Arizona Baseball

Arizona beats Utah, setting up meeting for Pac-12 title with Oregon State at Hi Corbett

Arizona relievers Anthony Susac (left) and Dawson Netz do a stretching routine which looks like a dance during the Wildcats’ game with Utah on Sunday night (Pac-12 Networks)

Arizona is only a win away with three games remaining from earning its second regular-season Pac-12 championship in four seasons.

The Wildcats’ 10-4 victory at Utah on Sunday night improved their conference record to 19-8 and eliminated the Utes (16-11) from contention because Arizona owns the tiebreaker with the Utes after winning the series this weekend at Salt Lake City.

The only eligible challenger remaining is Oregon State, which is 1 1/2 games behind Arizona at 17-9.

The Beavers visit Hi Corbett Field from Thursday through Saturday (each game starting at 6 p.m.).

Arizona (32-18 overall) needs to win one of the three games to capture the title. Oregon State must sweep the Wildcats to earn the title.

The teams have uneven conference records — Arizona entering with 27 games played while Oregon State is at 26 — because one of the Beavers’ games with USC was rained out and it will not be made up.

In Sunday’s win over Utah, Andrew Cain (Ironwood Ridge graduate), Maddox Mihalakis and Brendan Summerhill each hit a home run and starter Cam Walty improved to 8-1.

Walty persevered after Utah took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning.

The Wildcats gave him the run support he needed in the fifth, scoring five runs all on two outs, to take a 5-2 lead.

Arizona batted around that inning, highligted by Cain’s two-run home run against Utah starter Colter McAnelly (5-3).

Following the home run, Arizona loaded the bases with three straight walks issued by McAnelly.

Randon Hostert relieved McAnelly and served up a two-run single to Garen Caulfield, who was in a 0-for-9 slump in the series before the hit. Summerfield followed with another a single that scored a run to give Arizona a 5-2 lead.

Walty was relieved after the fifth inning. He scattered nine hits with three runs allowed to go with three strikeouts and one walk.

Arizona’s lead ballooned to 8-3 in the sixth after Mihalakis hit a leadoff home run, Mason White (Salpointe) hit an RBI single and Summerhill walked with the bases loaded.

Utah’s five pitchers walked six batters.

The Utes scored their last run in the bottom of the sixth and Arizona added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth on Summerhill’s home run that followed Caulfield’s leadoff single.

Arizona used five relievers after Walty’s exit and they combined to allow only two hits and a run in four innings. They struck out three batters and did not walk a batter.

The relievers:

Bradon Zastrow (1 IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K)

Eric Orloff (1 IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K)

Tony Pluta (1 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K)

Jaeden Swanberg (Salpointe) (2/3 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K)

Kyler Heyne (1/3 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K)

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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