzuela then delivered his second of three hits on the night to plate Rickard, which forced the Cougars to call on Connor Lambert from the bullpen.
Lambert struggled, too, as Bandy doubled to put runners at second and third. Selsky stepped to the plate and roped a double to score both runners, pushing UA’s lead to 8-4.
Valenzuela delivered a knock-out blow to the Cougars in the fifth inning. A pair of hit batsmen and a single loaded the bases for UA’s senior first baseman who crushed a double to right center to clear the bases and give the Wildcats a comfortable 11-4 lead.
By then, Simon had settled down and proceeded to allow just one base hit from the fourth through seventh innings and keep the Cougars off the board until the eighth inning. For good measure, the Wildcats scored two runs in the seventh inning off reliever Richie Ochoa to take 13-4 lead into the eighth.
It was in the eighth that Simon gave up a lone run, but he escaped further damage. He worked into the ninth inning, but a leadoff single and a hit batsman forced the Wildcats to go the bullpen to close the game.
Augey Bill and Nick Cunningham finished the ninth as the Cougars knocked in a final run, which set the score at its final, 13-6.
Arizona will try for its first conference series sweep of the season on Sunday as it hosts Washington State in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for Noon at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.