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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Baseball blasts East Tennessee State

If college baseball had a mercy rule, perhaps East Tennessee State would’ve been inclined to use it against the No. 11 Arizona Wildcats tonight.

Punctuated by a nine run bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats obliterated the Buccaneers, 24-7, at Hi Corbett field in the first of a three game weekend series.

“We try to teach our guys to never play the score, just play the game,” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said. “So if there’s a runner on second base, the game calls for you to get a base hit, we teach that from day one.”

After tonight’s win, the Wildcats (27-13) became only the eighth NCAA program in history to reach 2,600 wins.

Arizona starter Kurt Heyer got the win for the Wildcats tonight, and it seemed only fitting. Heyer won his freshmen debut in 2010, which was also win number 2,500 for the Wildcats.

Things were over before they even got started for the Bucs as Arizona tacked on three early runs in the first inning.

After a coming up empty in the bottom half of the second, the Wildcats scored a combined 19 runs throughout the next three innings.

“From the first inning, it seemed like everyone was having good at bats,” Arizona center fielder Johnny Field said. “Everyone was seeing the ball well, we just keep stringing hits together all night, which is just crucial.”

It wasn’t the greatest outing for Heyer as he gave up six earned runs, but the junior managed to keep things in check in the mound for the Wildcats, tallying nine strikeouts throughout seven and two-thirds innings on the hill.

“I thought I could have done a lot better job getting ahead of the hitters,” Heyer said. “It’s one of those days where if you let your guard down, the can pounce on you a little bit.
“I’m just happy my teammates were able to score a few runs for me.”

Tonight’s hitting spree marked first time in history that the Wildcats hit for six triples, breaking the record that was set against Pepperdine in March of 1955.

With Hi Corbett’s deep dimensions, Field said it’s not too complicated to hit the three-bagger.

“(At Hi Corbett) All you have to do is hit in the gap and run for days,” he said.

Every Arizona starter had a hit throughout the nine innings, combining for a team total of 25.

Along with a bevy of other offensive stats, the first five Arizona hitters went 17-28, and tallied a combined 16 runs and 16 RBI’s.

This weekend’s non-conference series against ETSU serves as a de-facto bye week for the Wildcats, as only 11 schools in the Pac-12, all but Colorado, field baseball teams.

But the Wildcats know that every single game counts.

“We know we can’t take these games lightly, we’ve got to take care of business and win three,” Field said. “The other teams in the conference will do what they gotta do, beat each other up, but we just got to be ready to go next weekend.

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