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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats claw Crimson in series opener

The Arizona and Harvard baseball teams played a combined 8,036 games without facing each other before their meeting on Friday night. But the Wildcats and starting pitcher Kurt Heyer didn’t play nice in the first game, dismantling the Crimson 7-1 at Hi Corbett Field last night.

“It was a good Friday night for us,” said Arizona head coach Andy Lopez. “To see Heyer pitch the way he did. (Harvard) competed well, I was very impressed for the first time playing them.”

It was a pitcher’s duel to start out the game, as neither of the starters allowed a run through the first few frames.

Harvard’s Brent Suter had the Wildcats’ number early, pitching three hitless innings to start the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcat offense was sparked by the bats of Robert Refsnyder and Trent Gilbert, who added three runs onto the Arizona side of the scoreboard.

After the Wildcats broke through, things kept going their way as they managed to tack on another four runs through the next four innings.

“(My approach tonight) was like it has been for us as a team,” Gilbert said. “We’re trying to get the ball hard on the ground and put pressure on the other team.”

Gilbert finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Heyer continued his dominance on the mound, pitching six scoreless innings before giving up a home run in the seventh.

That hit would be his only earned run of the night before finishing off the complete game and tying his career high of 14 strikeouts.

“(Pitching coach Shaun Cole) and I set a goal to pitch a complete game tonight,” Heyer said. “To be able to do that this early in the season, it’s gonna get me in a consistent rhythm now. If I can do that every time, I’ll be good to go.”

Tonight’s game complemented Heyer’s stellar start to the season.

He’s now 3-0 with a 0.78 era, with just three walks in 23 innings pitched.

The matchup also marked the shortest game for the Wildcats this season, a quick two hours and eight minutes.

For Lopez, it was refreshing to see a brief nine innings.

“That’s baseball, that’s the way it should be,” he said. “They pitched well, we had a couple innings where we scored some runs, our guy pitched well, we had good defense, that’s fun.”

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