TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team scored three times in the seventh inning and its bullpen shut down visiting Washington to capture a 5-3 victory in the series finale between the two schools on Sunday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, designated hitter Jordan Berger opened the frame with a single to right field before Scott Kingery reached when he his sacrifice bunt attempt was misplayed by pitcher Tyler Davis, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on base with no outs.
Davis was replaced by Zach Wright, and the runners were advanced to second and third with a successful sacrifice bunt from Zach Gibbons. Johnny Field was then intentionally walked to load the bases, and Trent Gilbert drove in the tying run on a soft grounder to second base.
The Huskies elected to re-load the bases by intentionally walking Brandon Dixon, bringing Riley Moore to the plate. The sophomore catcher roped the 0-2 pitch into right field to drive in a pair of runs and give the Wildcats the 5-3 lead, which proved to be the winning margin.
Relievers Mathew Troupe (W, 5-0) and Augey Bill combined for four shutout innings of relief and worked to strand two runners in the ninth.
With a runner on second and two down in the ninth, Troupe hit Braden Bishop with a pitch to put the tying run on base. Bill entered to face Andrew Ely and coaxed a game-ending fly out to centerfield to preserve the left-hander his first save of the season.
Troupe did a masterful job working out of a jam when he was called on in the sixth inning to take over for starter Tyler Crawford, who allowed three runs on six hits over five-plus innings.
Jayce Ray led off the sixth with a triple into the right field corner, before Michael Camporeale drove in a run with a single up the middle to give the Huskies a 3-2 edge.
After a fielding error left two runners on with no outs, Troupe took over for Crawford. Troupe quickly induced three consecutive groundouts, including one to second baseman Trent Gilbert who threw home to cut down a run trying to score, and escaped the inning with no further damage.
The 3.2 scoreless innings of relief marked the longest outing from the bullpen in Troupe's career. The sophomore scattered three hits, struck out one and did not walk a batter.
Washington (16-29, 8-13) struck first for the third straight day against the Wildcats when it scratched across a run in the opening inning. Bishop led off the game with a single, was bunted to second and stole third, before he was driven in on Ray's grounder.
Arizona (29-17, 10-11 Pac-12) answered back with single runs in the second and third innings, respectively, to claim its first lead of the series.
In the second, Kevin Newman reached on an error to open the inning before stealing second, which drew an errant throw to allow him to move to third base. Gibbons drove him in with a groundout to tie the game, 1-1.
An inning later, Joseph Maggi drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Field's groundout. Trent Gilbert's line drive single to right advanced Maggi to third and he scored on an RBI groundout by Dixon to give the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage.
The Huskies tied the game when Bishop singled home Joe Meggs with two outs in the fifth inning. The throw from Field in centerfield narrowly missed beating Meggs at the plate, but also allowed Bishop to scoot into second base.
Maggi then saved a potential run with a sensational diving play at first base. Ely roped a sharp grounder to the right side, while Maggi dived to his right to snare the ball before gathering himself to record the inning-ending out.
It was a key stop that preventing Washington from gaining momentum in the middle innings, but the Huskies did plate the go-ahead run an inning later. However, the Wildcats, who mustered just two runs in the first two games of the series, finally had an answer of their own in the seventh to take the lead for good.