Arizona Baseball

Arizona Wildcats look to stay alive in CWS vs. Oklahoma State today




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Information provided by the Arizona and Oklahoma State media relations departments contributed to this report …

• With its 3-0 win over UCSB on Wednesday, Arizona earned its 40th victory at the College World Series (40-28), tying Oklahoma State for the seventh-most all-time.

• Arizona scored first for the second time in three CWS games this year. Including 2012, the Cats have struck for the game’s first run in seven of their eight contests at TD Ameritrade Park (7-0 when scoring first).

• Wednesday’s win improves the Wildcats to 4-0 in elimination games this postseason.

• UA pitchers have allowed two earned runs in 27.0 innings at the College World Series (0.67 ERA).

Zach Gibbons went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in each contest in Omaha. The senior now has 98 base hits in 2016, moving him into sole possession of ninth on the UA single-season hit chart. Gibbons appeared in his 225th career game for the Wildcats, currently fourth-most in program history.

Cody Ramer and Ryan Aguilar each played (and started) their 68th games of the season, tying several others for ninth-most in school history.

• Catcher Ryan Haug made his first start since April 29. He had only one at-bat since that contest (June 5 at Louisiana Regional). Haug threw out a potential base stealer to end the second inning. It was the first steal attempt by a UA opponent at the College World Series and first attempt since the first game of a double-header against Louisiana on June 6 at the Lafayette Regional.

Jared Oliva’s 2-run home run in the third inning was his fourth of the season. It was UA’s first home run at the College World Series since Rob Refsnyder hit a two-run shot in the first inning of the opener of the championships series vs. South Carolina in 2012. It was Oliva’s first homer since April 4 at BYU.

• Oliva now has a five-game hit streak, longest active for any Wildcat, including all three games in Omaha. The home run was the first allowed by UCSB starter Justin Kelly all season (23.1 IP)

• The Wildcats improved to 40-2 when leading after eight innings.


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Arizona takes on Oklahoma State in Game 11 of the College World Series today at noon at TD Ameritrade Park in a game televised by ESPN2. The Cowboys are 43-20 and 2-0 in Omaha. A win over the Wildcats would move them into next week’s CWS Finals. Arizona brings a 46-22 record into the game and needs to beat the Cowboys twice to move in the CWS Finals. If the Wildcats win Friday, the two teams will play again Saturday in an elimination game (start time yet to be determined).


— OSU opened the CWS with a 1-0 win against UC Santa Barbara last Saturday before picking up another 1-0 triumph over Arizona Monday. Thomas Hatch was the winning pitcher vs. UCSB, tossing his fourth shutout of the season, while Tyler Buffett threw eight scoreless innings against the Wildcats and Trey Cobb worked the ninth inning for the save. Garrett Benge has driven in both of the Cowboys’ runs with singles.

— OSU has faced Arizona 18 times owns a 14-4 record. The two have met at the CWS six times (1954, 1955, 1959, 1960 and 2016) with the Cowboys 4-2 in those games. In 1959, Oklahoma State bounced back from an earlier CWS loss to Arizona to knock off the Wildcats in the NCAA title game for their lone NCAA baseball championship.

— Freshman Jensen Elliott will take the mound for OSU. The right-hander is 9-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 16 starts and has recorded 69 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings. Arizona will counter with Nathan Bannister, a senior right-hander who is 12-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 21 appearances (19 starts) this season. In the Wildcats’ CWS opener against Miami, he earned the win after working seven innings and allowing just one run on eight hits while striking out 11. In 139 2/3 innings of work this season, Bannister has struck out 109 batters.

— OSU is hitting .266 on the season with its middle infielders highlighting the attack. Shortstop Donnie Walton sports a .345 batting average, three homers and 44 RBIs to go along with 15 doubles, while second baseman J.R. Davis owns a team-high .349 batting average and is one of seven Cowboys with at least 30 RBIs.

— Arizona sports a .288 team batting average. Zach Gibbons leads the way as the outfielder is hitting .381 with 41 RBIs, while first baseman Ryan Aguilar has eight homers and 52 RBIs along with a .303 batting average.


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[/ezcol_1half_end] 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.

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