The Arizona Wildcats are enjoying hot and humid College Station so much they decided to extend their visit another day.
After losing their opening game of the NCAA tournament the UA baseball team has survived three elimination games – including two on Sunday – but they’ll have to win once more to advance.
The quickest way through a double-elimination college baseball regional is to win three straight games. The longest route is to lose your first game then face having to win four straight over three days.
Three down, one to go for the Cats.
Saturday was the easy one with Kyle Simon dominating Wright State.
Double-header Sunday is when most underdogs wilt. Konner Wade, the third member of K Cubed, did his job with seven shutout innings as Arizona exacted revenge on Seton Hall.
In the nightcap against host Texas A&M, UA coach Andy Lopez hoped Texan Tyler Hale would reprise his role of unlikely hero from last year’s regional. After an early injury it was Nick Cunningham becoming an unlikelier hero in the Cats’ 7-4 victory.
The Byrne Bracket has been extended as far as it can go. Athletic directors Bill and Greg will have to watch their schools duke it out one more time, albeit from afar as both father and son are in Boston.
(What could possibly be more important than college baseball postseason games, you ask? How about a relative’s 110th birthday? OK, that works.)
The Aggies still have the advantage. They’re at home. They’ve played one fewer game. They’re starting a guy with 23 appearances this year instead of just 10.
But the Wildcats have the momentum. They have the confidence.
Now they just need one more unlikely hero.
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The Pac-10 had a rough Friday (half of the six teams lost) but a great Saturday (6-0) and a near-perfect Sunday (8-1). Five of the six Pac-10 teams survived until (at least) Monday with only conference champion UCLA bowing out.
Monday’s Arizona/Texas A&M game is scheduled to start at 4:35 p.m. Arizona/Pacific time.
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