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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball struggles on the road against San Diego and No. 5 TCU

Sophomore+Jaeden+Swanberg+pitches+during+the+game+against+Utah+Tech+at+Hi+Corbett+on+Feb.+20.+Wildcats+took+the+win+24-4.%0A
Danielle Main
Sophomore Jaeden Swanberg pitches during the game against Utah Tech at Hi Corbett on Feb. 20. Wildcats took the win 24-4.

The Arizona baseball team had a busy past six days, playing four games during that span. The Wildcats opened up the weekend with a three-game series against the University of San Diego from Feb. 23-25 at Fowler Park in San Diego, California. They then played a standalone game against No. 5 Texas Christian University on Feb. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas, at Lupton Stadium. Unfortunately for Wildcat fans, Arizona was only able to pick up one win out of the four games they played and now have a 4-4 record

Arizona vs. San Diego game 1: Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.

In the series opener on Friday night, Arizona faced off against San Diego at Fowler Park. Despite Arizona’s late rally, the Toreros maintained control throughout the game, clinching the 10-8 victory.

Arizona’s comeback efforts in the ninth inning saw them push 4 runs across the plate, cutting the Toreros’ lead to just 2 runs. Left fielder Brendan Summerhill kicked off the scoring with a sacrifice fly, followed swiftly by shortstop Mason White’s 3-run homer, his second of the season. 

Starting pitcher Jackson Kent delivered a solid performance for the Wildcats, tallying 6.0 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on five hits, and striking out five.. 

The game featured lead changes through the first six innings before the Toreros surged ahead in the eighth inning, fueled by a 5-run burst highlighted by RBI doubles from Gabe D’Arcy, Will Worthington, Ryan Ward, and Jack Costello.

San Diego’s pitching duo of Josh Randall and Calvin Schapira played a pivotal role, combining for a total of eight innings, 18 strikeouts, and allowing only three hits, one walk, and no earned runs. Conner Thurman closed out the ninth inning to seal the win for San Diego.

Arizona vs. San Diego game 2: Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.                                                            

On Saturday night, Arizona’s starting pitcher, Clark Candiotti, showcased a strong performance, tallying 5.0 innings and allowing just 2 runs on five hits while striking out six Toreros. 

The Wildcats took an early lead, capitalizing on San Diego’s miscues in the top of the second inning to plate 3 runs. However, San Diego quickly responded as Austin Smith launched an opposite-field solo home run in the bottom of the inning, marking the Toreros’ first home run at Fowler Park in 2024

The game remained tight until the bottom of the sixth when San Diego loaded the bases, setting the stage for Smith’s heroics. With a grand slam, Smith propelled the Toreros ahead 6-3, shifting the momentum in their favor. Arizona fought back with a run in the eighth inning, courtesy of freshman designated hitter Easton Breyfogle’s solo home run. However, they couldn’t complete the comeback, ultimately falling short as the Toreros secured the 6-4 victory.

Arizona vs. San Diego game 3: Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.

San Diego got off to a scorching start on Sunday afternoon, posting 6 runs in the first inning, led by Jack Costello’s 3-run home run. Although struggling on the mound early, the Wildcats got back on track behind the steady performance of right-hander Cam Walty, who delivered 5.2 innings of shutout baseball while striking out five Toreros

Second baseman Garen Caulfield ignited the Wildcats’ scoring efforts with an RBI single in the third inning. Designated hitter Andrew Cain and White added fuel to the comeback with home runs in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively. Summerhill’s solo homer in the seventh inning propelled Arizona into their first lead of the game, 8-7.

In a bid to secure the win, the Wildcats notched a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, crucial for what would unfold in the nail-biting ninth inning. San Diego fought back with 2 runs, applying pressure, but right-hander Casey Hintz entered the game and slammed the door shut, earning his first career save and sealing the Wildcats’ hard-fought victory.

Arizona vs. TCU: Feb. 28, at 5 p.m.                                                                             

On Wednesday, Arizona’s starting pitcher, Raul Garayzar (0-2), endured a tough outing, working through the first three innings before ultimately suffering the loss. TCU capitalized on early opportunities, scoring runs in each of the first three innings to establish an early lead. 

TCU’s offense surged early, with Peyton Chatagnier and Anthony Silva doubling in the first inning to put the Horned Frogs ahead 1-0. A sacrifice fly by Ryder Robinson extended TCU’s lead in the second inning after Chase Brunson’s leadoff double. Kurtis Byrne’s groundout added another run in the third inning, making it a 3-0 ballgame. 

Arizona’s bullpen trio of Tony Pluta, Hintz and Trevor Long provided a solid performance, combining for four innings of one-hit ball to keep TCU’s offense in check.  

TCU added 3 more runs before the game’s end, all coming before Caulfield managed to plate the Wildcats’ lone run of the night in the eighth inning with an RBI single up the middle, showcasing his team-leading .500 batting average.    

Looking ahead: 

Despite the three losses over these past six days, Arizona showed resilience on the mound and at the plate, highlighting areas for improvement as they continue their season. Looking ahead, the Wildcats will compete in the Frisco College Baseball Classic the first weekend of March, facing three ranked teams, No. 25 Dallas Baptist University, No. 16 University of Alabama and No. 20 Indiana University.  


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