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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona baseball falls short in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament

The Wildcats dropped both games in their 42nd postseason appearance


Amelia McAnear

Arizona catcher Tommy Splaine (left) and pitcher TJ Nichols (right) return to the dugout after the top of the first inning in a game against West Virginia University on Friday, Feb. 24, at Hi Corbett Field. The Wildcats went on to lose the game 6-5. 

Nathaniel Levin

The Arizona baseball team’s season came to an end after going 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats’ 42nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament was not a pretty one as they were outscored 21-7 over the course of their two games against TCU and Santa Clara University. The Wildcats conclude the season with a record of 33-26 (12-18 in Pac-12 play).

Arizona vs. TCU: Friday, June 2, at 6 p.m. MST

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against TCU following a 2-run homer by Kiko Romero for his 20th of the season. This long bomb also gave him his 88th RBI of the season, giving him sole possession of the Arizona single-season RBI record.

Unfortunately, things quickly turned south as TCU countered, scoring 6 unanswered runs to take a 6-2 lead into the third inning. The Wildcats would cut into the lead in the top of the third following a solo home run by Mason White — his ninth of the season — but TCU would once again counter by scoring 3 more unanswered runs, taking a 9-3 lead through five innings. 

In the top of the eighth, Romero collected his second homer of the game  — his 21st of the season — but the Wildcats ultimately fell to TCU 12-4 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament

The Wildcat offense struggled all night, but the biggest disappointment was their defense and pitching. The Wildcat defense committed three errors throughout the night, which extended innings and drained the Arizona pitching staff which was already struggling

Friday night’s loss sent Arizona into the loser’s bracket with a matchup against Santa Clara with a chance to keep the season alive.

Arizona vs. Santa Clara: Saturday, June 3, at 6 p.m. MST

A rainy day in Fayetteville, Arkansas, pushed back Saturday’s elimination game against Santa Clara from 12 p.m. MST to 6 p.m. MST.

The Wildcats collected their first hit of the game in the third inning, following a two-out single by Garen Caulfield. However, the Wildcats were already facing an early 3-0 deficit. In the following inning, the Wildcats were in a prime position to cut into Santa Clara’s lead. However, White struck out swinging and was unable to come through, leaving runners on second and third

This wound up being the Wildcats’ last opportunity to provide a spark on offense, as Santa Clara quickly ran away from the Wildcats while shutting down the Arizona offense throughout the entire night. 

As the Wildcats came up to bat in the seventh inning, they were trailing Santa Clara 8-0 and collected just one hit. Emilio Corona gave the Wildcats their first run of the game when he launched a solo home run — his 11th of the season

In the bottom of the ninth, the Arizona offense collected three hits, including a 2-run homer by White — his 10th of the season. However, the Wildcats’ rally was not enough, as they fell to Santa Clara 9-3, officially ending their season.


The Wildcats fell behind early in both of their games and were unable to claw their way back, resulting in a disappointing end to their up-and-down 2023 baseball season. However, the Wildcats have a lot to be proud of, as they managed to overcome hardships to finish as Pac-12 runners-up and sneak their way into the 2023 NCAA Tournament

Follow Nathaniel Levin on Twitter

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