Arizona Baseball falls to West Virginia in Home Opener

TUCSON, AZ – Playing in their 2023 home opener against West Virginia, unfortunately, Arizona Baseball (3-2) fell to the Mountaineers by a 6-5 final. 

Returning to the friendly confines of Hi Corbett Field for their 2023 home opener, Arizona Baseball was back in action as they welcomed West Virginia to town for a three-game weekend series.

Once again turning to their ace TJ Nichols, TJ got the start on the bump for the Wildcats, and the junior right-hander did okay for the Cats, lasting five-and-two-thirds innings as he surrendered four runs on nine hits while striking out six!

He would eventually be relieved by Casey Hintz, Dawson Netz, Chris Barraza, and Trevor Long, and while the Wildcats’ bullpen was solid, it ultimately was enough as the Wildcats fell to the Mountaineers.

Overall, the Wildcats’ offense did fair, scoring five runs on a combined 10 hits as they were led by Chase Davis, Kiko Romero, and Tommy Splaine who went a combined 3-13 from the dish with four RBIs.

Although Arizona Baseball combined for five runs against West Virginia, it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Wildcats fell 6-5 in extra innings.

Arizona got the action going early in this one when a Nik McClaughry hit a lead-off triple that set up Davis to bring him in on a double to right field to make it 1-0, Cats.

A few batters later, Romero would then bring in Davis as he turned on a 1-2 pitch that went to right-center, putting Kiko on second and scored Chase from third to make it 2-0.

Unfortunately, West Virginia would respond quickly as JJ Wetherholt belted a two-run blast in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Luckily, the Wildcats’ bats would respond in the bottom half of the inning when some more well-timed hits set up Tommy to bring in a run off of a 2-1 double to put the Cats back in front at 3-2.

But once again, the Wildcats couldn’t hold on defensively, surrendering two runs to the Mountaineers in the sixth inning and again surrendering another run in the seventh to trail 5-3 after seven.

Desperately needing a rally, Arizona would come up big in the bottom of the eighth when more clutch hitting would allow the Cats to tie the game and 5-5, but as the Wildcats eventually went into extras, the bats went cold.

West Virginia would score the go-ahead run and eventual game-winner in the top of the 11th when Wetherholt stole home to make it 6-5, Mountaineers.

Unfortunately, Arizona had no answer as the Wildcats fell to West Virginia at home by a 6-5 final.

Where does Arizona Baseball go from here?

With the loss, Arizona now falls to 3-2 on the year and will face West Virginia for game two of their three-game series in Tucson this weekend. First pitch for Saturday is set for 3:00 P.M. MST!

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