Arizona wins roller coaster series and Territorial Cup Series against ASU on Senior Night
In what is going to be in discussion as one of the most important moments of this 2018 season came to fruition on Saturday night at Hi-Corbett Field as Arizona baseball mounted one last comeback against bitter rival ASU and kept their dimming postseason dreams alive by squeezing out a 10-9 victory thanks to a Donta Williams walk-off single in extra innings.
The victory over ASU Saturday night also secured the Territorial Cup Series for Arizona. ASU has held the precious trophy hostage for five years previously, and the dramatic extra-inning extravaganza ensured that the ‘Cats have at least one piece of silverware to hoist if the postseason endeavors don’t formulate as planned.
In a rivalry that has seen legendary players take part such as Barry Bonds, Terry Francona, and Trevor Hoffman, this year’s version certainly didn’t disappoint.
The series certainly didn’t lack the star power this time around, as ASU’s Spencer Torkleson added his 25th homer of the year on Saturday night while Arizona’s Nick Quintana had himself a game of his own by going 4-for-4 with two home run’s and three RBI’s.
Arizona’s pitching has been its achilles heel all season, and it certainly was the case on in game three as the Sun Devils jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the fourth inning due to Torkleson’s three-run moon shot that still hasn’t exited orbit.
That forced the Wildcat offense to dig themselves out of one more hole, a theme that was apparent all weekend at sunny Hi-Corbett Field. The comeback started when sophomore Nick Quintana answered with a home run of his own to cut the deficit to four runs.
But on Senior Night, it was none else than senior Ryan Haug who stepped up and produced when Arizona needed help the most. His double down the left field line scored three Arizona runners, breathing life back into a season that seemed like was coming to an end at the hands to its rivals.
Another senior who saved his best for last was senior Zach Stone, who entered the game in relief as Arizona was hemorrhaging runs, and stopped the bleeding with four and a third innings of shutout relief, which allowed the ‘Cats to extend the game into extra innings and eventually win the game.
This series victory not only gives Arizona a life raft for their postseason hopes, but a lot of confidence for the season final road trip to Eugene next week. Beating the Oregon Ducks on the road is a tall task in itself, but nonetheless, Arizona isn’t complaining.
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