Arizona captured its second-straight Pac-12 series with a 7-5 victory over Oregon State on Sunday afternoon in Corvallis, Ore.
March 25, 2012
Arizona 7, Oregon State 5 (Box Score)
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The fifth-ranked Arizona baseball team overcame cold, rainy conditions and another early deficit to capture a 7-5 win that secured a series victory over 19th-ranked Oregon State on Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium.
Arizona (18-7, 4-2 Pac-12) was clinging to a 7-5 lead in the late innings as temperatures dropped into the 40s and a persistent light drizzle turned into a steady rain. But UA starter James Farris pitched into the eighth inning and turned the game over to closer Mathew Troupe, who registered the final four outs of the game.
In the ninth inning, Troupe was dominant and relied on a steady dose of fastballs as the wet conditions limited his big-breaking curveball. Troupe struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his second straight save and fifth of the season.
The Wildcats seized control of the game with four runs in the fifth inning. They had overcome an early 2-0 deficit, tied the game in fourth, before falling behind 3-2 in the bottom of fourth. They later took leads of 6-3 and 7-5 in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.
Arizona claimed its first lead of the game in the top of the fifth. Joey Rickard led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a bunt by Johnny Field, who reached first on a throwing error. Alex Mejia followed with an RBI infield single to put runners at first and second, before Refsnyder drew a walk to load the bases. Mejias-Brean then slapped a two-run single, and Riley Moore added a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats a 6-3 edge.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tyler Smith drew a one-out walk. Michael Conforto followed with a two-run home run into the right field bleachers to cut UA's lead to 6-5.
Mejia extended the Wildcats' narrow lead to two runs with a solo home run to left-center in the top of the sixth. The homer was Mejia's team-leading third of the season, and UA's third in two games after hitting just two all season entering the series.
After giving up the two-run homer in the fifth, Farris retired the next 10 batters he faced until Ryan Dunn doubled with two outs in the eighth. That ended the outing for Farris, who turned the game over to closer Mathew Troupe.
Troupe walked the first batter he faced, but escaped the eighth with a flyout to end the inning and came back out for a perfect ninth inning.
Oregon State (15-7, 4-2 Pac-12) opened the scoring in the second inning. Dunn singled and Kavin Keyes walked, before being bunted into scoring position by Ryan Barnes. Ryan Gorton's RBI groundout drove in Dunn, and John Tommasini's single plated Keyes to pace the Beavers to a 2-0 lead.
Arizona knotted the game 2-2 with two runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. Robert Refsnyder singled to open the inning and moved to second on a sharp single by Mejias-Brean that extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Bobby Brown's RBI single and Trent Gilbert's RBI groundout pushed the two runs across.
The Beavers regained the lead without collecting a hit in the home half of the fourth. Keyes reached on a throwing error and moved to second base to lead off the off inning. He was bunted to second base and, one out later, scored on a passed ball.
Oregon State starter Jace Fry (1-1) pitched 4.2 innings and was charged for six runs - four earned - on six hits and four walks to go with five strikeouts. He was replaced by Matt Boyd with two outs in the fifth.
Farris (3-1) turned in his second-longest outing of the season and tied a career high with six strikeouts. The right-hander scattered hits and two walks in his 7.2 innings.
Arizona returns home to host No. 2 Stanford next weekend in a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field. The series begins on Friday evening at 6 p.m. MST.