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College World Series Finals: Coastal Carolina beats Arizona 5-4 in Game 2 to force a winner-takes-all game

Second+baseman+Cody+Ramer+tags+a+Coastal+Carolina+baserunner+in+game+two+of+the+championship+series+of+the+College+World+Series+on+Tuesday%2C+June+28.
Stan Liu / Arizona Athletics
Second baseman Cody Ramer tags a Coastal Carolina baserunner in game two of the championship series of the College World Series on Tuesday, June 28.

OMAHA, Nebraska — The Arizona baseball team made a quick bolt to the team hotel Tuesday night. There was no need to wail on what just happened.

A national title is still grasp.

However, the quest for Arizona’s fifth championship grew significantly more difficult Tuesday as the Wildcats failed to wrap up the College World Series Finals, falling to Coastal Carolina 5-4.

The two teams have split the first two games of the series, and will now face off in a winner-takes-all game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

A strong seven inning outing by Kevin Ginkel was erased in the eighth by a three-run Coastal Carolina rally, and Arizona was unable to mount a bottom of the ninth comeback.

The Wildcats looked business-as-usual early on.

For the fourth straight game, Arizona got on the board in the first inning, but the Wildcats failed to fully capitalize on their early rally.

Cody Ramer and Zach Gibbons led off the game with singles to center which gave the UA runners on first and second with no outs.

JJ Matijevic failed to advance the runners over when he fouled a two-strike bunt attempt. Ryan Aguilar then walked to load the bases.

Bobby Dalbec, Arizona’s top power hitter, was asked to put down a squeeze bunt but couldn’t make contact, putting Ramer in a run down, where he was thrown at third base for the second out of the inning.

Dalbec salvaged the inning with an RBI single to right that scored Gibbons to put Arizona up 1-0, but that’s all the Wildcats would get in the frame.

Arizona’s next mistake of the night came with one on in the top of third, when Ginkel threw a wild pitch that advanced CCU’s Billy Cooke to second. Cooke then took third on a sacrifice bunt.

David Parrett, Coastal Carolina’s No. 9 batter, next hit a pop fly to left that was misplayed by Louis Boyd. Cooke remained at third while Parrett advanced to second.

The Chanticleers took advantage, scoring two runs on a single by Anthony Marks to give them a 2-1 lead.

The Wildcats answered back in the bottom of the fifth as Ryan Aguilar scored Ramer on a fielder’s choice.

Following his shaky start, Ginkel looked strong the rest of the night, tossing seven innings andmatching Coastal Carolina’s Mike Morrison.

“Coming out, to start the game, I was just trying to have my fastball command,” Ginkel said. “And then once we got through the lineup, once I started using my slider, and I had really good command with it tonight, they couldn’t really barrel anything up.”

In the top of the eighth, Cameron Ming relieved Ginkel and immediately gave up a single.

Two batters later, Connor Owings singled in a run to make it 3-2, followed by a double from Zach Remillard.

Alfonso Rivas relieved Ming on the mound, but to no avail. Chanticleers designated hitter G.K. Young hit a two-run single to bring CCU’s lead to 5-2.

Arizona brought in freshman Cody Deason, who recorded a popup to end the frame.

The Wildcats scored back two runs in the bottom of the frame.

After loading the bases, a Jared Oliva pop out was followed by a Justin Behnke grounder to first that turned into a fielder’s choice scoring one run.

An error by Coastal Carolina shortstop Michael Paez allowed the second run of the inning to score.

With two outs and two on, Cody Ramer flew out to left to end the eighth.

Arizona’s usually timely offense went just 1-12 with runners in scoring position and 3-17 with runners on base.

The Wildcats never got a chance to rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Gibbons and Matijevic quickly popped out before Ryan Aguilar lined out to end the game.

“They’re competitive guys, and we’ve won a lot of games, and they know how to do that really

well, and sometimes when you don’t, it’s going to sting,” Johnson said. “And that’s okay. I have

no worries about the readiness for tomorrow.”

Looking ahead

Johnson did not give an indication as to Wednesday’s starting pitcher, only saying that everyone

is available. 

That could mean Dalbec, who would be working on four days rest, or potentially Nathan Bannister could start.

Johnson said that Ming will be in the mix after he allowed three earned runs in the eighth inning.


Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter


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