Arizona Baseball

Behind Cloney, Ming and Oliva, Arizona advances in CWS with 3-0 win over UCSB



[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Information provided by the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report.

Jared Oliva’s two-run homer and the pitching tandem of JC Cloney and Cameron Ming eliminated UC Santa Barbara from the College World Series with a 3-0 victory Wednesday evening at TD Ameritrade Park.

The Wildcats earn a rematch with Oklahoma State at noon on Friday. They must beat the Cowboys twice to advance to the championship series. Arizona is 4-0 in elimination games this season, outscoring its opponents 18-9 in those games. After losing at Louisiana-Lafayette 10-3 (with Cloney on the mound) on June 5, Arizona beat Sam Houston State 6-5 and swept the Ragin’ Cajuns in two games, 6-3 and 3-1, to advance to the Super Regionals at Mississippi State.

Arizona defeated UCSB after losing 1-0 against Oklahoma State on Monday night.

Arizona (46-22) had a three-run cushion in the ninth Wednesday night, but the Gauchos went down fighting. Clay Fisher opened the ninth with a double and Devon Garland drew a walk to bring the potential tying run to the plate.

“I don’t think we’ve had a performance that good all year, the one he gave us tonight. Character off the charts. His last outing was a little bumpy. He’s only had two bumpy ones this year. Both times, he responded in a Hall of Fame manner.”
— Arizona coach Jay Johnson on the performance of Arizona starter JC Cloney against UCSB

Pitching coach Dave Lawn paid a visit to the mound to speak with Ming, who relieved Cloney an inning earlier. Ming responded by striking out UCSB’s home run leader, Austin Bush, then punched out JJ Muno and Dempsey Grover to seal the shutout.

Ming, working in his third straight game here, earned his third save in seven postseason appearances after not recording one during the regular season. The lefty has now worked five scoreless innings at the College World Series.

The relief effort preserved another strong start for the Wildcats, this time turned in by Cloney who last pitched 16 days ago at the Lafayette (La.) Regional. Cloney tossed seven-plus innings, scattering five hits with two walks and two strikeouts as he improved to 7-4.

“I don’t think we’ve had a performance that good all year, the one he gave us tonight,” Arizona coach Jay Johnson said in the postgame press conference, according to the Associated Press. “Character off the charts. His last outing was a little bumpy. He’s only had two bumpy ones this year. Both times, he responded in a Hall of Fame manner.”


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]



[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Cloney, who allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the regionals, allowed just five singles to the Gauchos.

With another quality start, Arizona has seen its starter pitch at least seven complete innings in eight straight games at TD Ameritrade Park, including the 2012 College World Series. Nathan Bannister (7.0 innings) and Bobby Dalbec (8.0) had surrendered only two combined runs in the Wildcats’ first two games this week.

All the offense Arizona needed came in the home half of the third. After Cody Ramer’s leadoff single and Zach Gibbons’ subsequent walk, Bobby Dalbec flew out to center field, advancing Ramer to third. Ryan Aguilar’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Ramer.


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]


With the 1-0 lead, the stage was set for Oliva, who pulled his fourth homer of the season into the left field bullpen. It gave the sophomore a hit in all three College World Series games, and extended his hit streak to five straight games.

Oliva homered for the first time since April 4 for the Wildcats. He has driven in four of his team’s eight runs in Omaha.

“The past month, I’ve become more developed as a hitter, and I try to stay relaxed and don’t do too much,” Oliva was quoted as saying by the AP. “I stick to my game plan, and whatever happens happens. I got a good pitch to hit and got a good swing on it.”

UCSB (43-20-1) sent left-hander Justin Kelly to the mound for only his second start of the season. The homer he allowed to Oliva was the only one he had yielded this season in 23 1/3 innings of work. It was also his first defeat, falling to 2-1, after tossing three-plus innings with three runs on seven hits and a walk.

Reliever Trevor Betancourt cooled the Wildcats’ lineup with an impressive relief outing. The righty retired 13 consecutive batters before allowing his only base runner of the night – a single to Dalbec in the ninth inning. Otherwise it was five innings of shutout ball.

Arizona’s defense was strong throughout, despite making its only error of the College World Series. Shortstop Louis Boyd atoned for an early miscue by factoring into three pivotal double plays in the third, fifth and eighth innings.

Arizona now faces Oklahoma State, which prevailed in a pitchers’ duel Monday night when the teams first met. The Wildcats will be tasked with defeating the Cowboys in consecutive games Friday and Saturday to stay alive in advance of the championship series next week.

Friday’s game will be televised live on ESPN2. The Wildcats will be the designated visiting team. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top