UA escapes series opener

Coming off a tough series with Rice, Utah Valley seemed like an easy matchup. That was not necessarily the case on Saturday.

It wasn't pretty at times, but in the end Arizona did just enough to hang on to beat the Utah Valley Wolverines Friday night by the final of 6-5.

"We're still getting wins when we're not playing our best baseball and that's the most important thing, said Arizona right fielder Robert Refsynder. "It may be ugly but at the end of the day they're wins all the same."

And a win is something that wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Refsynder's 3 for 3, 2 RBI performance, which ended up being the difference in the ball game.

"Baseball is a lucky game man, sometimes they fall for you and sometimes they don't," he said. "We were just fortunate to get the win, Utah Valley played a pretty good game."

Once again, as was the case in the Rice series, the bullpen hiccupped a little bit in the 6th inning, blowing what was at the time a 5-2 Arizona lead.

Matt Chaffee entered the game for Kurt Heyer, and after striking out Utah Valley's Billy Burgess, Chaffee allowed three consecutive Wolverines to reach base, two via the walk. Those three base runners eventually turned into three Utah Valley runs, thanks to a sequence of events that included a couple of fielding errors and a passed ball.

"They played well, but we made a lot of mistakes tonight no doubt, no doubt," said UA head coach Andy Lopez. "We're going to have to sure some things up."

However, despite the mental and physical mistakes the Cats battled back to take the lead in the bottom of the 7th frame. A combination that has been a good one so far this season once again came through.

Refsynder smacked a one out double down the right field line to set up Josh Garcia to drive in the eventual game-winning run, which he did, taking a 1-2 pitch straight up the middle to make the score 6-5 Arizona, a lead that the Wildcat's closer wouldn't relinquish.

Bandilla entered the game and was lights out, going 1.2 innings and striking out three Wolverines, on his way to collecting his first save of the year along with an Arizona win.

"I just came in there, felt good, and didn't try to overthrow the ball," said Bandilla. "I just knew I had to hit my spots, get outs and we were going to win the game, it was that simple."

Well it might not have been as simple as advertised, but Arizona did collect its seventh win of the year, putting the Cats two games better than they were at this time last year. They'll look to clinch the series win Saturday night when they send Kyle Simon to the mound against Utah Valley in game two.

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