Arizona pitching shuts down Harvard
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The pitching tandem of Konner Wade and Mathew Troupe combined for 12 strikeouts and the Arizona defense turned four double plays as the seventh-ranked Wildcats defeated Harvard 3-1 on Saturday before a crowd of 2,187 at Hi Corbett Field.
Wade, who improved to 2-0, was effectively wild throughout the game, as he reached double-digit strikeouts (10) for the third straight time but also issued a career-high five walks and hit two batters. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning that was broken up on a bunt single by Jack Colton with one out in the frame.
Arizona (7-2) scratched across two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, providing Wade all the support he would need. The Crimson, however, produced some tense moments for Wade and the Wildcats in the late innings.
Harvard (0-2) loaded the bases with a walk, a single and a hit batter to open the seventh. After a visit to the mound from UA head coach Andy Lopez, Wade settled in an induced a foul popup and an inning-ending double play that kept the shutout bid intact for another inning.
The Wildcats tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the seventh to take a 3-0 lead. Joey Rickard hit a one-out single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. With two down and Rickard at third, Robert Refsnyder extended his season-opening hitting streak to nine games with an infield RBI single in the hole on the left side.
Wade was unable to keep the Crimson off the board in eighth inning. Carlton Bailey dropped down a bunt in front of the mound, but Wade's throw to first was errant and allowed Bailey to scamper to second. Mike Martin followed with a bunt single, which put runners at the corners with no outs.
After breaking up the no-hit bid two innings earlier, Colton bounced a two-hopper to third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, who made an easy relay throw to catcher Riley Moore to get Bailey trying to score from third. But Wade walked the next hitter he faced to load the bases, and Marcus Way followed with an RBI grounder to cut UA's edge to two runs.
Holding a 3-1 lead with two outs and runners on second and third, Troupe relieved Wade and struck out pinch-hitter Robert Wineski to escape further damage.
In the ninth inning, the freshman right-hander allowed a leadoff single but bounced back quickly with his second strikeout. He then got Kyle Larrow to line into a double play to first baseman Brandon Dixon to end the game and secure his first career save.
The Wildcats turned four double plays, including two by groundout in the sixth and seventh innings and two by lineout in the second and ninth frames. In all, 20 of the 27 outs recorded by UA were via strikeouts or double plays.
Arizona's two-run fourth inning started when Mejias-Brean reached on an error. One out later, Moore delivered a run-scoring double to right field, and Dixon followed with an RBI double of his own to left field.
Both runs off Crimson starter Joey Novak were unearned. Novak (0-1) suffered the loss despite giving up just the two runs on six hits in five innings of work.
The two clubs conclude the three-game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hi Corbett Field.