Beavers bunt their way to victory over Wildcats in game two of the series

Casey Smith, Sports Contributor

After an electric start to the series, the Beavers laid down a parade of bunts in a 10-4 win against Arizona in game two.

Following a leadoff walk in the top of the third inning, Arizona began racking up baserunners. A successful sacrifice bunt from Wildcat center fielder Mac Bingham kicked things in motion and with bases loaded and one out, Kiko Romero knocked in an RBI single for the first run of the game putting the Wildcats ahead 1-0. 

To calm down his pitcher, Beavs head coach Mitch Canham took the opportunity to make an early mound visit. To his avail, Beavers starting pitcher Jacob Kmatz settled in and escaped the third inning jam by picking up and strikeout and rolling a ground ball to end the inning. 

(Kmatz: 6.2 IP, 5 Hits, 2 earned runs, 8 K’s, on 99 total pitches)

When the Beavers took over in the bottom of the inning, shortstop Kyle Dernedde sparked a rally with a hard hit single off of the chest of Wildcat third-basemen Tony Bullard. Moments later, Beaver’s Australian star Travis Bazzana knocked his first single of the game into shallow center to continue his 10-game hitting streak and advance Dernedde all the way to third. After Garret Forrester added one more to his walk total, Micah McDowell pushed a tough bunt to the right side for a single, scoring Dernedde.

With one out and the score tied at one apiece, Brady Kasper came up big for the Beavers, sending a hard-hit single into shallow center for a 2 RBI single to push the Beavers ahead 3-1.

Left-handed starting Pitcher Bradon Zastrow rolled the Wildcats a few ground balls to stop the bleeding in the third, but not before allowing three runs on four hits to the Beavs. 

Keying off of Zastrow’s command, the Beavs found themselves in an identical position an inning later. As Weber, Bazzana, and Forrester became base runners, McDowell would be tasked with laying down yet another bunt for an RBI single with bases loaded.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that, and that’s just Micah. Sometimes we think that we have to drive a ball in the gap and he’s going up there very present and saying ‘I can score a run in any type of way’. [McDowell] He’s seeing the field and he’s playing the game,” said Canham.

Sophomore left-fielder Mason Guerra pushed the Beavs ahead 6-1 with a 2 RBI single of his own, forcing the Wildcats to make a pitching change. In the midst of the Beavers electric fourth inning rally, right-hander Anthony Susac was tasked with taking over for the Wildcats. 

As a result of yet another Kasper RBI single followed by a sacrifice fly from crowd favorite Tyce Peterson, the Beavers found themselves ahead 8-1. 

In the top of the fifth inning Arizona cut into the Beaver lead by adding one more to their total as Cameron LaLiberte picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Following a silent sixth and seventh, Brendan Summerhill doubled to center field, scoring Wildcat second baseman Mason White.

To put the Wildcats out of their misery, Guerra launched sixth homerun of the season with runners on base to give the Beavs a daunting seven run lead. 

Despite the disheartening lead, the  Wildcats continued to fight until the very last out: In the ninth inning, Arizona loaded the bases and tacked on a fourth run. This would force Mitch Canham to bring in closing pitcher Ryan Brown to shut down the side. 

After nine innings of baseball, the Beavers walked away with another win. 

Final Score 10-4

Key Players: 


  • -B. Kasper (3-5, 3 RBI’s)
  • -M.McDowell (3-4, 2 RBI’s)
  • -M.Guerra (2-5, HR (6), 4 RBI’s)
    • -Starting Pitcher: J.Kmatz 6.2 IP, 5 Hits, 2 earned runs, 8 K’s, on 99 total pitches)



  • K. Romero (3-4, RBI)
  • C. LaLiberte (1-3, RBI)
  • B. Summerhill (1-4, 2B, RBI)
    • B. Zastrow ( 3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 2BB, 6 ER, 3K’s, 76 total pitches)
    • A.Susac (4.2, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2K’s, 77 total pitches)

Game 3 of the Series Sunday @ 1:05 p.m. on PAC-12 Networks

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