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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball team uses huge seventh inning to blowout New Mexico Tuesday night

Jackie Cabrera

Tyler Casagrande prepares to bat on March 4 in Hi Corbett Field. The Arizona baseball team won the game 7-2.

Coming off a series loss against Texas State University this past weekend, the Arizona baseball team looked to get back on track in a mid-week game at Hi Corbett Field against the University of New Mexico. 

After starter Anthony Susac worked around a leadoff single to open the game, the Wildcats bats immediately loaded the bases but were unable to come through with any runs after Chase Davis hit a line drive that the New Mexico first baseman snagged and stepped on first base to double off Tanner O’Tremba. Coming off back-to-back losses against Texas State, the Wildcats couldn’t catch a break early on.

Anthony Susac allowed a leadoff single in each of the first three innings. He was able to work around the runner in the first two innings, but did not have the same luck in the third frame as New Mexico plated three runs. For the third straight game, Arizona’s opponent scored first.

Arizona battled back with one run in the third inning off a sacrifice fly from Tanner O’Tremba, followed by two runs in the fifth inning off an RBI triple from Nik McClaughry and another sacrifice fly from Daniel Susac to tie the game at 3-3 after five innings of play.

The number of quality at-bats from the Arizona hitters raised significantly, a point manager Chip Hale made in the post-game press conference as he showcased his sheet where he circles the quality plate appearances throughout the game.

“I circle on my card all of the good at-bats,” Hale said. “The player of the game for us was [McClaughry] with five good at-bats, four hits and a walk. [Daniel Susac] had four, [O’Tremba] with four and [Davis]had two with no hits.”

Anthony Susac came back out for the sixth inning as New Mexico took back a two-run lead off a home run, back-to-back singles and a passed ball.

The final line for Anthony Susac was allowing five runs [4 earned] off nine hits over a career-high 5.1 innings to go along with eight strikeouts to zero walks. The consensus was that he pitched a lot better than what his final line shows. 

“He had some tough luck,” Daniel Susac said, who is the cousin of Anthony Susac. “I think he has done a really good job as a freshman, especially his demeanor on the mound. You can’t tell if he has given up four runs, 15 [runs] or zero [runs]. I think that is huge when you are young.”

“Obviously being my cousin, I have seen him and I know he can handle it good or bad,” Daniel Susac said. “I think he is going to be huge down the stretch for us all year.”

RELATED: Arizona baseball team drops weekend series against Texas State

Arizona was now nine outs away from taking a three-game losing streak into Pac-12 play and that is when the Wildcat bats exploded. 

After back-to-back singles by Jack Grant and McClaughry to open the bottom half of the seventh inning, Daniel Susac blasted his first home run of the season to put Arizona in front 6-5. The Wildcats were not done in this frame. Garen Caulfield came through with a single up the middle with two outs and the bases loaded before Grant launched his first career home run to cap off an eight run inning for the Cats.

Grant wasn’t too sure if his home run was going to be gone, until he looked down to first base.

“I saw [Brian Anderson], our first base coach scream when it went out, so it was pretty exciting,” Grant said. “I try not to think about hitting home runs because that is not the type of player that I am, but they come when they come.”

George Arias Jr., Javyn Pimental and Eric Orloff combined to shutout New Mexico over the final 3.2 innings as the Wildcats went on to win 12-5.

Arizona will look to carry this momentum into the start of conference play this weekend as the Wildcats head out for a three-game series against the University of California Berkeley.The first game is scheduled for Friday with first pitch set for 6:05 pm MST.

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