TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats were having a good run on the first two days of the inaugural Hi Corbett Classic over the weekend, until Sunday arrived. Arizona had outscored its opponents, No. 17 Mississippi State (11-7) and UC Santa Barbara (10-2) by a score of 22-8 in the nightcap games on Friday and Saturday nights but couldn’t maintain the momentum coming into Sunday’s doubleheader.
The Wildcats were blown out 10-2 by the Gauchos in the early game and lost a close one to the Bulldogs, 6-4 in the later game.
Three Arizona pitchers were used against UC Santa Barbara and starting pitcher Tyler Crawford was ran from the game before he was able to record his second out of the game. Crawford walked the first batter he faced and hit the next. A sacrifice bunt and a single by Robby Nesovic scored the first run. Crawford issued another walk, loading up the bases and setting the stage for Tyler Kuresa’s grand slam home run.
The Wildcats were held scoreless for the first eight innings before Kevin Newman’s 2-RBI single with one out broke the ice for Arizona. With bases loaded and two outs, the Gauchos replaced pitcher Campbell Wear with Dillon Tate who induced a groundout by Riley Moore to end the game.
The second half of the doubleheader started with a bang for the Wildcats. Center fielder Scott Kingery led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball followed by a Kevin Newman single. Trent Gilbert brought both runners home with a double to right field and the ‘Cats were up 2-0 early.
Arizona began the second inning with a single and a walk before Mississippi State pulled starting pitcher Jonathon Holder. The Wildcats bats would then go silent for the next five innings until Zach Gibbons’ 2-RBI single in the seventh inning.
During the five silent innings for Arizona, Mississippi State took full advantage and put up one run in the second, two in the fifth to take the lead and two more in the sixth the drive the screw. Holder was pulled after surrendering the three hits in the seventh, allowing Arizona back into the game.
Jacob Lindgren was able to get the final out of the inning and would earn his second save of the year for the Bulldogs. Lindgren allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out six Arizona batters in his 2.1 innings pitched.