Wildcats walk off on Friday night

The Arizona Wildcats won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning Friday. Read on for more details about the game, including how well Konner Wade pitched, who got the win, and more.

Two freshmen came up big for the Arizona Wildcats on Friday night, allowing their team to come away with a 4-3 victory in extra innings over the visiting USC Trojans.

Shortstop Kevin Newman was beaned to start bottom of the tenth inning off on a good note for the Wildcats. He was moved to second on a Riley Moore bunt and with one out in the inning, Arizona brought Zach Gibbons to the plate.

He already had three hits in four at-bats, but he wasn't done yet. Gibbons connected with a ball that bounced back through the box and up the middle of the infield, bringing Newman home for the decisive run.

"This was a big game for us," Gibbons said. "We have to win these games to make it into the playoffs. Coach tells us we can't win ten games in a row at once, just one game in a row. It's a big series and a big win for us."

The two Wildcat freshmen combined for five hits and three runs batted in over the course of the game. They both each scored a run in the game, with Newman's run and Gibbons' RBI being game-winners.

"We have a lot of young guys," Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez said of the freshmen. "This group will be good when it's all said and done. Not that they are bad now, but they will do something special before they leave here."

A base running mistake almost hurt the Wildcats in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Arizona was able to work around it. With one out, Joseph Maggi doubled to right field and Johnny Field was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Trent Gilbert followed it up with a single to right field, but Maggi stopped at third in an attempt to load the bases.

Field had left first base with his head down, expecting to head to third base with no issues, but when he reached the midway point between second and third, he realized his mistake. Field stopped and retreated towards second, but Maggi began towards home where he was thrown out. Field and Gilbert then moved up a base on the throw.

Hot-hitting Brandon Dixon was intentionally walked to load the bases for freshman Kevin Newman. The shortstop singled through the left side of the infield, scoring two runs in the inning and giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

Arizona got another run in the bottom of the sixth inning for some breathing room. Zach Gibbons led off the inning with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two outs and a wild pitch later, Maggi singled to center field, giving Arizona a much needed cushion.

Arizona got things going in the bottom of the second, but was unable to score. Riley Moore lifted a ball to left field that landed for a double after USC outfielder Bobby Stahel fell down. Moore was moved to third on a single by Gibbons, but a pop up and ground out ended the threat.

Arizona starter Wade had a rough start to the game. The first three pitches of the night all went for balls and he ended up giving up a single to the lead-off man.

A short blooper that was caught by Newman forced a double play, but Wade beaned the following batter, putting another runner on. He struck out Greg Zebrack to end the inning.

After shutting down the Trojans for the next four innings, Wade allowed a line drive down the right field line to Dante Flores with one out in the fifth. Flores rounded second with a slow turn, but the throw from the outfield was wide of third base and the designated hitter had a triple.

The next batter singled to left field and Flores was plated, giving USC a 1-0 lead. The inning wasn't over there, as Wade battled back, getting a fly out and a pop out to strand the runner.

The right-hander was stellar for most of the night, but had trouble at times. With his team leading 3-1 in the top of the 7th, Wade allowed a lead-off triple.

After a sac fly scored the runner, another Trojan reached base with a single to left field. A stolen base put the runner in scoring position for Stahel's blooper into left field that tied the game at 3.

Wade pitched 9 and a third innings, giving up 11 hits and walking none, while striking out just a single batter. He threw 126 pitches on the night.

"I think everything was working for me pretty well tonight," Wade said. "My defense played great behind me. I used my slider more tonight because it was pretty effective. Overall, I felt really good about it."

Mathew Troupe picked up the win after throwing just a single pitch to get two outs in the top of the tenth. He got Adam Landecker to fly out to right field on a diving catch by Scott Kingery. The freshman outfielder popped up and threw to first to double up the Trojan baserunner.


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