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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona bats stay hot, come back from deficit once again to open series against McNeese State

Emily Gauci

Arizona baseball infielder J.J. Matijevic (24) swings at a pitch during Arizona’s matchup with California at Hi Corbett Field on April 26, 2015.

Arizona baseball senior pitcher J.C. Cloney led the Wildcats to a 9-3 victory against McNeese State in the first of a four-game series Thursday night at Hi-Corbett Field.

Cloney was practically untouchable after a shaky first inning with two runners reaching on errors and later scoring leaving the ‘Cats in a two run deficit. Cloney came back and retried the next 10 straight hitters keeping his ERA at a cool 0.00.

“Keep throwing up zeros,” said Cloney, “until [Arizona head coach Jay Johnson] takes the ball away from me go out and put up zeros. As a pitching staff we have to throw up zeros as much as we can and then when he take the ball away to the next guy have them throw zeros.”

Going into the bottom of the first, Arizona junior Jared Oliva grounded into a double that brought in junior Mitchell Morimoto to cut the deficit in half 2-1. Cloney held the Cowboys to no runs through the second and third innings. The Wildcats took control of the game when they scored five runs in the fourth inning.

Sophomore Cesar Salazar hit a RBI single up the middle bringing in freshman Nick Quintana. Due to a McNeese wild pitch, Wildcat sophomore Alfonso Rivas crossed the home plate. Morimoto then hit a double up the left field line bringing in senior Louis Boyd and Salazar. Oliva was up to the plate when another wild pitch brought in Morimoto for the fifth run of the inning.

The Wildcats added on another run in the fifth inning with senior Kyle Lewis grounding out to second bringing in Quintana making the score 7-2.

McNeese State tried to come back with gaining another run but couldn’t touch Cloney in the seventh inning leaving him with no errors before being relieved by junior pitcher Landon Faulkner going into the eighth inning.

“[Cloney] has hall of fame ploys,” Johnson said. “You can’t have the success he’s had in his college career here and junior college without that. It’s exemplary an I hope a lot of pitchers on our staff are learning from it.”

The Wildcats racked up two more runs with Salazar stealing home followed by a sacrificed fly ball to left field bringing in Boyd making the score 9-3. Senior pitcher Austin Schnabel then relieved Faulkner in the ninth inning as he was able to hold off the Cowboys and leaving Arizona to win 9-3.

“I want him [Faulkner] to be a big part of our success,” Johnson said, “whether it’s that time of game or any time of the game I want to get him on the mound as much as I can.”

The Wildcats will continue the series against McNeese State Friday at 6 p.m. at Hi-Corbett.

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