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The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 13 Arizona baseball team wins fourth straight conference series against Washington State

Daniel+Susac+prepares+to+bat.+The+Arizona+baseball+team+defeated+ASU+14-2+on+Tuesday%2C+April+6%2C+2021%2C+in+Hi+Corbett+Field.
Megan Ewing

Daniel Susac prepares to bat. The Arizona baseball team defeated ASU 14-2 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Hi Corbett Field.

It was not an easy weekend for the No. 13 Arizona baseball team April 16-18, but they walked away as the victors with a 2-1 series win against Washington State at Bailey-Brayton Field. The pair of wins over the Cougars over the weekend marks its fourth straight series win in Pac-12 play.

Game one on Friday, April 16: Arizona-2, Washington State-21

After Arizona went down one-two-three in the first inning, ace pitcher Chase Silseth was ready to dominate the Cougars. Things did not start well for Silseth, as he gave up a single to shortstop Kodie Kolden and then walked left fielder Jacob McKeon. After striking out first baseman Kyle Manzardo, Silseth then induced a ground ball from designated hitter Tristan Peterson in what should have been a routine double play. 

Instead, Peterson reached first base on a fielder’s choice after an errant throw by Wildcat third baseman Tony Bullard. With runners on first and second, Silseth gave up a two-run single to right fielder Collin Montez and a one-run double to third baseman Jack Smith. Silseth got the next batter to ground out and the Wildcats finished the inning down 3-0 to the Cougars. 

The second inning was an absolute nightmare for Silseth. The Cougars batted around the whole order and dropped seven runs on Silseth, six of them earned. Silseth was pulled and reliever Trevor Long came into the game. The Cougars scored three more runs off Long, scoring 10 runs in the inning and expanding their lead to 13-0. Silseth finished the day with 1.2 innings pitched allowing nine hits, 12 runs (eight earned,) three walks and only two strikeouts. 

The nightmares continued for Long, as the Cougars scored eight more runs over the course of the game. Long finished the day with 4.0 innings pitched allowing 12 hits, nine runs and four strikeouts. The result was a 21-2 beatdown by Washington State. 

Game two on Saturday, April 17: Arizona-13, Washington State-8

After being embarrassed by the Cougars in their previous matchup, the Wildcats were looking to turn things around to even up the series. Pitcher Garrett Irvin got the nod for Arizona, but he too did not get off to a good start. Irvin gave up two home runs in the second inning and another RBI in the third inning that saw the Wildcats down 3-2 after three innings. 

The Wildcats finally found their offense in the fourth inning, when catcher Daniel Susac crushed a 2-1 pitch for a two-RBI double to right-center field, scoring second baseman Kobe Kato and right fielder Ryan Holgate. Susac also scored when center fielder Donta’ Williams hit a single up the middle off a 1-2 pitch. 

Neither team scored again until the sixth inning when the bats heated up for the Wildcats once again. Susac blasted a two-run home run to left field of a 1-0 pitch. One batter later, Williams hit a solo shot over the center-field wall. It was 8-3 Wildcats after six innings. 

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Going into the ninth inning, the Cougars managed to cut the lead down to 8-5. With only one more inning to add to their run total, the Wildcats offense came through once again. 

Holgate had runners in scoring with the count 1-0. He sent the next pitch deep to right field for a two-RBI double. Susac came up with runners on first and second with two outs. Ahead in the count 2-1, Susac blasted a three-run homer to left field, his second of the day. This extended the lead to 13-5 for Arizona. They needed all those runs because reliever Quinn Flanagan came in and allowed three runs, two of which were earned. Flanagan refocused and struck out the final batter of the game, securing the save and the win. 

Game three on Sunday, April 18: Arizona-14, Washington State-8

With the series even at 1-1, the Wildcats turned to pitcher Austin Smith for the rubber match against the Cougars. 

Arizona struck iron in the first inning when Williams sent a 3-1 pitch over the center-field wall for a solo shot. In the second inning, left fielder Mac Bingham hit an RBI single that scored Susac. 

After two quick innings, Smith was pulled for lefty reliever Riley Cooper. Cooper got roughed up in the 0.2 innings he pitched, allowing four runs off three hits that put the Wildcats down 5-3 after three innings. 

Shortly after, the Wildcats scored 11 straight runs in innings five through nine. Holgate had a two-run homer in the fifth, Williams had a two-RBI double in the seventh and third baseman Jacob Berry had a two-run home run in the ninth. The Cougars only managed to score three runs during the Wildcats’ 11-run splurge, and Arizona came away with a series victory. 

Key notes from the series victory against Washington State

  • This was the fourth straight series victory against a Pac-12 opponent.
  • The Wildcats hit seven home runs.
  • Williams batted .429 with two home runs, six RBI’s and four runs scored. 
  • Arizona pitchers gave up a total of 37 runs to the Cougars in the series.

Arizona will face New Mexico State at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday, April 20, at 6 p.m. MST.  


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