SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Facing elimination in the Pac-12 Tournament, Arizona Baseball (37-22, 16-14) came up big, rallying to beat rival ASU 8-6.
Arizona Baseball had a great first-round win against Oregon to open up the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament, but as they returned to action on Thursday, it was largely a day to forget as the Wildcats were overmatched by a talented Stanford team.
Facing ASU in an elimination game, luckily, the Wildcats responded in a big way as they turned to TJ Nichols who got the start on the bump for the Wildcats.
Granted, Arizona would use a few different pitchers in this one, but overall, it was a collective effort as the Wildcats held the high-powered Sun Devils’ offense to just six runs on 11 hits. Nichols would last six innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits.
Luckily, it was the offense that came up big in this one!
Led behind the bats of Mac Bingham and Daniel Susac, the two would go a combined 3-6 from the plate with six RBIs. Susac would hit a home run to help jump start Arizona’s offense in the third inning, but it was ultimately Mac who was the hero in this one as he ripped a bases-clearing triple in the eighth to help the Wildcats rally and win by an 8-6 final.
Despite trailing late, Arizona Baseball persevered, rallying to beat rival Arizona State by an 8-6 final to stay alive in the Pac-12 Tournament.
ASU would get the action going early in this one when Sun Devil catcher Ryan Campos would deliver a two-run single in the first inning to make it 2-0. Ryan would go to have a big day, driving in four of ASU’s six runs.
Luckily, the Wildcats wouldn’t go quietly! Trailing 2-0, Arizona would respond in a big way in the third inning as they put up a five-spot on the Devils. Fueled by home runs from Daniel Susac and Tanner O’Tremba, Arizona would lead 5-2 after three innings.
The Sun Devils would get two back, however, in the fifth inning when a few timely hits would cut the Wildcats’ lead to one run at 5-4.
Still doing damage, ASU would plate two more in the seventh when Campos would come up big for the Devils again, this time driving a 1-0 pitch to right center that scored runners from first and second to make it 6-5 in favor of ASU.
Fortunately for us, Arizona didn’t quit! Still staying aggressive, Arizona would load the bases in the eighth inning thanks to a few walks from the Sun Devils, but with two outs Bingham got the chance to be a hero as he turned on a 0-1 pitch that ripped to center field, clearing the bases and giving the Cats the 8-6 lead and eventual victory.
The Wildcats’ bullpen would come up big in the ninth, holding ASU to just one hit as Arizona came away with the 8-6 win, officially ending ASU’s season in epic fashion!
Quinn Flanagan would pick up the win for the Cats, improving to 5-1 on the year, meanwhile, Trevor Long earned his seventh save of the season.
Where does Arizona Baseball go from here?
With the loss, Arizona falls to 37-22 (16-14) on the year and will face Stanford in a rematch early Saturday morning. The Wildcats will have to win two today if they are to advance! The first pitch is set for 9:00 A.M. MST.