Arizona baseball falls to Grand Canyon in final non-conference game of the regular season

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Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

Mac Bingham, an outfielder on the Arizona baseball team, runs to first base after hitting the ball on April 22 at Hi Corbett field. The Wildcats would win in extra innings 7-6.

The Arizona baseball team took the field at Hi Corbett  Field Tuesday night to take on Grand Canyon University in the Wildcats' final non-conference game of the season. Arizona and GCU split two games earlier in the season, so this game decided the season series. 

Eric Orloff was on the mound for the Wildcats. He made his first start earlier in the season in the home opener against this same GCU team where he allowed four unearned runs across 1.2 innings pitched.

A common theme from this past weekend's series for the Wildcats against the University of Nevada, Reno was falling behind early and that happened again Tuesday night as the Antelopes scored two first-inning runs off Orloff. 

The Wildcats scored a first-inning run of their own as Daniel Susac drove in Nik McClaughry on a sacrifice fly. 

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It was the same result in the third inning as GCU scored two more runs before the Wildcats countered with a run of their own with an RBI single by Susac to cut the deficit to 4-2. The Wildcats scored one more run the following inning on a single by Tony Bullard.

Orloff wound up pitching five innings, allowing 4 runs on six hits to go along with five strikeouts and one walk. 

GCU plated two more runs in the sixth inning off reliever George Arias Jr. to take a 6-3 lead. The two teams then traded runs in the seventh inning as Tanner O'Tremba lined an RBI double to drive in Nik McClaughry. 

It was at this point the Wildcats trailed 7-4 with six outs to go. 

After a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning by Quinn Flanagan, Arizona's rally began the next half-inning. 

The rally began with a single by Mac Bingham, extending his on-base streak to 33 games. Garen Caulfield followed with a double that drove Bingham home. Tommy Splaine then tripled, and Tony Bullard singled to tie the game at 7-7 and there was a new ball game at Hi Corbett Field. 

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Trevor Long entered the tie game for Arizona in the ninth inning. It started with a misplay by Chase Davis in left field, initially looking like he was attempting to dive for a catch and before he knew it, the ball had passed him to the wall for a triple. Two singles and a home run later and the Wildcats found themselves down 11-7. 

The Wildcats went down in order in the bottom half of the ninth inning to lose the season series against GCU. 

"They are a good team," Arizona head coach Chip Hale said. "They do a good job. They're good coaches and they were well prepared as every time we have played them."

Daniel Susac went as far as to call GCU one of the top-two teams Arizona has played all season. 

One of the bright spots of the night for the Wildcats was Tony Bullard, who picked up three hits and drove in 2 runs. It was around this time last year when Bullard started to heat up. 

"I think another big thing in tonight's game that I think got overseen was Tony Bullard," Susac said. "I thought he had some great at-bats, even the at-bat he got out on was a good at-bat. Maybe we get another Tony playoff push again."

The Wildcats will now head to California where they will take on USC in a three-game weekend series. Arizona has just three more Pac-12 series the next few weekends in regular season play before the conference tournament begins. 


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