No. 13 Lucky For Streaking Wildcats
Alex Mejia's 3rd inning grand slam staked the Wildcats to an early lead as UA won its 13th game in a row with an 11-7 victory over UNM.
March 24, 2010
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TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team wasted little time improving its winning streak to 13 games as it jumped out to a big lead early in the game, paced by Alex Mejia’s third-inning grand slam as the Wildcats dispatched New Mexico, 11-7, on Wednesday afternoon at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
The win improves Arizona’s overall record to 18-4 on the season and marks the 15th win in the last 16 games for the Wildcats. The current 13-game win streak is Arizona’s longest since the 2008 season and ties for the second-longest in head coach Andy Lopez’s nine seasons at the school.
Leading 2-1 in the third inning, Steve Selsky was hit by a pitch to put a runner on for the Wildcats with one out. A single by Robert Refsnyder and a walk to Seth Mejias-Brean loaded the bases for Mejia, who delivered a clutch two-run single in the eighth inning on Tuesday night.
Looking to avoid a double play and drive the ball to the outfield, Mejia lifted a high fly ball to centerfield that carried over the fence for a grand slam. The homer was Mejia’s first of his collegiate career and the second grand slam in as many days for Arizona following Joey Rickard’s eighth-inning blast on Tuesday.
The Wildcats, who never led until the eighth inning on Tuesday night, claimed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Rickard singled to lead off, moved to second on a passed ball and came in to score on a Rafael Valenzuela RBI single. Valenzuela crossed home two batters later on a Selsky RBI single.
The Lobos notched a run in the second inning off UA starter Augey Bill, who made his first collegiate start. Bill pitched 3.0 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Two of the runs came in the fourth as Bill allowed a single and a walk before being lifted in favor of Stephen Manthei, who faced one batter and loaded the bases with no outs.
Kyle Simon entered and, despite a pair of runs crossing, turned away a potential big inning for the Lobos. Simon, who picked up a pair of victories last week for the Wildcats, relieved Bill in the fourth inning and pitched a scoreless 3.0 innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
Arizona tacked on a single run in the fourth to extend its lead to 8-3, then added another run in the sixth and two in the seventh to take a commanding 11-3 lead into the eighth inning.
The Lobos did score three runs in the eighth off UA reliever Vincent Littleman and a lone run in the ninth off Cory Bernard, which set the score at its final, 11-7.
The Wildcats rapped out 16 hits in the game despite their top hitter, Jett Bandy, going 0-for-5 in the game. A pair of Wildcats – Jacob Meskin and Robert Refsnyder – more than made up for the lack of hits by Bandy, as each went 4-for-4 in the game, respectively. Meskin drove in a career high four runs while Refnsyder collected a pair of RBI.
Arizona enters the final three games of its season-long 25-game homestand and prepares for the Pac-10 Conference opener this weekend. The Wildcats will host the Oregon Ducks in a three-game series on Friday, March 26, at 6 p.m. at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.