Arizona Baseball

Six-run 9th inning gives Arizona walk-off series win, extends winning streak to 10 games

Garen Caulfield celebrates his winning walk-off hit in Arizona’s 6-5 win over Louisiana Tech (Arizona Athletics photo)

Destiny, magic, belief, confidence. It took a little of each for Arizona to come out the victor on Saturday night in Hi Corbett Field.

Headed into the ninth, Arizona was down 5-0 to Louisiana Tech.

Then, Hi Corbett magic showed up in the form of a six-run rally giving the Wildcats a 6-5 walk-off win over the Bulldogs.

The comeback secured the 10th consecutive win for Arizona (20-13) — the longest active winning streak in the country.

Louisiana Tech (26-11) seemed to have the game in the bag from the first-inning through the middle of the ninth.

The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first inning and built on their lead with one run in the fourth, eighth and ninth innings.

Arizona’s starting pitcher Clark Candiotti worked 3 2/3 innings, gave up seven hits, three runs while striking out three on 74 pitches.

Bradon Zastrow took over on the mound in the third and worked out of a bases loaded situation.

Zastrow threw two scoreless innings. Kyler Heyne relieved Zastrow in the sixth and went 1 1/3 innings before Casey Hintz took over and Jaeden Swanberg finished off the night. Swansberg ended up getting the win

As Zastrow was warming up to start the fourth-inning, Arizona’s skipper Chip Hale was tossed from the dugout due to arguing what he thought were bad calls.

“It seemed like we couldn’t get a break,” Hale said, “I was obviously reflecting it onto the umpires, which I shouldn’t have. They were doing a great job. It was just my frustration of struggling against another left-handed pitcher. A left-handed starter, we’ve really struggled against those guys.”

One of those calls was in the first-inning when a hard hit ball by Easton Breyfogle flew over the Terry Francona Hitting Center. It appeared to be a home-run for Breyfogle but was called foul by the first base umpire. The call was reviewed and upheld.

Arizona committed five errors in the game, the most since 2022 in a loss to Grand Canyon.

The bottom of the ninth inning played out just as the Wildcat coaching staff designed it.

“They’ve got their best set up guy in there, how about we get the closer in? That would be a victory for me. So we get him in and I’m like, ‘Ok, that’s a good thing,'” Hale said.

While the majority of the fans gone before the ninth inning thinking the game was over, the people that stayed caught a show — an ending for the ages.

Louisiana Tech’s set up pitcher Sam Brodersen walked Garen Caulfield on a 3-2 count followed by a Brendan Summerhill walk on four straight balls after strike one.

The Bulldogs brought in closer Ethan Bates.

Adonys Guzman singled to right field on a 2-1 count, loading the bases.

Emilio Corona singled to left field on a 3-2 count, scoring Caulfield.

With the bases still loaded and Arizona down 5-1 with no outs, Breyfogle singled to right field on a 1-2 count, scoring Summerhill.

Bases loaded again and Arizona down 5-2 with no outs, Tommy Splaine hit a fly out to third base giving the Wildcats one out.

Designated hitter Maddox Mihalakis hit a single to left field on the first pitch, scoring Corona and Guzman.

With Breyfogle on second and Mihalakis on first. Arizona needing one run to tie. Richie Morales hit a fly out to center field, moving Breyfogle to third (Mihalakis stayed at first).

Mason White tied the game with ground-rule double to left-center scoring Breyfogle.

White thought he walked it off and Arizona stormed the field dousing White in Gatorade, but it was a premature celebration, The ball bounced off the warning track and bounced over the red line on the outfield wall for the game-tying ground-rule double.

With White still dripping wet from his Gatorade bath on second and Mihalakis on third, Caulfield walked it off with a single to left field on a 1-0 count, bringing Mihalakis home.

Arizona will go for the sweep against Louisiana Tech today at 10:00 a.m. in Hi Corbett.

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