May 25, 2012
Arizona 1, Arizona State 0 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Seth Mejias-Brean ripped a double down the left field line, Robert Refsnyder ran through a stop sign at third base and the 13th-ranked Arizona baseball team walked off with an electric 1-0 victory over 16th-ranked Arizona State before a crowd of 5,451 at Hi Corbett Field on Friday night.
Refsnyder hit a one-out single off Sun Devil starter Brady Rodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning. Reliever Jake Barrett replaced Rodgers to face Mejias-Brean. Arizona's junior third baseman turned on an 0-1 fastball and roped it down the left field line.
As the ball rolled to the warning track, Refsnyder raced around second base and headed towards third as left fielder James McDonald relayed the ball back to the infield. Refnsyder then ran through third base coach Matt Siegel's stop sign, and McDonald's throw was up the first base line as Refsnyder emphatically slid head-first into home for the winning run.
The win, coupled with a loss by league-leading Oregon (42-15, 19-9 Pac-12), puts Arizona (37-16, 19-9 Pac-12) into a tie for first place atop the Pac-12 standings. Each team has two games remaining this weekend, and UCLA (40-14, 18-10 Pac-12) is one game back of the co-leaders.
The victory also capped perhaps the pitching duel of the season in the conference. Arizona's Kurt Heyer (11-2) earned the win as he tossed his sixth complete game of the season, shutting out the Sun Devils. Heyer scattered six hits and walked three, limiting Arizona State (35-19, 17-11 Pac-12) to a combined 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Rodgers suffered the tough-luck loss, falling to 10-3 on the season. The Sun Devil ace hurled 8.1 innings, struck out four, walked one and allowed just five hits. He was responsible for Refsnyder reaching base in the ninth, before Barrett gave up the walk-off hit.
The shutout marked the first time Arizona has blanked its neighbor from the north since 1989. It was the first time a game ended with a shutout between the schools in Tucson since UA's 4-0 victory on May 16, 1970.
The Hi Corbett crowd was the largest home crowd for the Wildcats since May 14, 1993. The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 11-10 to the delight of 5,572 fans at Sancet Stadium that day.
The two teams will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Wildcats will honor their seniors before the game, and UA basketball coach Sean Miller is slated to throw out the first pitch.