Fans were treated to a pitching duel in the 5-2 Arizona win in Saturday night’s Game 2 at Hi Corbett Field between Arizona (33-18, 14-11) and Pac-12 leading Oregon State (40-9, 19-6).
The game was tied 1-1 for a majority of the contest, both pitchers settling down after each team scored an early run. Oregon State was able to get on the board first after a single by Jacob Melton, a wild pitch, and then a double by Mason Guerra brought Melton home from second to make it 1-0.
Arizona responded in the second inning after Chase Davis, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, scored from third due to a mishap on a pickoff throw to second, tying the game up at 1-1.
Arizona senior pitcher and fan-favorite Garrett Irvin was spectacular on the mound, going seven innings, allowing only three hits and one earned run with nine strikeouts.
In what is his final regular season appearance as a Wildcat at Hi Corbett Field, Irvin turned in a performance worthy of his Arizona career.
Arizona coach Chip Hale sang praise to the man they simply call “Gary” after his senior day performance.
“He is like that stopper for us, when we struggle, he just comes out and gives us a great game,” Hale said. “He is what a veteran college pitcher looks like. Changes speeds, moves the ball around, and he has a real short memory.”
Irvin did have a regret or two about his potential final Hi Corbett start, but it was about as perfect as it could be for the left-hander.
“Obviously, you wanna give up no runs. I could’ve done better with that, I think I walked three or four, which isn’t good, fan wise and winning a game against Oregon State today, I think I couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Irvin said.
Oregon State’s Jacob Matz was also dialed in on the mound, going six innings and controlling the game throughout his time.
However, in the seventh inning, after a single to start the inning by Garen Caulfield, and one swing by Arizona’s Noah Turley, the four-inning-long tie was broken on a two-run home run which put the Wildcats up 3-1. Matz stayed in the game for one more batter, and was replaced after walking Tommy Splaine.
Turley’s home run was a towering shot to left field off a hanging breaking ball, completely clearing the wall and leaving little doubt off the bat.
Turley was in the designated hitter spot in the lineup today. He was not in the lineup yesterday for Arizona’s 12-9 loss, but did pinch-hit in the eighth inning and homered. He talked about what it’s like to be in and out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s baseball, it’s the game of baseball. Every player is going to have to go through it at some time in his career,” he said. “I am just blessed to be feeling good right now and doing my best to help the team.”
Arizona added to its lead when Daniel Susac singled to bring both Splaine and Mac Bingham home to score, making the score 5-1.
A scoreless eighth inning gave way to an Oregon State attempted comeback. Travis Bazzana tripled to lead off the inning, and Greg Fuchs contributed with a triple of his own to score Bazzana, which made the score 5-2 with one out.
However, Arizona reliever Eric Orloff was able to leave Fuchs stranded at third base and get the final two outs of the inning to preserve the Arizona win.
The series will now go into the final game split 1-1. First pitch for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Anthony Susac (4-1, 7.55 ERA) is expected to start for Arizona.