Arizona Opens Postseason with 4-3 Win over Oral Roberts!
In what amounted offensively to “a tale of two games” for Arizona, the Wildcats took advantage of a season-high 16 strikeouts by the pitching staff and a prolonged weather delay to hold off Oral Roberts, 4-3, in the opening game of the NCAA Wichita Regional on Friday.
With the Wildcats mounting just three total hits and the contest deadlocked 3-3 after six and half innings, Mother Nature halted the proceedings with a one-hour and 17-minute severe weather delay in the bottom of the seventh.
The lightning-induced respite provided a much-needed break for the Wildcats’ offense, which strung together three straight two-out singles right after play resumed to scrape across the go-ahead and turn the contest over the UA bullpen.
After ORU reliever Erik Crichton retired the first two UA batters in the seventh, Colt Sedbrook ignited a rally with a bloop hit that fell into right for a single. C.J. Ziegler followed with a base hit up the middle to place runners on first and second for Bill Rhinehart.
With his 12-game hitting streak on the line, the senior outfielder deilivered with a soft single to center that provided just enough time to plate Sedbrook with the go-ahead score.
Oral Roberts Recap
Arizona 4 Oral Roberts 3
Preston Guilmet pitched seven strong innings while giving up three runs on seven hits as the Wildcats picked up a 4-3 victory over Oral Roberts. Arizona will take on New Orleans who upset Wichita State while Oral Roberts will play Wichita State.
Oral Roberts Recap
New Orleans 7 Wichita State 6
The New Orleans Privateers shocked Wichita State by knocking them off 7-6 on Friday. UNO put a three run rally together in the top of the ninth to win the game. UNO will take on Arizona on Saturday while WSU will play Oral Roberts in an elimination game.
The Wichita State Shockers were named a regional host last weekend and will be joined by New Orleans, Oral Roberts, and Arizona.
The Wichita State Shockers are led by Damon Sublett who is hitting .360 on the season. He also has 14 stolen bases. Tyler Webb leads the Shockers with ten homers on the season. Aaron Shafer went 7-2 during the season with 2.39 ERA. They open the weekend at 8 pm EDT on Friday with University of New Orleans.
Wichita State Tourney Notes
The Arizona Wildcats got an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament this season after going 40-15 overall and 15-9 in the Pac-10 as they finished in second place in the conference. They are led by All-American pitcher Preston Guilemt who is 11-2 on the season with a 1.79 ERA. He has struck out 133 batters in 126 innings. The Wildcats offense is Bill Rhinehart who is hitting .362 on the year with 11 homers. They open the tournament with Oral Roberts at 2 pm EDT.
Arizona Tourney Notes
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (40-15) turned some heads last year by making the Super Regionals in 2006. ORU is led by a strong pitching staff in Chance Chapman who is 8-1 with a 1.23 ERA. They also have two other starters with 2.53 ERA or less in Jeremy Hefner (9-1, 2.53 ERA) and Jerry Sullivan (5-0, 1.75 ERA). The offense is led by Brendan Duffy who is hitting .362 on the year. ORU opens the tournament at 2pm EDT on Friday.
ORU Tourney Notes
The New Orleans Privateers won the Sun Belt title by knocking off Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 8-2 last weekend. They are led Johnny Giavotella (.373 BA, 15 HR) and T.J. Baxter (.372 BA, 11 HR) on offense. The pitching staff is led by Bryan Cryer who is 8-4 on the season with a high 5.28 ERA. They open against Wichita State at 8 pm EDT.
UNO Tourney Notes
The CBB predicts that Oral Roberts will win the Regional behind their strong pitching.
University of Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez will return this season to coaching the pitching staff. Last year, he took the year off from coaching the pitchers so he could deal with his ailing father who passed away after last season. He has been the Pitching coach in addition to his head coaching duties every time the Wildcats have made a trip to the CWS. He will try to lower the team ERA this season from a 5.41 in conference play in 2006. The full article from the Arizona Daily Star is available here.