Tied 9-9 in the bottom of the ninth, Robert Refsnyder blasted a walk-off home run to left field as Arizona defeated New Mexico, 10-9, to complete a two-game sweep.
March 30, 2011
Arizona 10, New Mexico 9 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Robert Refsnyder was the only Wildcat in the lineup without a base hit, but his leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning pushed No. 18 Arizona past visiting New Mexico, 10-9, to complete a two-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
The victory moved the Wildcats' record to 19-7 on the season entering this weekend's showdown against No. 23 Oregon State in the Pac-10 home opener for Arizona. The Wildcats will enter the series with some much-welcomed momentum following Refsnyder's heroics in the walk-off victory, the club's 15th win in 16 home contests to date.
Wednesday's game was far from the 12-3 rout turned in by the Wildcats on Tuesday evening, though. First, the Wildcats fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Then, after capturing a 7-2 lead in the home half of the first, Arizona saw its lead dwindle as the Lobos scored four runs in the third and later plated three in the fifth to claim a 9-8 lead at the time.
In the seventh inning, Refsnyder reached on an error. Following a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Field, junior Jett Bandy stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter. He delivered with an RBI single to even the game, 9-9.
The Wildcats then turned to left-hander Matt Chaffee out of the bullpen. The junior tossed scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, with three strike outs to give Arizona the chance to walk off with the ninth-inning victory.
Earlier, starter Vincent Littleman and relievers Nickk Cunningham combined to give up the nine New Mexico runs over the first five innings. But Jacob Doyle took over in the six and tossed two scoreless innings to bye time before the Wildcats tie and eventually win the game offensively.
Refsnyder's home run was his first at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium and also capped a balanced performance by the Arizona lineup. A total of 10 players combined for the team's 14 hits on the day, while nine players collected an RBI and seven scored a run.
Rickard, the nation's leader in base hits, collected two hits, as did Bryce Ortega, Cole Frenzel, and Steve Selsky. Frenzel hit a solo home run - also his first at home - in the fourth inning and extended his season-long streak of reaching base to 26-straight games.
In the first inning, the Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate to help erase an early 2-0 deficit. Seven of the first eight hitters reached base - five with hits - and scored runs to give Arizona a 7-2 lead.
This weekend's series against Beavers is set to begin on Friday night at 6 p.m. (MST/PDT) at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium. The three-game set continues on Saturday at 1 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at noon.