TUCSON, Ariz. – Less than 18 hours after putting the finishing touches on the program's signature win of the season, the ACU Wildcats played a game they'd rather forget Sunday afternoon in front of 1,727 fans at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona scored eight times in the second inning and that carried the Wildcats to a season-ending and series-clinching 14-1 over ACU in the 2014 finale for both teams. ACU ends its first season at the NCAA Division I level with an 18-36 record, while Arizona – which won the 2012 College World Series with a win over two-time defending champion South Carolina – finishes its season at 22-33.
ACU starting pitcher Brady Rodriguez – in the final appearance of his career – gave up 10 runs (seven earned) on nine hits in one-plus innings of work. With one out in the bottom of the first, shortstop Brandon Grudzielanek bobbled a routine ground ball by Kevin Newman, and that set up a big inning for Arizona. One out and two batters later, Tyler Krause hit a three-run home run to left field to give Arizona a quick 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Rodriguez gave up, in consecutive order, a single, double, triple, single, double, single and single to the first seven Arizona batters of the inning as the Wildcats put the game away early, putting the memory of ACU's 6-5 win over Arizona late Saturday evening to rest. In all, Arizona would send 12 batters to the plate in the second inning with all nine players in the lineup collecting a hit in the frame.
With ACU trailing 13-0 after three innings, the only mystery was whether or not ACU would get a hit off Arizona starting pitcher Tyger Talley. The sophomore right-hander dominated the Wildcats, striking out a career-best 13 batters and kept ACU hitless until Tyler Eager lined a single into right-centerfield leading off the seventh inning. Eager would come around to score on a double by Heath Beasley, who hit the ball off the ball in left field, narrowly missing a two-run home run.
Talley (2-4) went 8 1/3 innings before being lifted after 131 pitches to a standing ovation from the Arizona faithful. Rodriguez was tagged with the loss to finish his season at 2-6. Rodriguez appeared in 24 games this season (eight starts) to finish with an ACU career-record 95 appearances