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Pitching, Defense Key Cats to 3-1 Victory
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/03/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 3, 2012

Arizona 3, Harvard 1 (Box Score)

TUCSON, Ariz. - The pitching tandem of Konner Wade and Mathew Troupe combined for 12 strikeouts and the Wildcat defense turned four double plays as No. 7 Arizona defeated visiting Harvard, 3-1, before a crowd of 2,187 on Saturday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.

Wade, who improved to 2-0, was effectively wild throughout the game as he reached double-digit strikeouts (10) in a third-straight start, but also issued a career-high five walks and two hit batsmen. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning that was broken up on a bunt single by Jack Colton with one-out in the frame.

Arizona (7-2) scratched across two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, providing Wade all the support he would need. The Crimson, however, produced some tense moments for Wade and the Wildcats in the late innings.

Harvard (0-2) loaded the bases with a walk, a single and a hit batter to open the seventh inning. After a visit at the mound from UA head coach Andy Lopez, Wade settled in an induced a foul pop-out and an inning-ending double play that kept a shutout-bid in tact for another inning.

The Wildcats tacked on a welcomed insurance run in the home half of the seventh to take a 3-0 edge. Joey Rickard hit a one-out single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. With two down and Rickard at third base, Robert Refsnyder extended his season-opening hitting streak to nine games with an infield RBI base hit in the hole on the left side.

Wade was unable to keep the Crimson off the board in eighth inning. Carlton Bailey dropped down a bunt in front of the mound, but Wade's throw to first was errant and allowed Bailey to scamper to second base. Mike Martin followed with a bunt single and stole second base, which put runners at the corners with no outs.

After breaking up the no-hit bid two innings earlier, Colton bounced a two-hopper to Seth Mejias-Brean at third base, who made an easy relay to catcher Riley Moore to retire Bailey trying to score from third. But Wade walked the next hitter he faced to load the bases, and Marcus Way followed with an RBI groundout to cut UA's edge to two runs.

Holding a 3-1 lead with two outs and runners on second and third, Troupe replaced Wade. The freshman right-hander struck out pinch-hitter Robert Wineski to escape further damage.

In the ninth inning, Troupe allowed a lead-off single, but bounced back quickly with his second strikeout. He then got Kyle Larrow to line into a double play to first baseman Brandon Dixon to end the game and secure Troupe's first career save.

The Wildcats turned four double-plays in the game, including two by groundout in the sixth and seventh innings and two by lineout in the second and ninth frames. In all, 20 of the 27 outs recorded by the Wildcats were via strikeout or double plays.

Arizona's two-run fourth inning was sparked when Mejias-Brean reached on an error. One out later, Moore delivered a run-scoring double to right field and Dixon followed with an RBI double of his own to left field.

Both runs off Crimson starter Joey Novak were unearned. Novak (0-1) suffered the loss despite giving up just the two runs on six hits in five innings of work.

The two clubs conclude the three-game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hi Corbett Field.

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