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Arizona Dominates Oregon State In Series Opener

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Ryan Aguilar Wrecks Beavers

Nathan Bannister befuddled Beaver batters most of the evening.
Nathan Bannister befuddled Beaver batters most of the evening.
(Image by Andy Wooldridge)

After the first few minutes of the game, Arizona dominated Friday night's Pac-12 series opener against 13th ranked Oregon State in Tucson, and the 'Cats came away with a 6-1 win over the Beavers.

Nick Madrigal and Logan Ice picked up right where they left off in Tuesday's 5-4 Oregon State win over Seattle, in which Ice drove in Madrigal for the walk-off winning run.

Nick Madrigal

Tonight, Madrigal, above (image by Andy Wooldridge) tripled, and scored easily on an Ice infield sacrifice to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning.

But that would be it as far as the Oregon State offense was concerned, as the Beavers only threatened Arizona ace Nathan Bannister twice more.

But leadoff singles by Cadyn Grenier and KJ Harrison that put Beavers on the corners, saw them still there after a lineout and back to back strikeouts by Bannister.

The next inning's scoring threat evaporated when third base coach Andy Jenkins sent Billy King to try to score all the way from first on Trevor Morrison's double, which resulted in King being thrown out short of the plate, for the unforced second out of the inning.

Travis Eckert had been solid over the first third of the game, and got a couple of pickoffs to offset what trouble he did get in, but come the bottom of the 4th, Ryan Aguilar, Arizona's RBI leader, almost single-handedly wrecked the Beavers, with a 2 RBI triple that brought his season total to 36. Aguilar would come on in to make it 3-1 on a sacrifice fly.

The game got out of reach in the 7th, when Eckert hit Kyle Lewis with a pitch, and home plate umpire Travis Katzenmeier sent him on to second on a phantom balk call. That set the stage for Eckert to make an errant throw to the plate when Lewis attempted to score.

Louis Boyd scored too, while Oregon State tried to run down Justin Behnke, and it was 5-1 going to the 8th.

Aguilar struck again, as he and Alfonso Rivas singled to end Eckert's evening in the 8th, and Aguilar scored on Lewis' sacrifice to make it 6-1.

That became the final when Bannister struck out the side to end the game.

Bannister only allowed 5 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 9 in his 110 pitch complete game performance that improved him to 7-1 for the season.

Eckert fell to 5-3, despite 7 1/3 innings in which he allowed 7 hits, but only struck out 2 to go with 2 walks.

Oregon State slipped to 29-13, and 10-9 in the Pac-12, while Arizona improved to 29-16, and 12-10 in conference. The Beavers and 'Cats rematch tomorrow evening at 7 in the middle game of the series.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com