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Cats' 12th-inning Doubles Bring in Winner
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/15/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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June 15, 2012

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OMAHA, Neb.-- Arizona got its first extra-base hits in the 12th inning and the ensuing run lifted the Wildcats to a 4-3 College World Series victory over Florida State in both team's opener Friday night -- a 4 hour, seven-minute contest before a crowd of 22,391 in TD Ameritrade Park.

Joey Rickard and Johnny Field had one-out doubles in the top of the 12th to snap a six-inning scoring drought and push Arizona onward in the winner's bracket. It will play UCLA on Sunday at 8 p.m. Omaha time.

Mathew Troupe, UA's third pitcher, won in relief for the the Wildcats (44-17). He pitched two and two-thirds innings, struck out three and walked none. Troupe hit FSU's Seth Miller with a pitch to put the tying run on base in FSU's bottom half of the inning, and threw a wild pitch to move him to second. A ground ball moved him to third but Troupe struck out Seminole Devon Travis for the final out.

Robert Benincasa (4-2) took the loss for Florida State (48-16). The Seminoles play Stony Brook at 4 p.m. Sunday in the first elimination game of the Series.

The game was a close one throughout, although UA did not trail.

Alex Mejia singled with two outs and reached scoring position with a stolen base in the top of the first but Robert Refsnyder fouled out to the first baseman to strand the Cats first base runner.

Travis and James Ramsey hit singles through the left side to start a Seminole one-out rally in the bottom of the frame, but UA starting pitcher Kurt Heyer got two fly balls to end the threat.

Riley Moore collected his first career CWS hit with a single to left to open the UA third, and moved up on a sacrifice by Trent Gilbert to set up the top of the Wildcats' order. Joey Rickard cashed in the first run with a single up the middle to make it 1-0.

An error by shortstop Justin Gonzalez moved Rickard into scoring position, and Refsnyder singled up the middle to drive him in as an unearned run and make it 2-0.

The Seminoles came right back with a leadoff home run by Sherman Johnson into the UA bullpen beyond right field to cut the lead if half in the bottom of the third. It was the first home run allowed by Heyer since April 5 against Utah.

Josh Delph doubled to center with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but Heyer got a ground ball to first from John Holland and a foul pop to third off Jose Brizuela to strand the runner in scoring position.

UA opened the top of the fifth with the top of its order, and Rickard was hit by a pitch to put one aboard and start a rally that gave UA another run for 3-1 lead.

Johnny Field hit into a force play, but Mejia singled up the middle to put runners on the corners and chase Seminole starter Brandon Liebrandt in favor of reliever Gage Smith. Refsnyder singled off the first baseman's glove to drive in Rickard, and a dropped ball by Gonzalez in a run-down allowed Mejia to get to third. The Seminoles pulled a 4-6-3 double play off a ground ball from Seth Mejias-Brean to strand a runner, one of 10 UA left on base in the game.

Heyer set down the top of the Seminoles' batting order in sequence in the bottom of the frame by getting fly balls off Johnson and Travis, and striking out Ramsey.

FSU tied the game with two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth. A throwing error by Wildcat third baseman Mejias-Brean allowed Jayce Boyd to reach base. Heyer struck out Stephen McGee and Gonzalez, but walked Josh Delph and then John Holland doubled to left center to knot the score.

Trent Gilbert and Field walked to have two aboard with one out in the seventh, but Mejia lined to first and Refsnyder grounded to short to strand both.

Florida State brought in Hunter Scantling to pitch in the eighth, after Gage's two and two-thirds innings of one-hit work, and he got three fly balls from Mejias-Brean, Bobby Brown and Brandon Dixon.

Heyer left after two outs in the eighth. He scattered six hits, struck out eight and walked three. He gave way to lefty Tyler Crawford, who got Delph to ground to second.

Moore led off the UA ninth with his third hit, and 10th in postseason play, and forcing FSU to go with reliever Benincasa. Gilbert hit into a force play, then moved to second on a passed ball. Rickard struck out and Field grounded to short.

Travis led off the FSU 10th with a single to left field. Crawford struck out Seminole slugger Ramsey, and then UA Coach Andy Lopez brought in righthander Troupe to pitch. Moore threw out Travis attempting to steal for the second out and Troupe got Jace Boyd to ground back to the hill for the third out. Crawford matched Troupe by not issuing a walk in his one and two-thirds of pitching.

Benincasa struck out Bobby Brown, Dixon and Moore, all swinging, in the UA 11th inning. Gonzalez hit a one-out single in the bottom of the frame to put the potential winning run on, but Troupe picked him off and struck out Delph swinging to end the inning. It was Troupe's first pickoff of the year.

NOTES...

- Alex Mejia's stolen base in the first inning was his third (in as many tries) in six postseason games ... Mejia is now 7-for-13 in stolen base attempts on the season ... Arizona has stolen a base in five of six postseason games in 2012.

- Kurt Heyer made his 54th career start on Friday to move into sole possession of third place all-time at Arizona (was tied with Joe Magrane).ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ?@

- Arizona scored twice in the third inning to mark the 16th time the Wildcats have posted a multiple-run inning this postseason.

- Kurt Heyer allowed a solo home run to Sherman Johnson to lead of the bottom of the third inning. Heyer's last home run allowed was on April 5 at Utah (nine starts in between without a homer).

- Robert Refsnyder reached base for the 35th-consecutive game.

- Kurt Heyer's walk to James Ramsey in the third inning was the first walk issued by the Wildcat pitching staff in 22.0 innings.

- Heyer's eight strikeouts were the most he has thrown in a game since May 11 at California (9).

- Heyer threw 7.2 innings on Friday, marking the 12th-consecutive game in which he has thrown at least 7.2 innings in a game. The last start he failed to do so was on March 23 at Oregon State (6.1 IP).

- Riley Moore collected his fifth three-hit or better game of his freshman season. He has two such games in the postseason, including career-high four hits against Louisville (June 3). His three were game-high vs. FSU.

- Arizona is 34-27 in College World Series play in 16 appearances

- The Cats are 5-1 against Florida State in CWS play.

- UA is 7-5 all-time in its play against the Seminoles

- Arizona's 11th-inning doubles by Rickard and Field avoided matching the single game this year that the Cats did not get at least one, which happened in a 6-0 loss against Washington State in Tucson on March 16.

- Field's double, in his fifth at-bat of the game, extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

- Arizona posted its eighth consecutive game with 10 or more hits

- Arizona hitters struck out 10 times, matching the season high against Louisville in NCAA Regional action two weeks ago.

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