The Utah Utes used a six-run seventh inning to come from behind and top the Arizona Wildcats 6-3 Friday night at Smith's Ballpark.
The Wildcats (17-9, 3-4 Pac-12) entered the inning with a 3-0 lead thanks to three RBI from Cody Ramer. Arizona starter Nathan Bannister allowed the first two batters in the inning to single, but then got the next two batters to get to two outs with two on.
Bannister, who was excellent over the first six innings, gave up a two-run, two-out double to Josh Rose to make the score 3-2.
Coach Jay Johnson then went to Bobby Dalbec to take over for Bannister. Dalbec surrendered a double to the first batter he faced to score the tying run. Dalbec intentionally walked the next batter, before issuing another walk to load the bases with two outs.
After one run scored and two baserunners moved up on a wild pitch, Hunter Simmons singled to center to plate two more runs to make it 6-3 in favor of Utah (8-14, 5-2).
Austin Rubick entered for Dalbec to retire the final batter of the inning.
Bannister, who made a spot start with normal Friday night starter JC Cloney, who scratched with an illness, was strong in his outing. He gave up three earned runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four.
The Cats put two runners on in the eighth, but couldn't get any runs across in the final two innings to cut into the lead at all. The big inning by the Utes overshadowed a strong night at the plate from Ramer.
The senior led off the game with a solo home run to right field on the second pitch of the game to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead. It was the senior's first career home run in 121 games over four seasons.
Ramer was far from done producing for the Cats in the series opener. In his next at-bat, he came up with a runner on third and one out. Ramer hit a hard ground ball to second that was able to score Cesar Salazar from third to make it 2-0 in the third inning.
That remained the score until Ramer came up again in the sixth for his fourth at-bat of the game. After Jared Oliva singled and stole second to lead off the inning, Ramer laced a double to right to score Oliva and make it 3-0 in favor of Arizona.
The Cats will try to even the series Saturday at 3 p.m. Johnson has yet to announce Arizona's starting pitcher.
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