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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Disaster in Seattle as Arizona baseball drops two of three to Washington

The+Arizona+Wildcats+huddle+before+the+baseball+game+against+GCU+on+March+19+at+Hi+Corbett+Field.+Arizona+came+off+a+14-run+offensive+explosion.
Danielle Main
The Arizona Wildcats huddle before the baseball game against GCU on March 19 at Hi Corbett Field. Arizona came off a 14-run offensive explosion.

The No.16 Arizona baseball team dropped two of three games in Seattle against the University of Washington, snapping a program record 11-game conference win streak on Saturday and blowing a 5-run lead on Sunday.

Day 1 : Friday, April 26

Game 1: No. 16 Arizona vs. Washington at 6:05 p.m. 

Friday night was the kind of gritty, low scoring win that the 2023 Arizona Wildcats could only dream of.

This team is different though, as is Anthony “Tonko” Susac, who picked up his first save of the season and extended his scoreless streak to six innings since moving to the bullpen. After giving up a lead-off single in the bottom of the ninth, Susac retired the next three batters in order, including two on strikeouts to secure Arizona’s 3-2 win over Washington.

For six innings, the bats fell silent. Washington had its chances, getting seven hits off starter Jackson Kent and twice moving a runner into scoring position with less than two outs in the inning. However, Kent effectively worked his way out of trouble, pitching six scoreless innings and striking out four Huskies in the process.

The Wildcats finally broke through in the seventh, when Adonys Guzman hit his first home run of the season to get Arizona on the board. Emilio Corona then parlayed a walk, a steal, a throwing error and a passed ball into a trip around the bases, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead.

It was a lead they immediately gave back when Aiva Arquette made reliever Casey Hintz pay for a leadoff four pitch walk with a 2-run home run to left center field.

Fast forward a half-inning and Arizona took the lead again thanks to a Garen Caulfield leadoff double and an RBI single from Mason White. From there, the bullpen locked it down. Kyler Heyne and Susac pitched back-to-back scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the series opener.

For Washington, it was a frustrating night of missed opportunities, as the Huskies were only able to scratch across 2 runs off ten hits.

Day 2: Saturday, April 27

Game 2: No. 16 Arizona vs. Washington at 2:05 p.m. 

Arizona, down a run with two outs in the ninth inning, sent a hitter to the plate with the tying runner in scoring position. This situation has been a recurring theme for the Wildcats, who have reversed their early season close-game woes during their historic conference winning streak, which stood at 11 games entering Saturday night. The batter they sent to the plate, White, had been the hero more than once, including a key double in this exact scenario during their miraculous 6-run ninth inning rally against Louisiana Tech University on April 13.

This time, however, White struck out swinging on three pitches, ending Arizona’s conference winning streak with a 4-3 loss to Washington. In a reversal of fortune from the previous night, Arizona lost despite outhitting Washington 10-7.

Up 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Arizona third baseman Maddox Mihalakis made a costly fielding error that would allow the Huskies to even up the game with a pair of unearned runs. It was Mihalakis’ only mistake of the day, as the freshman was perfect at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

In the bottom of the fifth, Washington pulled ahead on an RBI single from Cam Clayton. From there, the bullpens dominated. Eric Orloff and Dawson Netz didn’t allow a run in their three innings of work for Arizona. However, Arizona’s bats also cooled down in the later innings, combining for just three hits, all singles, in the final four innings. They got runners in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings but strikeouts from Tommy Splaine, Caulfield and White ended the threat.

Clark Candiotti was saddled with the loss as he struggled to limit his pitch count, throwing 104 pitches over just five innings of work. However, he held the Huskies to just 2 earned runs and could’ve been in-line for the win if the Mihalakis error hadn’t allowed 2 unearned runs to score in the fourth inning.

Day 3: Sunday, April 28

Game 3: No. 16 Arizona vs. Washington at 1:05 p.m. 

Blake McDonald and Andrew Cain launched a pair of 3-run home runs and Arizona appeared to be cruising with an 8-3 lead entering the bottom of the eighth.

Then, the wheels fell off. Arizona’s bullpen crumbled in the bottom of the eighth, allowing 5 runs on eight hits, including two home runs, to make it an 8-8 game going into the ninth inning.

In the bottom of the 13th, Washington completed the comeback when Copper Whitton blooped a single into right field, scoring Clayton from second to give Washington a 9-8 victory and the series win, dropping Arizona to 26-16 (14-7 in Pac-12). 

For the second afternoon in a row, Washington was able to rack up the pitch count of Arizona’s starter. Cam Walty threw 96 pitches over his five innings of work, but only allowed 2 earned runs while striking out six.

With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the fifth, McDonald capitalized on walks issued to Corona and White with a 3-run home run, his second of the season, to give the Wildcats the lead. Cain later scored on a TJ Adams triple to put Arizona up 7-3.

After struggling at the plate in Arizona’s previous series against Washington State University, Corona had a bounce-back series against Washington, going 5 for 12 with two walks and 4 runs scored.

Meanwhile, Brendan Summerhill saw his 33-game on-base streak ended Friday night and went hitless in his 15 at-bats during the series.

Looking ahead: 

Arizona returns home for a game against Grand Canyon University at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m., followed by a home series against Stanford University that begins on Friday, May 3, at 6 p.m.


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