Arizona Baseball

Arizona takes series vs. Washington State, breaks program record with ninth straight Pac-12 win

Arizona’s center fielder Brendan Summerhill before the Wildcats’ 7-1 series win over WSU (Arizona Athletics photo)

No. 21 Arizona needed a ninth-inning comeback to earn the Washington State series-opening win on Friday night.

No dramatic comeback was needed on Saturday as the Wildcats put together a complete effort in their 7-1 victory over the Cougars to secure the series.

The Wildcats (23-14, 12-5 Pac-12) have won nine consecutive conference games, nine straight games in Hi Corbett Field and have won 14 of their last 16 games.

The hot streak puts them in sole possession of first place in the conference ahead of Oregon (27-11, 11-6) by one game and Oregon State (30-8, 10-6) by 1 1/2 games.

“We’ve done a really good job of playing better and winning games and taking advantage of mistakes,” Arizona coach Chip Hale said. “We’ve got to continue that and just keep working on our hard hits and I think we should have a lot of room to grow.”

The nine-game conference winning streak is a program best since Arizona joined the Pac-10/12 in 1979.

The first three innings were a pitcher’s battle as Washington State starter Connor Wilford and Arizona starter Clark Candiotti held both sides scoreless.

That changed in the fourth inning.

Washington State (18-19, 7-13 Pac-12) grabbed its one and only run when Cole Cramer’s single through left scored Joey Kramer.

Arizona tied it up when Easton Breyfogle hit a high floating pop up to deep left field that Washington State’s left fielder dropped. Breyfogle advanced to third on the error.

Cue the first of Maddox Mihalakis three doubles in the game, this one bringing Breyfogle home.

The Wildcats added two runs in the fifth.

Garen Caulfield doubled and took third on an error from the Cougars’ left fielder that brought Summerhill home.

A wild pitch opened up home plate and Caulfield took advantage coming in from third base for the second run of the inning.

A four-run seventh started with a bang when Brendan Summerhill hit a solo home run to left center, his sixth homer of the year.

Mason White followed with a triple as the ball buzzed down the right field line, took an odd bounce and ricocheted off the first baseman’s glove.

With bases loaded, another wild pitch scored White.

Mihalakis’ second double on the night was a two-RBI laser down the left field line that scored Breyfogle and Adonys Guzman.

Candiotti (4-1) put together a six-inning solid performance getting four strikeouts, allowing five hits and one run on 88 pitches.

“It was a good team win,” said Candiotti, son of former big-league pitcher and current Arizona Diamonadbacks broadaster Tom Candiotti. “We all stuck together and played the game the right way tonight so I mean it’s a good step forward for us.”

Taking about how the defense helps pitching Candiotti said: “When you are making pitches and your defense is working for you it gives you confidence to get the next out and even to trust your defense. They’ve been solid all year and they’re just playing better than they ever have. It’s always a confidence boost when you know you have a good defense behind you.”

Arizona goes for its fourth consecutive sweep in conference play at noon on Sunday at Hi Corbett.


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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