Arizona Baseball

Arizona walks off Washington State, extends Pac-12 winning streak to eight games

Arizona baseball celebrates after their 8-7 walk-off win over Washington State at Hi Corbett (Arizona Athletics photo)

After falling one run short in its comeback attempt on Tuesday at Grand Canyon, Arizona found itself in a familiar situation Friday night as the Wildcats gave up four runs to Washington State in the top of the ninth inning to fall behind by two runs.

Magic struck the Cardiac Cats again.

They achieved yet another walk-off win at Hi Corbett Field, rallying for three runs to notch the 8-7 series opening victory over the Cougars. In its last Pac-12 series against UCLA at Hi Corbett Field three weeks ago, Arizona won all three games via a walk-off hit.

The Wildcats (22-14, 11-5 Pac-12) are on an eight-game conference winning streak, which ties their longest streak since joining the Pac-10 in 1979.

Arizona’s win, combined with losses by Oregon State and Oregon, has the Wildcats sitting alone at the top of the conference with 14 conference games remaining in the regular season.

For the second time in as many weeks, the majority of the 4,085 fans in attendance didn’t stick around to see the Wildcats’ comeback win.

Arizona led 5-3 heading into the ninth inning, but gave up four runs to the Cougars (18-18, 7-12 Pac-12) to fall behind 7-5.

With his team facing its final at-bat trailing by two runs, Arizona head coach Chip Hale said he told the team, “Hey you guys are good at this. Let’s see if we can do it again.”

Do it again, they did.

Brendan Summerhill led off the ninth and was hit by pitch.

Garen Caulfield hit a grounder toward third base and was safe on first on a fielder’s choice that resulted in Summerhill being out at second.

Mason White then hit a deep fly ball to the center field wall. WSU’s Nate Swarts tracked the ball but dropped it, putting White on second and Caulfield on third.

Adonys Guzman hit a ground out to second base that scored Caulfield, getting Arizona within one run.

With White on third, Easton Breyfogle then walked, putting the winning run on first base.

Emilio Corona extended his hitting streak to eight games, lining a single to left field, bringing White home to tie the game at 7.

Maddox Mihalakis followed with another liner to left field.

Breyfogle, going full steam from second, slid head first at home plate, diving under the tag to secure the walk-off win. The play was reviewed but it did not take long for the umpires to rule that Breyfogle was indeed safe.

“I definitely wanted to get one back for my team” Breyfogle said.

Maddox on his view of Breyfogle’s slide at home: “It was clear. The catcher had to jump. He was already sliding once he got down. It was clear.”

Friday’s walk-off win was Arizona’s fifth in eight games at Hi Corbett.

“The ’80 team was the Cardiac Cats and these guys are going to give me a cardiac arrest,” Hale said.

Arizona’s starting pitcher Jackson Kent had another solid outing for the Wildcats.

He pitched six innings with seven hits and two runs allowed. He struck out five batters on 98 pitches. His ERA is now 2.64.

Wildcats’ reliever Jaeden Swanberg, a Salpointe and Pima alum, came in to get the final out in the ninth to earn the win.

Arizona faces Washington State in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday at 6 p.m.


ARIZONA 12-5.70623-14.622W2
Oregon State10-6.6251.530-8.789L3
Stanford 8-9.471416-20.444L1
Arizona State9-11.4504.519-21.475W2
Washington State7-13.3506.518-19.486L2

Saturday’s scores
ARIZONA 7, Washington State 1
California 8, Oregon State 7
Washington 13, Utah 8
Oregon 17, Stanford 5
Arizona State 8, UCLA 2
USC 12, Santa Clara 11

Sunday’s games
Washington State at ARIZONA, noon
Arizona State at UCLA, 1 p.m.
Oregon at Stanford, 1:05 p.m.
Oregon State at California, 1:05 p.m.
Washington at Utah, 6 p.m.
Sacramento State at USC, 1 p.m.

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