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Arizona baseball stays alive, defeats Delaware, 6-5

Justin Rex and Justin Rex | The Daily Wildcat Arizona junior infileder JJ Matijevic conects for a single on a pitch from Delaware. Arizona played Delaware on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at Dan Law Field in game 3 of the NCAA Lubbock Regional.

The Arizona Wildcats kept their season alive with a 6-5 victory over Delaware on Saturday during the NCAA Lubbock Regional at Dan Law Field.

The game went into extra innings, taking 12 full innings to decide a final score.

“I’m really proud of these three and I’m proud of this team. We kept saying all game we want that double-header tomorrow,” Arizona coach Jay Johnson said.

The game started quietly, with junior left-handed pitcher Cameron Ming only allowing two walks through the first two innings.

The Wildcats recorded the first hit of the game with a two-out single up the right side from junior JJ Matijevic in the top of the third inning. However, he was caught stealing second during the next batter and the game remained scoreless.

The top of the fourth inning started strong for the Wildcats with a single to right field from junior Jared Oliva. He was stranded on first after the next three batters went down in order, and the game stayed scoreless moving into the bottom of the fourth.

After giving up a hit and a walk in the third inning, Ming settled back in on the mound in the fourth inning and took the Blue Hens down in order. The game stayed scoreless after four complete innings.

Arizona threatened in the top of the fifth with a one-out walk to senior Kyle Lewis, followed by a single to left field from senior Louis Boyd. The Wildcats were unable to score due to junior Cal Stevenson hitting into a double play to end the inning.

Ming continued his strong performance in the fifth inning, getting Delaware to go three-up, three-down again to keep the game scoreless.

The sixth inning started strong for the Wildcats with a leadoff single from Matijevic to center field. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Oliva, putting a runner in scoring position with one out. Arizona was able to capitalize and score the first run of the game courtesy of a single to left center from sophomore Cesar Salazar.

The run was all Arizona could get in the sixth, but after five and a half innings, the Wildcats led, 1-0.

The Blue Hens responded in the bottom half of the sixth in similar fashion to the Wildcats. Delaware started the inning with an infield single from Jordan Glover, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Calvin Scott. Nick Patten singled to center field, scoring Glover from second to tie the game.   

Arizona’s offense came alive in the top of the seventh inning. The inning started with a single up the middle from freshman Nick Quintana, who advanced to second on a called balk. He was brought in to score on a double down the left field line from Lewis, regaining the lead, 2-1.

Stevenson added to the Wildcats’ lead with an RBI double to right center, making it 3-1.

A walk to Matijevic and sophomore Alfonso Rivas loaded the bases with two outs for the Wildcats, and a single from Salazar brought in two more runs. After seventh and a half innings, the Wildcats led, 5-1.

After loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth innings, Ming’s day on the mound was done. He threw 7.2 innings and allowed three runs and only four hits.

Ming was replaced on the mound by sophomore righty Michael Flynn, who threw against Sam Houston State the previous night.

Delaware was able to score two on a single from Jeremy Ake, but the inning ended when Stevenson threw Ake out at second. Heading into the ninth, the Wildcats maintained the lead, 5-3.

The Blue Hens threatened in the bottom of the ninth, having bases loaded with two outs. Glover singled up the middle, bringing in two runs and tying the game, 5-5. A fly out to center ended the inning, and the game went into extras.

After a quick 10th inning, the game went into a lightning delay. Weather systems in the area delayed the game for more than two hours before play resumed.

Stevenson hit a two-out single up the middle to give Arizona a baserunner in the 11th. He stole second and a throwing error from the Delaware catcher allowed him to advance to third. HE tried to make it home and was thrown out, ending the inning.

The Wildcats took the lead when Rivas hit a two-out homerun to left-center field, making it 6-5.

Despite getting two runners on base, Delaware was unable to score and the game ended, Wildcats on top, 6-5.  

Arizona will take on the loser of No. 5 Texas Tech and Sam Houston State in another elimination game at 2 p.m. CST Sunday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

** Editor's Note: McKenzi Morris is Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech University. Morris is covering regionals for the Daily Wildcat.

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