FRISCO, Texas – Cal Stevenson doubled to deep centerfield with two outs to score pinch-runner Matt Fraizer and give the Arizona Wildcats a 10-9 walk-off win over Oklahoma State in the team’s second game of the Frisco Classic at Dr. Pepper Ballpark
The win marks Arizona’s best start to a season since the 1999 squad started 13-0 to open their campaign.
Of course, win No. 10 for the 2017 Wildcats came with some serious drama. Trailing 9-6 heading into the eighth inning, the Wildcats scored three runs to knot the game at nine. Mitchell Morimoto and Cal Stevenson started the eighth-inning rally with back-to-back one-out singles to put two on. After an out, JJ Matijevic laced a double to left-centerfield to score Morimoto and Stevenson and cut the lead to 9-8.
The next batter, Nick Quintana singled to center to score Matijevic and tie the game at nine. The Cats went to their bullpen for the ninth and brought in closer Cameron Ming. The first two batters reached off Ming, but he then got three straight fly balls to escape the inning without any damage.
In the bottom of the ninth, Alfonso Rivas and Morimoto were each hit by a pitch with two outs to put two on for Stevenson. Fraizer came in to run for Rivas and Stevenson then hammered a ball to centerfield that Oklahoma State’s Ryan Sluder nearly brought in, but the ball trickled out of his glove as he landed on the grass, allowing Fraizer to score and give the Cats the win.
At 10-0, the Cats will now play Nebraska at noon Sunday in the final game of the Frisco Classic.
Oddly enough, similar to Friday’s opener against Arkansas, Saturday’s game was a pitcher’s duel to start. Oklahoma State starter Parker Scott put up zeroes in each of the first three innings and Arizona starter Michael Flynn was more than equal to the task to match him.
Flynn pitched a perfect first, but started the second off with back-to-back walks. He quickly worked out of it, getting a double play and a strikeout to keep the Pokes off the board. He then retired the side in order in the third and fourth and began settling in.
In the bottom of the fourth, Arizona’s offense got Flynn some run support to work with. Cal Stevenson and Jared Oliva started the inning with back-to-back singles to put two on with no one out. After a passed ball moved both runners up, Nick Quintana drove them home with a one-out single to left for the game’s first runs.
Cory Voss followed with a single, and after a strikeout, Cameron Cannon walked on four pitches to load the bases for Kyle Lewis. Lewis doubled past the third baseman to score Quintana and Voss and give the Cats a 4-0 lead.
Flynn came back out after the long half inning and worked a perfect fifth to retire 11 in a row. The Cats went right back to work in the bottom half of the fifth and scored two more runs. Oliva started the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. JJ Matijevic was then hit and both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt from Quintana. Voss dropped down a perfect bunt single to score Oliva and make it 5-0. Matijevic scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to give Arizona a six-run lead.
But Oklahoma State used the long ball – four of them – to score nine straight runs in the game to take a 9-6 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, before Arizona’s magic struck.
Ming earned the win, improving to 3-0 on the season. Voss, Stevenson and Quintana all had three-hit games in the win. Quintana drove in three and is now batting .514 through 10 games of his freshman campaign. Morimoto and Oliva each had two hits for the Cats in the victory.
7831 N. Business Park Drive
Tucson, AZ 85743