Arizona baseball ends tough season with victory over ACU
Arizona baseball ended a disappointing year on a positive note, winning its final series of the season against Abilene Christian with a 14-1 victory at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday. Arizona (22-33) struggled this season and experienced its worst year since 1994 when the team finished with a 15-40 (.273) record.
After struggling to find offensive momentum in Saturday’s game, the Wildcats came out swinging early on Sunday and subsequently rocked Abilene Christian starter Brady Rodriguez for 10 runs over the first two frames.
Rodriguez picked up his sixth loss of the year and was pulled after giving up five runs before registering the first out of the second inning.
Juniors Trent Gilbert and Tyler Krause and sophomores Kevin Newman and Scott Kingery led the Arizona’s offensive attack by compiling three hits apiece. Krause came up a single short of the cycle, had six RBIs and contributed three of the Wildcats’ eight extra-base-hits.
Arizona pitcher Tyger Talley strikes out Abilene Christian outfielder Colton Hall during the sixth inning of Arizona's 14-1 win against Abilene Christian in Arizona's last game of the season at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday. The Wildcats finished the season 22-33.
“Sometimes you have your good days and sometimes you have your bad days,” Krause said. “Thankfully today was a good day. I just choked up and tried to hit singles.”
Krause said that it made a real impact when junior reliever Tyler Parmenter gathered the team before Sunday’s contest and explained how important it was for them to go out on a good note despite enduring this year’s arduous season.
The Wildcats quickly responded to Parmenter’s pep talk and it took less than two innings for every Arizona batter to record a hit.
In the first inning, the Wildcats took advantage of a throwing error and set the table with runners on the corners for Krause, who promptly delivered a three-run homerun to plate the game’s first runs.
The UA stepped up the intensity in the second and added another eight runs off nine hits. In the third inning, Arizona tacked on two more runs behind a Krause triple to left field.
The Wildcats added another run in the bottom of the seventh off a double down the right field line by Gilbert to score Kingery.
Sophomore pitcher Tyger Talley kept Arizona in control and silenced ACU’s bats. The hard throwing righty threw six innings of no-hit baseball and allowed only six base runners over 8.1 innings of work.
ACU center fielder Tyler Eager broke up Talley’s no-hit bid when he led off the seventh with a single up the middle. Abilene Christian pushed Eager across the plate when shortstop Brandon Grudzielanek doubled to left center.
Talley (W, 2-4) retired the side in order on four occasions and amassed a career-high 13 strikeouts while only walking two. The 13 strikeouts were the most for a UA pitcher since Kurt Heyer recorded 14 in March 2012 against Harvard.
“[Talley] had good command of his fastball and pretty good command of his secondary stuff,” Lopez said. “He looked good. He only had two walks, which is good for him. Sometimes he has the tendency to walk 3 or 4 guys in an outing.”
Talley allowed one run while scattering four hits on 131 pitches and ended up pitching into the final frame for the first time in his career. Parmenter relieved him with one out in the ninth and sealed the deal by forcing a foul out and pop fly.
“I felt like I was able to repeat my release point really well,” Talley said. “I was down in the zone so they weren’t hitting me too hard, and I just executed all of my pitches and had them off balance.”
— Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17