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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball goes 1-2 in the Frisco College Baseball Classic

Danielle Main
Garen Caulfield slides back into first base mid-game against Hermosillo’s Naranjeros during the Mexican Baseball Fiesta on Oct. 5 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats won the game 3-1.

This past weekend, Arizona baseball competed in the 2024 Frisco College Baseball Classic, winning one game and losing two. The games were played at Riders Field in Frisco, Texas. This was a highly competitive classic as Arizona faced off against three ranked opponents. Arizona dropped its first two games against No. 25 Dallas Baptist University and No. 16 the University of Alabama but were able to bounce back in its last game, beating No. 20 Indiana University.

Day 1: Friday, March 1

Game 1: Arizona vs. No. 25 Dallas Baptist at 1 p.m.

Arizona’s starting pitcher, Jackson Kent, showcased his prowess on the mound once again, delivering a stellar performance by lasting 5.1 innings and allowing only 2 runs on six hits while striking out seven batters.

The Wildcats found themselves trailing early, with DBU taking an early lead after the first two innings. Alex Pendergast and Ethan Mann each launched solo home runs to establish a 2-0 lead. However, Arizona rallied in the third inning, led by second baseman Garen Caulfield’s RBI single and a 2-run homer from shortstop Mason White, propelling the Wildcats to a 3-2 lead. Despite facing adversity in the third inning, Patriots’ ace Ryan Johnson showcased his dominance, tallying a career-high 14 strikeouts over 6.2 innings of work.

In a pivotal eighth inning, the Patriots orchestrated a comeback, fueled by Mann’s leadoff single and Luke Heefner’s clutch double, setting the stage for Michael Dattalo’s RBI groundout to secure a 4-3 lead. DBU’s Nick Wilson then stepped up to close out the game with 1.2 hitless innings, sealing the victory and extending the Patriots’ unbeaten streak to nine games.

Day 2: Saturday, March 2

Game 2: Arizona vs. No. 16 Alabama at 3 p.m.

The game saw both teams exchanging blows throughout the afternoon. Arizona initially took the lead by putting up 4 runs in the fourth inning, courtesy of two 2-run home runs by shortstop White and catcher Blake McDonald. However, Alabama responded, tallying 3 runs in the fifth inning and tying the game in the sixth with a solo homer from Will Hodo. The Wildcats regained the lead with a 2-run rally in the seventh inning, but Alabama rallied yet again, scoring 2 decisive runs in the eighth inning to seize control of the game.

For Alabama, the offensive contributions were widespread, with seven of the nine starters contributing hits. Bryce Eblin and Hodo each homered, with Eblin also accounting for two RBIs, the highest on the team for the game. On the pitching front, reliever Alton Davis II (1-0) earned the win with 2.0 scoreless innings, followed by freshman Matthew Heiberger, who secured his first career save with a scoreless ninth inning. Arizona’s starting pitcher, Clark Candiotti, delivered an impressive performance, going six innings and limiting the Crimson Tide to 4 runs while striking out six. The Wildcats’ bullpen also held strong, allowing no earned runs over the final three innings. Despite a late rally that saw Arizona threaten in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Tide’s defense held firm, securing the narrow 7-6 victory over the Wildcats.

Day 3: Sunday, March 3

Game 3: Arizona vs. No. 20 Indiana at 11 a.m.

Wildcat starting pitcher Cam Walty delivered a stellar performance, going the distance with 6.0 innings pitched, conceding only 1 run on five hits while striking out three. Walty’s impressive outing earned him the win, improving his record to 3-0 for the year. In the fourth inning, Arizona capitalized on Indiana’s pitching struggles, exploding for 10 runs to turn a 1-1 tie into an 11-1 lead. Catcher Adonys Guzman, center fielder Brendan Summerhill, shortstop White and left fielder Easton Breyfogle all played crucial roles in driving in multiple runs during the relentless rally, with 8 of the 10 runs scored with two outs. Designated hitter Maddox Mihalakis sealed the onslaught with an RBI single. Third baseman Richie Morales added an insurance run with an RBI single in the seventh inning, further solidifying Arizona’s lead as they pursued the run-rule victory. Right-hander Trevor Long extinguished any hope of an Indiana comeback, shutting down the Hoosiers in the bottom of the seventh inning without allowing a hit, securing the win for Arizona. Arizona capped off the classic with a much needed win over Indiana, bouncing back from back-to-back losses to start the weekend. It was an impressive outing for the Wildcats this weekend, despite them going 2-1. Their two losses were each decided by one run, and both losses came against ranked teams.

Looking ahead:

Arizona will head to Irvine, Calif., from March 8-10 where the Wildcats will face USC in a three-game series.

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