No. 7 Arizona’s 6-5 win at Oregon State coupled with No. 6 Oregon’s 8-5 loss in 12 innings to No. 15 Stanford on Sunday means the Wildcats have earned their fifth Pac-12 championship, the first since their College World Series title team of 2012.
The championship is the first for Jay Johnson, who is in his sixth season with Arizona.
The Wildcats (38-15 overall) completed their Pac-12 season with a 21-9 record. Oregon (36-12) is 18-9. The best the Ducks can do is tie Arizona with a sweep at Cal next weekend, but the Wildcats hold the tie-breaker by beating the Ducks 2-1 in games this season.
Stanford (31-13) is 15-9 in the Pac-12 and the best the Cardinal can do is 18-9, which is a winning percentage of .667. That would fall below Arizona’s .700 mark.
The number of games played is uneven because COVID-19 protocols have canceled three games against Washington for the Cardinal.
Donta’ Williams went 4 for 5 with a double and two RBIs and Nik McLaughry had two crucial RBI singles in the eighth and ninth innings to lead the Wildcats in their come-from-behind win on Sunday at Corvallis, Ore.
— Jay Johnson (@UACoachJ) May 23, 2021
Arizona, who trailed 5-1 entering the eighth inning, rallied for four runs behind three RBI singles by McLaughry, Williams and Kobe Kato. McClaughry also scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildcats took the lead in the top of the ninth on McLaughry’s RBI single with two outs.
Vince Vannelle, who struck out four batters and in two shutout innings, got the win in relief for the Wildcats.
Arizona returns to Hi Corbett Field for a three-game non-conference series with Dixie State starting Friday.
Pac-12 Baseball Standings*Clinched conference championship
|25 Arizona State||16-11||.593||3.5||32-17||.653||W1|
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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 CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, 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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District