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LUBBOCK, Texas -- The University of Delaware baseball team battled back from a late four-run deficit and later endured a lengthy rain delay in extra innings, but the Blue Hens ultimately dropped their second heartbreaker in as many days with a 6-5, 12-inning loss to 16th-ranked Arizona Saturday at Rip Griffin Park in the NCAA Baseball Lubbock Regional.

Delaware, which battled fifth-ranked and regional host Texas Tech in a 5-2 setback on Friday, ends its exhilarating 2017 season with a 34-23 record. Arizona, the 2016 College World Series runner-up, improved to 38-20 and advances to Sunday when the Wildcats will play the loser of Saturday night's Texas Tech-Sam Houston State contest.

The marathon game, which included a 2:16 rain delay in the top of the 11th inning and ended six and a half hours after it started, saw both teams use five pitchers. The Wildcats finally won it in the 12th when Alfonso Rivas slugged an opposite field homer to left off Blue Hen closer Burk FitzPatrick (2-1), before Delaware's rally in the bottom of the frame came up just short.

“I knew it was gone over my head,” Jordan Glover said of the game winning HR. “When it was hit off the bat I knew it was over my head, but I just tried to make as good of a play as I could. It was just out of my reach.”

Calvin Scott led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield, and after Nick Patten flied out to left, Scott moved to second on a Jeremy Ake groundout. Doug Trimble then walked to put the winning run on base, but Wildcats pitcher Juan Aguilera (1-0) struck outDiaz Nardo looking on a fastball over the inside corner to shut the door.

“That was yet another great baseball game,” head coach Jim Sherman said. “For our program to be here [in the NCAA regionals] and see our guys play their hearts out is a special feeling for me personally, our coaching staff and our program. I told our guys they put Delaware baseball on the map again. We've had a pretty good reputation throughout the years, but today was a special day. I just want to talk about the hospitality of Texas Tech and Lubbock. Again a heck of a ballgame. I want to tip my hat to my players, and to Arizona.”

The game remained scoreless through five innings, as Blue Hen starting pitcher Nick Spadafino allowed just three hits in the opening five frames while Arizona hurler Cameron Ming gave up only one.

JJ Matijevic then led off the top of the sixth with a single to center, and after he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jared Oliva, Colman Vila replaced Spadafino on the mound. Vila then retired Rivas on a lineout to left, but Cesar Salazar followed with an RBI single to leftcenter to put the Wildcats on the board.

However the Blue Hens immediately answered back in the bottom half as Glover legged out an infield single to lead off the frame, and following a sacrifice bunt by Scott, Patten (above left) lined a single to center to drive home Glover and knot the game at 1-1.

Arizona appeared to take control in the top of the seventh, as the Wildcats plated four runs on four hits and a pair of walks to jump in front 5-1.

Nick Quintana led off with a single up the middle, and after pinch runner Sawyer Gieseke moved to second on a balk, Kyle Hinton took over on the mound for Delaware. But the first batter he faced was Kyle Lewis, who faked a bunt before lining a pitch down the leftfield line to chase home Gieseke.

Following a sacrifice bunt Cal Stevenson laced a double to deep rightcenter, allowing Lewis to score to make it a two-run game. Two walks sandwiched around a pop out loaded the bases with two away before Salazar lined a ball that hit the pitcher's mound and bounced into centerfield, driving home two more as Arizona went up four.

Delaware went down in order in the bottom of the seventh and the first two batters were retired in the eighth, but the Blue Hens would not quit. Glover worked a walk, and after Scott ripped a double to left, Patten walked to load the bases. Michael Flynn then replaced Ming on the mound and Ake greeted him with a two-run single to left, although Ake was thrown out at second trying to advance on the play as Arizona took a 5-3 lead to the ninth.

After James Meeker set down the Wildcats in order Trimble opened the bottom of the ninth with a single to right, but Flynn then retired the next two Blue Hen batters. However Brian Mayer was hit by a pitch, and after Tylor Megill took over on the mound, Kevin Mohollen legged out an infield single to second base to load the bases.

With the season on the line, Glover then bounced a single up the middle into centerfield, driving home Trimble and pinch runner Matt McKeown to tie the game at 5-5. After an intentional walk to Scott, Patten flied out to deep center as the game went to extra innings.

After both teams went scoreless in the 10th, the game was delayed for over two hours due to a thunderstorm. Following the long break neither team could score in the 11th, before Rivera's homer in the 12th proved to be the difference.

Glover finished 2 for 5 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored for the Blue Hens, while Scott also had two hits and walked twice.

“We just wanted to keep this thing going, because we know how good of a team we have,” Scott said. “We really believed that we could compete with any team in this tournament. We know we're a late inning team and that we can get the bats going at any time. We gave it a good run, but we just came up a little bit short.”

The game capped an outstanding season for Delaware, as the Blue Hens captured their first Colonial Athletic Association title and made their first NCAA Regional appearance since 2001.

Hen Scratchings:
• Delaware played its third extra inning game of the season, and its longest since a 10-9 loss at Towson in 13 innings on May 13, 2016
• Glover notched his 22nd multi-hit game of the season
• Scott reached safely for the 27th consecutive game
• The Blue Hens and Arizona faced each other for the first time in school history
• Delaware played a Pac 12 school for the first time since a four-game series at Arizona State in May, 2011

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