Arizona Wildcats one game away from CWS final series

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Arizona's baseball players celebrate a run scored in the ninth inning of Friday's 9-3 victory over Oklahoma State (ESPN video capture)

Arizona’s baseball players celebrate a run scored in the ninth inning of Friday’s 9-3 victory over Oklahoma State (ESPN video capture)


Information provided by the Arizona and Oklahoma State media relation departments contributed to this report.

ARIZONA WILDCATS NOTES

— Arizona earned its 41st all-time win at the College World Series, breaking a tie with Oklahoma State for sixth-most in NCAA history.

— The Wildcats improved to 5-0 in elimination games this postseason.

— UA’s 47 wins this season are tied for the sixth-most in program history. The Wildcats are one win shy of matching the 48 victories for the 2012 national championship team.

— UA is the sixth team to allow four runs or less in its first four CWS games (first since 1972).


Zach Gibbons went 3-for-5 and became the eighth player in UA history with 100 base hits (first since Trevor Crowe in 2005). His tally of 101 hits this season leads all Division I players. Gibbons collected his team-leading 20th two-out RBI, however it was his first in 11 postseason games.

–The Cats’ 14 base hits were their most at this year’s College World Series. In 2012, the team notched double-digit hits on three occasions, including a high of 15 in the second game against Florida State.

— UA took a 1-0 lead in the first inning Friday, handing OSU its first deficit of the NCAA Tournament. Previously, OSU posted a streak of seven-straight games without trailing, which was an NCAA Tournament record. It was also the first run allowed by the Cowboys in Omaha.

— The Wildcats improved to 8-0 all-time when scoring first at TD Ameritrade Park (3-0 in 2016).
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— Arizona improved to 35-11 when scoring first this season and 16-5 when scoring in the opening inning. In 11 postseason games, UA is now 7-0 when scoring first and 4-0 when scoring in the initial inning.

Louis Boyd stole his 11th base of the season and has the only two swipes of the postseason for Arizona.

Nathan Bannister was lifted after 2 2/3 innings on the mound (forearm stiffness), marking the shortest start for a UA pitcher at TD Ameritrade Park. Previously, all eight starters for the Wildcats had worked seven innings.

— UA and Oklahoma State entered today’s game with the two best fielding percentages in the CWS field. The Wildcats played error free baseball, while OSU committed two errors that led to four unearned runs.

Cameron Ming has pitched in eight of UA’s 11 postseason games, compiling a 1-0 record, four saves and a 1.10 ERA. He has 17 strikeouts and four walks in 16 1/3 total innings.

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Zach Gibbons went 3-for-5 Friday against Oklahoma State and became the eighth player in UA history with 100 base hits (first since Trevor Crowe in 2005). His tally of 101 hits this season leads all Division I players.

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Cameron Ming has pitched in eight of UA’s 11 postseason games, compiling a 1-0 record, four saves and a 1.10 ERA. He has 17 strikeouts and four walks in 16 1/3 total innings.


OKLAHOMA STATE NOTES

–The run in the first by the Wildcats also halted the 19.2 scoreless innings streak by Cowboy pitchers.

–The loss snapped the Cowboys’ seven-game winning streak, which was tied for OSU’s longest string of the season.

–Designated hitter Conor Costello’s triple in the fourth inning was the first of his career.

–Pitcher Remey Reed struck out a career-high seven in four innings of work out of the bullpen.

–Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday about Saturday’s starter Thomas Hatch: “(Hatch) will pitch for the Cowboys. We feel good about that. On full rest. Fresh. I think all I can do is speak on our behalf. We’re a confident club. And what they say in baseball: Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher. We’ve gotta pretty good one. I feel good about putting our ballclub on the field tomorrow and competing together once again and enjoying this amazing opportunity.”

–Hatch is the Chicago Cubs’ third-round draft pick. He threw a complete game and extended his shutout streak to 26 innings in Oklahoma State’s 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the College World Series opener on Saturday.

–Hatch (9-2) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven in his dazzling 112-pitch performance for the Cowboys. It was his fourth shutout of the season.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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 CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, 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.

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