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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball rebounds from UVU loss, dismantles Utah

Utah got everything but a warm and fuzzy embrace in its first Pac-12 Conference matchup with the No. 4 Arizona baseball team, as the Utes were routed by a high-powered Wildcat offense, losing 11-2 Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

The Wildcats (22-8, 8-2 Pac-12) struggled to find their footing in their first game of the road trip, losing to Utah Valley, but were able to rebound coming back in to conference play against the Utes (7-21, 3-7).

“We talk a lot about standards with this club,” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said after the game. “(On Wednesday) I didn’t feel we lived up to those standards, but it was nice to come out and get the win tonight, I would have liked to win both of them, but it’s nice to get the win tonight.”

With the weekend slate starting a day sooner, Friday starter Kurt Heyer was on the mound a day earlier than usual, but it didn’t affect him much.

The junior ace continued his dominance on the hill, throwing his second complete game of the season and notching his 20th career win.

“It felt good,” Heyer said. “I just came out every inning trying to throw zeroes and it seemed to work well tonight.”

Part of Heyer’s success last night also came from a restful week, according to Lopez.

“We gave Heyer the whole week off,” Lopez said. “He didn’t throw any bullpens, we wanted him free to work tonight and he did.”

Thursday’s game was a one-sided affair from the get-go.

The Arizona offense erupted in the top half of the first, and before Utah starter Joe Pond could even take a breath, the Wildcats were up 3-0.

In the bottom of the second, it looked like the Utes were on the comeback trail when Utah left-fielder Shaun Cooper jacked a solo shot into right field to lead off the inning.

“It happens to the best of us,” Heyer said. “You just have to get back out there and keep throwing, and I was able to do that.”

The offense wouldn’t stick for Utah, but it was only the beginning for the Arizona offense.
By the bottom of the eighth, the Wildcat bats had added another seven runs to their side of the scoreboard.

“It was nice seeing everyone hit tonight,” Arizona right-fielder Robert Refsnyder said. “Every time I looked up, it was someone else making solid contact with the ball.”

Refsnyder finished the evening hitting a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

The only other offense that Utah could put together created a meaningless two-out run in the bottom of the ninth.

While winning the opener is always key, the Wildcats will have to keep the same offensive drive going through tonight and tomorrow if they want their second consecutive conference sweep.

“We just have to get out there and be animals,” Refsnyder said. “(On Wednesday) we seemed satisfied with beating Stanford and so we didn’t play as well as we could have, but we put that loss behind us and are moving on through the rest of the weekend.”

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