The Wildcats' pitching staff worked itself out of jams all night, stranding 13 base runners in a hard-fought 3-1 victory at Long Beach State on Wednesday.
Feb. 20, 2013
Arizona 3, Long Beach State 1 (Box Score) | 2013 Stats
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Freshmen Kevin Newman and Ryan Koziol had two hits apiece and the pitching staff wiggled its way out of jams all game long as 10th-ranked Arizona bounced back from its first loss of the season to down host Long Beach State, 3-1, on Wednesday at Blair Field.
Arizona (4-1) scored one run in each of the first, second and fourth innings, never trailing in the last of a brief two-game midweek series. Long Beach State (3-2), which held on 5-4 earlier in the day as the team's finished a rain-suspended game from Wednesday night, had plenty of opportunities in the finale.
The Dirtbags left 13 runners on base in the game, hitting a combined 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the game. They threatened all the way through the eighth inning, when leading the bases loaded for the second time in three innings took the wind from their sails.
Closer Mathew Troupe, who picked up a pair of tough outs in the eighth, calmly turned down the Dirtbags in order in the bottom of the ninth to finish off an otherwise suspenseful night. Troupe earned his second save of the season after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Leading by two, the Wildcats dodged a final Long Beach State rally in the eighth. Releiver Stephen Manthei gave up a one-out walk, which prompted UA to turn to Troupe. The righty picked up a quick out on a pop fly, then loaded the bases on a base hit and a walk following an 11-pitch battle against Josh Guerra. Troupe dug in, though, and struck out Jeff McNeil to strand the bases loaded for the second time in three innings.
Just two innings earlier, Manthei worked the Wildcats out of a bases-loaded jam. Starter Tyler Crawford allowed a two-out single and walked a batter, before being lifted in favor of reliever Manthei. The righty hit the first batter he faced to load the bases, but got pinch-hitter Brennan Fulkerson to ground out and strand the three runners.
Crawford (1-0) matched his career-long outing with 5.2 innings to earn the win. The lefty battled his way through three walks and two hit batsmen, but allowed just four hits and one run, which was unearned. The victory was the first of his career as a starter.
Arizona opened the game with a run in the first. Scott Kingery drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and was moved to third on a groundout by Riley Moore. Johnny Field followed with a run-scoring single through the left side to spot the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.
Long Beach State was able to answer with the help of an error. Right fielder Joseph Maggi dropped a fly ball near the foul line to allow leadoff hitter Josh Guerra to reach second base. A sacrifice bunt advanced Guerra to third, and Juan Avila's grounder to short drove in the tying run.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the second, but squandered a chance for at least another run. Newman, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, hit a leadoff double to left-center and scored on Koziol's ensuing double to right field. But Maggi struckout, Koziol was picked off second base and Cody Ramer grounded out to end the inning with UA leading 2-1.
In the fourth inning, the freshmen sparked a two-out rally. Newman blooped a single to right field, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Koziol then deleivered a key two-out RBI single to right field to plate what became UA's final run off starter Ryan Millison.
Millison (1-1) took the loss and gave up three earned runs on six hits over five innings of work. He walked one and struck out one.
Reliever David Hill tossed a pair of scoreless innings with a strikeout and one hit allowed, while Josh Frye also added two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts.
Arizona will now return home to begin an 18-game homestand. The Wildcats host a three-game set against San Jose State Feb. 22-24. The series opens on Friday night at 6 p.m. ay Hi Corbett Field.