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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball defeats Utah Valley 14-0; UCLA next

Arizona+right-handed+pitcher+Austin+Schnabel+on+March+19+in+Seattle%2C+Washington.+The+Wildcats+lost+two+out+of+three+games+against+the+Huskies+this+weekend.
Arizona Athletics
Arizona right-handed pitcher Austin Schnabel on March 19 in Seattle, Washington. The Wildcats lost two out of three games against the Huskies this weekend.

After losing two out of three over the weekend against Washington, Arizona baseball got its home stand off to an impressive start, slugging out Utah Valley 14-0.

Austin Schnabel started for the Wildcats, his fourth start in the 9 last days. Schnabel has been placed in a unique position where he has been starting games, but in a reliever-like position. On Tuesday, he threw 2.1 innings before being relieved by Cody Moffett.

Moffett threw 3 innings, Cody Deason came in for 1.2, and Austin Rubbick and Alfonso Rivas both pitched an inning.

“It’s definitely different from what I’m accustomed to, but I like being able to go out there as often as I can and put the team in the best situation to win a ball game,” Schnabel said. “If that just means going two to three innings every other day, and then passing off to the next guy, then I’ll do that.”

Schnabel said he is unsure how long he will continue in this role.

Arizona threatened in the first inning after Cody Ramer and Ryan Aguilar both struck out. Bobby Dalbec drew a walk, and then JJ Matijevic hit a single to center. Rivas then drew a walk, but Zach Gibbons was unable to connect with the bases loaded and two outs.

The Wildcats broke the game open in the third inning and would run away with the game from that point. Ryan Aguilar started the rally in the third by whacking Kyle Valgardson’s first pitch into the right-center field gap for a triple. Dalbec drew a walk, and after JJ Matijevic struck out, Rivas walked to load the bases, putting Gibbons up again in the exact situation he was in the first.

Gibbons came through this time around, driving a base hit to right field and clearing the bases after being down in the count 0-2. He drove in Aguilar and Dalbec. And Rivas scored from first on a throwing by Ryne Edmondson in right field to put the Wildcats up 3-0.

“The first inning I wasn’t really expecting a fast ball, and he threw it and it beat me,” Gibbons said. “Coming back up again I wanted to get a hit for the team. Coach always says turn your hat around in (with) two strikes, and just try to put it in play so that’s all I tried to do.”

In the fourth, Boyd walked and Ramer was hit by a pitch. After Aguilar grounded out and Ramer was thrown out at second, Dalbec crushed a triple to the right field wall, bringing home Aguilar and Boyd to extend the lead to 5-0.

After a slow start to the season, Dalbec is beginning to heat up. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, after going 5-14 and hitting three home-runs last week.

On Tuesday, he drew two walks and had two hits and five at bats.

The Wildcats tacked on another run in 5th, with Louis Boyd putting down a squeeze bunt to score Rivas from third.

The wildcats exploded in the 6th inning, scoring 6 runs to go up 12-0. With Cody Ramer at first, Aguilar hit a towering two run homerun to right field, his fourth of the season. Aguilar is currently tied with Dalbec for the most homeruns on the team this season.

“The homerun today, I was literally thinking up the middle, and it just happened,” Aguilar said. My approach is middle away and homeruns just come.”

After Aguilar’s homerun, Dalbec and Matijevic both singled. After Rivas hit into a double play, Dalbec advanced to third.

Salazar reached base on an error, scoring Dalbec. Louis Boyd then singled to score Gibbons, and Jared smoked a double down the left field line to bring Salazar and Boyd.

The Wildcats would add two more runs in the 8th. Ryan Haug doubled and Behnke scored on it on an error, and then Jared Oliva singled to score Haug.

The Wildcats get the day off on Wednesday, but begin a three game series with UCLA on Thursday. UCLA has an overall record of 11-7, and is 3-0 in Pac-12 play after sweeping Washington over the weekend.

JC Cloney will get the start on Thursday, Nate Bannister on Friday, and Bobby Dalbec on Saturday.

“They’re the king-pen in the league,” Arizona Baseball Coach Jay Johnson said. “They won the national championship a couple of years ago. We’re excited about the weekend, we’re excited about the competition.”


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