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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball team defeats Grand Canyon for 10th straight win

Megan Ewing
Donta Williams bats against Arizona State. The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 14-2 on Tuesday, April 6 at Hi Corbett Field.

The Arizona baseball team extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 13-2 victory under the bright lights of Hi Corbett against Grand Canyon on Tuesday night, May 4. 

Here are some key stats that stood out in this victory by the Wildcats. 

4.1 shutout innings for TJ Nichols 

In his first appearance in two weeks, Nichols was dominant in his appearance Tuesday against Grand Canyon. 

“I thought he was outstanding,” head coach Jay Johnson said. “I thought he threw his fastball with pinpoint control. I thought he mixed speeds well with his curveball and his changeup. I thought he completely dominated the 4.1 innings when he was in there which was great to see.”

After Riley Cooper drew his first career start, allowing one run over two innings, Nichols took over in the third inning. He went on to throw 4.1 shutout innings, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts and one walk. 

Nichols stated that he had been sick over the last month or so, which included some of the appearances he made earlier in the season, and that had an impact on his performance. 

“My body is just kind of getting back under itself,” Nichols said. “I have been sick for the past month, month and a half, so now I feel healthy, and I felt good, and I competed today.” 

RELATED: Arizona baseball team sweeps Utah to secure sixth straight Pac-12 series win 

Five runs in first two innings

The Wildcats got off to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning off a bases loaded walk drawn by Daniel Susac followed by a two-run double by Kobe Kato. After the Antelopes scored one run in the top of the second inning, the Wildcats added another two runs in the next half-inning off a two-run home run hit by Donta’ Williams. 

Arizona getting off to an early lead only helps the confidence of the pitching staff, which includes them allowing to be a little more aggressive with a big lead. 

“It helps a ton to be on the mound with the lead,” Nichols said. “Best offense in the nation by far, so it definitely helps. You can pitch more aggressive to guys, and I have more confidence when I have the lead, so it is great.”

Nine-game hitting streak for Mac Bingham

In this past homestand for the Wildcats, Bingham has been hitting third in the Wildcats lineup. He is currently on a nine-game hitting streak which extends back to the final game of the last road trip against Washington State. He posted five games in that span with multiple hits. 

“I just feel like the coaches prepare us extremely well,” Bingham said. “Anyone can be in this lineup at any given moment. We’ve got a lot of dudes who have been swinging it really well, and it is just the confidence we have in our team. We can change the lineup at any moment, and we have a lot of faith in everyone.”

Jacob Berry’s .409 batting average leading the conference 

After going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run in Tuesday’s win, Berry is now leading the conference in hitting (.409) and RBIs (51). He is making a strong case to win not just the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year but even Pac-12 Player of the Year this season. 

Bingham praised his maturity at the plate this season at such a young age. 

“I mean [Berry] is just extremely mature,” freshman outfielder Mac Bingham said. “He is extremely smart for where he is right now. I have never seen someone at this level or his age make little adjustments in the box, on the fly, mid-at-bat and what he’s been able to do this year is insane, and it is awesome to see.” 

The Wildcats will head back on the road as they look to win a seventh straight Pac-12 series this weekend against Stanford. Game one of the three-game series is set for Friday, May 7 at 6:05 p.m. MST. 

Follow Ari Koslow on Twitter 

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