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Arizona baseball team salvages one game in weekend series against Washington State

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Danielle Main

Arizona’s sophomore pitcher Chandler Murphy pitches to a batter during weekend series against Washington State Cougars on Sunday, April 10 at Hi Corbett Field. the final score was a 2-5 win for the Wildcats. 

The Arizona baseball team lost two of three games against Washington State University this weekend. Here is a summary of how each game went down. 

Friday: Washington State wins 11-5

Noah Turley hit a grand slam in the first inning to give Arizona an early 4-0 lead, but everything went downhill for the Wildcats after that.

After a couple of scoreless innings from starter TJ Nichols, the Cougars plated 5 runs in the third frame in an inning that included three walks. He started the fourth inning but was quickly removed after allowing back-to-back doubles.

Nichols went on to allow 7 runs on six hits across three innings to go along with one strikeout and three walks.

Garen Caulfield picked up three of the Wildcats seven hits on the night. 

Saturday: Washington State wins 6-5

Garrett Irvin took the mound for the Wildcats in front of over 4,100 people at Hi Corbett.

The Cougars took an early 2-0 lead through three innings when the Arizona bats finally came alive.

After two quick outs in the fourth inning, the Wildcats had seven straight hitters reach base including consecutive RBI singles hit by Mac Bingham, Daniel Susac and Tanner O’Tremba.

That was all the runs Arizona would score on the night, recording just four hits the rest of the game. 

The Cougars slowly chipped away, getting 2 runs back in the fifth inning.

Irvin went six innings, allowing 4 runs (two earned) on seven hits to go along with three strikeouts and three walks. 

Arizona committed three errors in the field. One of the most costly ones was a dropped pop-up by Tony Bullard at third base which put the runner on second base to open the eighth inning. A wild pitch and single later and the game was tied 5-5.

Washington State went on to take a 6-5 lead off Holden Christian in the ninth inning, which wound up being the winning run. 

RELATED: Three key stats from Arizona baseball loss Saturday 

Sunday: Arizona wins 5-2

The Wildcats looked to avoid the sweep with Chandler Murphy on the mound.

Making his second start of the season, Cameron LaLiberte doubled, advanced to third base and scored on a groundout hit by Caulfield in the second inning.

Caulfield picked up his second RBI of the afternoon that drove in Tony Bullard to begin a 3-run fourth inning. Tyler Casagrande and Nik McClaughry also picked up RBIs in the frame.

Murphy tossed five shutout innings, allowing five hits to go along with two strikeouts and zero walks.

Anthony Susac followed, tossing 2.2 innings where he allowed 1 run on one hit to go along with one strikeout and one walk.

The shutout ended with a 2-run single hit by the Cougars in the eighth inning off George Arias Jr. 

Trevor Long recorded the save in the ninth inning for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats pitching staff recorded just one walk Sunday afternoon, a huge point in the victory

“It makes a [huge] difference because when you eliminate the free bases, it means you are letting them put [the ball] in play and making your defense work,” Long said. “When you let your defense work, you get quicker outs, you lower your pitch count and the confidence within our dugout and our bullpen, that is what you want.”

Arizona held the lead in each game during the previous three-game losing streak and was finally able to hold onto it on Sunday against the Cougars.

“If we play clean and allow our defenders to make plays and they make plays and we don’t give them free passes,” Arizona head coach Chip Hale said. “I think we usually are in pretty good shape.”

Up next for Arizona is a game against New Mexico State on Tuesday at Hi Corbett Field with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. MST.


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