University of Arizona baseball player Brad Glenn is sometimes his own worst enemy when he doesn’t get a big hit or drive in an important run.
But there were no worries for the senior after he smacked the first pitch he saw with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning through the left side of the infield for a game-winning two-run single in a 7-6 victory over USC at Sancet Stadium on Friday night in a Pac-10 game.
“It is a good thing,” said UA coach Andy Lopez. “I’m happy he came through. I’m not so sure it would have been a good situation if he wouldn’t have because he is so tough on himself.
“It was a good at-bat for the program, good at-bat for the season and for Brad Glenn.”
Arizona (13-12, 2-5) overcame a 6-2 deficit to win its first game of the season when trailing after the sixth inning. The Wildcats were 12-0 when leading after the sixth, and 0-12 when trailing.
The Wildcats will try to get ahead in the second game of the series with the Trojans (11-14, 2-5) at 6 p.m. Saturday, before concluding the series at noon on Sunday.
Glenn’s single off Robert Stock with two outs capped a furious late rally. Arizona scored three runs in the eighth, keyed by Dillon Baird two-run triple. He later scored on a wild pitch to narrow the gap to 6-5.
Arizona’s Rafael Valenzuela was sacrificed to second in the ninth after a leadoff walk. Jett Bandy had a high pop fly confuse the Trojans, and the ball landed in front of the pitcher’s mound.
A pinch-hit by Bryce Ortega loaded the bases, and Hunter Pace struck out on three pitches to set up Glenn as Arizona’s last chance to break out of a 1-5 Pac-10 start.
“I saw (Stock) start off Hunter with two change-ups so I figured that is what he would throw to me and luckily I guessed right,” Glenn said.
His hit sparked a wild celebration with players jumping for joy and high-fiving each other like a title was won.
“It is always good to get a win in the Pac-10, especially the way we have been playing,” Glenn said. “The guys are pretty excited. Hopefully we can carry this momentum in the rest of the Pac-10.”
The Wildcats’ three errors in the outfield result in USC’s early lead.
Glenn had an error in left field, while Bobby Coyle had two in right, leading to four unearned runs.
“We made it interesting,” Lopez said.
UA pitcher Preston Guilmet allowed five runs – one earned – in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked three.
Jason Stoffel (1-0) picked up the win for the Wildcats.
“I told them this is a marathon race; it is never a sprint,” Lopez said about the celebration. “It is 56 games. They are young. If I would have (celebrated like them) I would have been in a wheelchair tomorrow.
“They had a good time. They need to realize there are two more games. They need to be ready to play.”