April 16, 2010
Final Box Score (PDF)
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona freshman pitcher Kurt Heyer struck out a career high 14 batters as he baffled the Washington State hitters and led the No. 21-ranked Wildcats to a 5-3 victory before a season-high crowd of 1,885 fans on Friday night at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
Heyer came within one out of throwing his second complete game of the season, but still turned in a dominating 8.2 innings in which he surpassed the 13 strikeout mark that he hit in his collegiate debut on Feb. 19. The right-hander allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits as he improved to 6-0 on the season.
Just as impressive as the 14 strikeouts, which is the second-highest single game tally by a UA freshman in school history, was the fact that Heyer did not allow a base hit for 15 consecutive batters faced from the fourth through eighth innings and did not walk a batter until there were two outs in the ninth.
The only blemish on Heyer’s line in the late innings was a solo home run by Derek Jones to lead off the ninth, which cut the UA lead to 5-3. Heyer bounced back and struck out the next two batters, before he walked pinch hitter Patrick Clausen.
Heyer was lifted after issuing his first walk of the game. Augey Bill came on to earn his first career save by striking out pinch hitter Ryan Peterson to end the game.
Arizona (24-9, 5-5 Pac-10) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning after Robert Refsnyder led off the frame with a ground rule double. Bobby Brown followed with a walk and both moved up a base on Bobby Rinard’s sacrifice bunt.
Refdsnyder scored on a single by Seth Mejias-Brean and Brown scored on a play that ended the inning. With runners at the corners and two outs, Brown scored ahead of the third out on a double-steal attempt in which Mejias-Brean was caught in a run down between first and second base.
The Cougars tied the game at 2-2 in the third with an unearned run, but the Wildcats quickly answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the inning to reclaim a 4-2 lead. With two outs and runners at second and third, Refsnyder hit a check-swing single through the right side to score a pair of runs.
Arizona added an insurance run to claim a 5-2 edge in the bottom of the seventh. Alex Mejia doubled to open the inning and later scored on a groundout by Rafael Valenzuela.
Chad Arnold suffered the hard-luck defeat in the game despite pitching all 8.0 innings for the Cougars. The right-hander allowed five runs – three earned – on eight hits. He struck out five and walked two.
The combined pitching effort resulted in the shortest game of the year for the Wildcats, lasting two hours and 14 minutes.
The two teams will face off in the second game of the three game series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.