Kyle Simon turned in his third complete game in his last four starts as the Arizona baseball team thumped Washington State 8-1 to even the series at one game apiece.
May 15, 2011
Arizona 8, Washington State 1 (Box Score)
PULLMAN, Wash. - Despite cool and soggy conditions, Kyle Simon sizzled on the mound for the Wildcats and threw a complete game to lead the Arizona baseball team to an 8-1 victory over host Washington State to even the three game series at one win apiece.
A 46-minute rain delay that held up the start of the game did not affect Simon or the Wildcat hitters. The junior right-hander was staked to a 7-0 lead after three innings of play and he breezed through nine innings on 90 total pitches in a swift one-hour and 57-minute game.
Simon improved his season record to a career-best 9-3 as he picked up his 20th career pitching victory. The 6-foot-5 hurler scattered six hits in the game and did not walk a batter as he faced just 30 batters - three over the minimum - in his fifth career complete game. It was his third complete game in his last four outings.
Arizona (31-17, 10-10 Pac-10) scored in the opening frame for the second straight game. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Bryce Ortega stole second base and moved to third on a groundout. Johnny Field drove in Ortega with the game's first run on an infield single.
The Wildcats scored three runs in the second inning, which included two sacrifice bunts, an error and a second defensive miscue by the Cougars. Robert Refsnyder singled to lead off the inning and was able to beat out a force attempt at second as Jett Bandy reached on a fielder's choice.
Bobby Rinard moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Alex Mejia followed with a line drive single to right field to drive in Refsnyder. Then, with runners at the corners, Seth Mejias-Brean dropped down a squeeze bunt that plated Bandy from third, before Mejia scored from second base as Joey Rickard reached on an error when first baseman Taylor Ard dropped a fly ball.
The Wildcats kept on the offensive in the third inning, scoring three more runs. Cole Frenzel and Field singled to lead off the inning, and Refsnyder drove in Frenzel from third base with a groundout. Bandy followed with a run-scoring double to knock home Field. Mejia capped the inning with an RBI single to centerfield to push UA's lead to 7-0.
Arizona added a single run in the top of the fourth. With one out, Rickard was hit by a pitched and stole second. He moved to third on a groundout and was driven in on an RBI single up the middle by Frenzel.
After giving up the eight runs through the first four innings, WSU starter Chad Arnold kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard in the fifth an sixth innings, respectively. Arnold (2-4) suffered the loss after giving up eight runs - seven earned - in six innings of work. He allowed 10 hits and walked two.
Simon allowed just one base hit over the first six innings, but surrendered a pair of hits that put runners on the corners to start the bottom of the seventh. However, Simon was able escape trouble as a pickoff, a strikeout and groundout stranded a runner at third base.
The shutout bid was put to rest in the last half-inning of the game as Tommy Richards scored the Cougars' only run. Richards' led off with a triple to right center when Rickard came up short on a diving attempt to rob the base hit. An RBI groundout by Trace Tam Sing set the score at its final, 8-1.
Washington State (21-23, 6-14 Pac-10) sent just 30 hitters to the plate despite tallying six hits off Simon. The Wildcats' defense made several key defensive plays behind Simon, including a pair of double plays.
The rubber match of the three-game set is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (PDT) on Monday evening. The game will be broadcast live on 1290 AM in Tucson.