TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona kept its cool when St. John’s bolted to a big lead. Now the Wildcats are one win away from the College World Series.
Trent Gilbert hit a game-ending RBI single with one out in the 10th inning and Arizona erased a five-run deficit on its way to a 7-6 victory against St. John’s in the opening game of their super regional series Friday.
”We’ve been down quite a bit this year, but we always have the confidence that if we’re down we’re going to come back,” senior Bobby Brown said. ”We’re a good offensive team.”
St. John’s (40-22) scored five times in the fourth inning, but Arizona got single runs in the fourth and fifth and tied it at 5 with three runs in the sixth. The Wildcats (42-17) have trailed in 22 of their 42 wins this season, including every game of the 2012 postseason.
”That’s a great one to win and a tough one to lose,” Arizona coach Andy Lopez said. ”It’s a lot nicer feeling when you come out on top. I thought they did a marvelous job, St. John’s was outstanding.”
The Red Storm grabbed a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th on Sean O’Hare’s RBI double, but the Wildcats tied it on Brown’s RBI single. Arizona loaded the bases against Kevin Kilpatrick (3-3), and Gilbert roped a 1-2 pitch to right center for the win.
Mathew Troupe (4-1) got two outs for the victory.
”The bottom line is we gave them some things, they didn’t give us anything,” Red Storm coach Ed Blankmeyer said.
St. John’s finished with 18 hits, including a whopping 17 singles.
Arizona can advance to the College World Series for the first time since 2004 with a win Saturday.