Cats take series vs. Wazzu

Cats take series vs. Wazzu

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Arizona Wildcats secured a series win Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field, topping Washington State 6-5 in front of 1,129 fans.

The win improved the Cats to 23-8 on the season and 7-5 in Pac-12 games, having played nine of their first 12 league games on the road. Arizona will complete its four-game road trip Tuesday at Grand Canyon, before returning to Hi Corbett Field for six straight against Oregon and Utah.

In Sunday's series finale, the Cats struck first, scoring two runs in the second inning. Nick Quintana started the rally with a one-out single and moved to second on a two-out walk from Cory Voss. Ryan Haug then dumped a two-out single into right field to score Quintana and give the Cats an early 1-0 lead. After Louis Boyd walked to load the bases, Alfonso Rivas drew a bases loaded walk to score Voss and make it 2-0.

Arizona added to its lead in the fourth inning with another run. With two outs and nobody on, Haug walked and stole second to get into scoring position for Boyd. Boyd then ripped a double down the left field line to score Haug and give Arizona a 3-0 lead.

The Cougars responded in the bottom of the fourth, getting to Arizona starter Rio Gomez, who tossed three straight zeroes to start the game. The Cougars had two on with two outs and James Rudkin blooped a single to center to score two and make it 3-2. After another single put runners on the corners, the Cougars scored the tying run on a wild pitch by reliever Cody Deason to even the game up.

Deason issued a walk to the next batter to load the bases. Cameron Ming then came on and got a grounder to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.

The Cats wasted no time jumping back out in front after the Cougars plated three. Jared Oliva and JJ Matijevic opened the inning with back-to-back walks and each moved up a base to put runners on second and third with no outs. Mitchell Morimoto followed with a single to the shortstop to score Oliva and make it 4-3. Matijevic moved to third on a wild pitch and Quintana walked to put two on for Kyle Lewis.

Lewis flied a ball down the right field line that J.J. Hancock made a diving catch on, but still allowed Matijevic to score on a sacrifice fly. After a fly out, Haug again came through with a two-out RBI single to score Morimoto and make it 6-3.

Ming kept the Cougars off the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth to keep it 6-3. In the seventh, the Cougars finally got to Ming, plating a pair of runs to make it 6-5. Ming limited the damage, getting a ground out to end the inning and strand a runner at third for the Cougars.

In the eighth, the first two men reached off Ming to put runners on second and third with no outs. Ming responded by striking out the next two batters for the first two outs of the inning. Coach Jay Johnson made a pitching change at that point and brought in right-hander Tylor Megill. Megill got a ground out to end the inning and strand both runners.

The Cats threatened in the ninth, but couldn't plate a run. Megill stayed on for the bottom half and worked around a two-out single to record his first save of the season and nail down the series victory for the Wildcats.

Ming earned the win, moving to 5-0 on the season. He went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out three. Haug finished 2 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored, to go along with a walk. Boyd also finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk. Quintana went 1 for 3 with a run scored and has reached base in 20 straight games.

Megill pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out one and allowing just the one hit.