BB: Cats fall to Huskies 9-4

BB: Cats fall to Huskies 9-4

TUCSON, AZ - Washington returned the favor Saturday evening and in doing so evened a three-game Pac-12 baseball series with a 9-4 victory over Arizona at Hi Corbett Field.

The Huskies, who dug themselves an early hole in an 8-6 loss Friday night, surged to a five-run lead in the second inning and held off the host Wildcats the rest of the way Saturday.

Tyler Davis (W, 7-5) earned his seventh win of the season with 6.2 solid innings on the mound. The right-hander allowed four runs – three earned – on six hits to go with six strikeouts. He also walked three.

His counterpart, Nathan Bannister (L, 6-4), was chased from the game after only two-plus innings. Bannister suffered his fourth defeat of the year after giving up five runs on five hits and a walk in his limited time.

Washington (25-22, 10-16 Pac-12) plated a run in the first when Braden Bishop singled and later scored on Alex Schmidt's sacrifice fly. Bishop finished 3-for-6 in the contest and scored twice.

In the second, Bannister walked Josh Cushing to spark a four-run inning. Three consecutive singles helped score two runs, before Austin Rei's two-out, two-run double provided early insurance.

Arizona (28-19, 12-14 Pac-12) answered with two runs in the home half of the second thanks to Zach Gibbons' two-out, two-run double off Davis.

But the Wildcats would only score in more inning. That came in a two-run sixth that saw the runs score on a fluky play.

Scott Kingery, the Pac-12 leader in batting average, was a pregame scratch from the contest due to an injury sustained Friday when he fouled off a pitch. He was available as a pinch hitter Saturday, and the Wildcats turned to him with two down and the bases loaded.

Kingery hit a slow roller past Davis, and middle infielders Chris Bakers and Levi Jordan collided as they charged in toward the grass. The ball scooted into the outfield grass, and two runs scored on the play.

With the lead cut to 6-4, Washington bounced back with two runs to begin the seventh against reliever Robby Medel, who was otherwise steady in relief.

The freshman right hander allowed four runs, but only two were earned, over 6.1 innings. He struck out two and scattered seven hits and a walk.

Arizona had one final opportunity to claw back when it put two on in the seventh, before the Huskies turned to closer Troy Rallings. The junior was able to coax an inning-ending flyout from the conference home run leader, Bobby Dalbec, to preserve a comfortable lead.

Rallings earned the save with 2.1 shutout innings, which included three strikeouts and only one base hit allowed. He received an extra insurance run in the top of the ninth before shutting down the Wildcats in order in the bottom of the final frame.

The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MST) on Sunday. The Pac-12 Network will broadcast the game live.

GAME NOTES: Arizona collected an extra base hit for the 36th-straight game … With his 13th double of the season, JJ Matijevic has picked up 11 extra base hits in his last 16 games … Kevin Newman reached base for the 10th consecutive game … Scott Kingery missed only his second start of the year. With his pinch hit appearance, Kingery has played in 46 of the club's 47 contests … Cody Ramer started in Kingery's place at second base for the second time this year … The Wildcats fell to 9-9 when allowing the opponent to score in the first inning … Arizona is now 4-16 when being out-hit by the opposition.

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