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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball takes game one in walk-off fashion

    The Arizona baseball team faced two challenges Friday night at Frank Sancet field: tough starting pitching from USC’s Brad Boxberger and a stiff breeze toward left field.

    But in the end, the Wildcats overcame it all and on a walk-off two-RBI single by left fielder Brad Glenn Arizona took game one 7-6 in dramatic fashion.

    “”I’m doing much better after tonight,”” UA head coach Andy Lopez said. “”We pitched well tonight and although we made things interesting out there, this is a great one to win and we’ll take it.””

    Windy conditions throughout the night caused confusion for the Wildcat’s outfielders and nearly stifled a solid outing from starting pitcher Preston Guilmet.

    The senior went 6 1/3 with 10 strikeouts and one earned run but made his exit with Arizona down 5-2 after an error from a misread ball by right fielder Bobby Coyle opened the door for three runs in the top of the fifth.

    Two more wind-related errors by Glenn and Coyle respectively cost the Wildcats two more runs in the seventh giving the Trojans a 6-2 lead.

    “”Our defense in the outfield was a little sketchy,”” Lopez said. “”The wind was pretty tough but out defense definitely made things interesting out there for us.””

    The wind didn’t only cause Arizona headaches in the field however as the Trojans got their due during a furious Wildcats’ comeback in the final two innings.

    After a two RBI triple by first baseman Dillon Baird – followed by a run-scoring wild pitch – brought Arizona within one run heading into the ninth, Arizona found itself on the fortunate end of the weather conditions as a high fly ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Jett Bandy found the infield grass just out of reach of USC catcher Robert Stock.

    One batter later, shortstop Bryce Ortega got plunked, loading the bases.

    And after center fielder Hunter Pace went down swinging Glenn stepped up to the plate to deliver the final blow.

    The senior honed in on a changeup and blasted a liner into left field driving in the tying and winning runs as the Wildcats’ bench erupted.

    “”It’s always big to get a win in the (Pac-10) and especially to get a win at home,”” Glenn said. “”This is a big win for us and should give us momentum for the rest of this series.””

    Arizona’s dramatic offensive explosion in the final two innings spoiled an otherwise stellar effort by USC’s Boxberger.

    The sophomore kept the Wildcats’ hitters off-balance all night holding Arizona scoreless in five of his seven total innings pitched.

    But Arizona launched their attack in the eight after the right-hander began the inning with a hit batter and a walk. Boxberger the made his exit after 118 pitches over seven innings in which he allowed just five hits despite his four earned runs.

    “”He’s a great pitcher,”” Glenn said of Boxberger. “”I think (Friday) was the first time I’ve made contact off him. So he’s got a lot of talent and he really pitched well tonight.””

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