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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Baseball reaches 2,600-win milestone in weekend sweep

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The No. 11 Arizona baseball team took the weekend off from conference play to take on East Tennessee State, and while it may have been a bye from the Pac-12, the Wildcats’ bats did anything but rest as Arizona won all three games on the weekend, including a 21-6 victory on Sunday.

Arizona (29-13, 12-6 Pac-12) combined for 51 runs and 65 hits in the series, sweeping East Tennessee State (19-24) in its last non-conference series of the season.

“I was really pleased with (the offense),” Lopez said. “Pleased that they could keep that intensity and their ability to execute all weekend.

“It was obviously our best weekend offensively in a long time.”
The Arizona bats came out swinging from the start Friday and they never stopped, on the way to a season high of runs in the 24-7 victory against the Buccaneers.

Everybody just approached the plate well all weekend and stayed selfless to create runs for the team, said sophomore Johnny Field who moved over to centerfield this weekend to replace the injured Joey Rickard.

Friday starter Kurt Heyer (8-1) wasn’t as sharp as usual, giving up 12 hits and six earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.

But Heyer did enough to secure Arizona’s 2,600th all-time victory, making it just the eighth school to do so.

In comparison to the rest of the series, the Wildcats were nothing to write home about at the plate Saturday, but Arizona still came away with the 6-4 victory.

Starter Konner Wade (6-1) had the toughest job this weekend as the Buccaneers kept the game close, but Wade and closer Stephen Manthei were able to give the Wildcats the victory in a game where they never trailed.

Wade allowed three earned runs and eight hits in 7.1 innings before Manthei finished it off to pick up his second save of the season.

While the pitching was good, what really stood out in the game was a solo home run that designated hitter Bobby Brown crushed over the right field wall.

Home runs have been a rarity at the cavernous Hi Corbett Field, so the long ball garnered the nickname “Downtown Bobby Brown” from Lopez after the game.

Brown said he saw the ball well all weekend and it gave him confidence at the plate — which certainly showed in the box score. The redshirt senior went 9-for-12 on the weekend with 9 RBIs and 6 runs scored to go along with two triples and home run.

“I just felt great and it worked out for me,” Brown said.

The Wildcat offense was back on the prowl Sunday, recording a season-high 27 hits on the day to complete the sweep over East Tennessee State with the 21-6 victory.

Every Arizona starter had at least a hit on the afternoon, and only first-time starter David Lopez finished with less than two hits in the game.

Starter James Farris (5-2) allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in six innings, but he had plenty of room for error with the offense firing on all cylinders.

Because of the uneven number of teams in the conference, the Wildcats were the only team out of 11 to play a team outside the Pac-12.

The break in play allowed for No. 10 Oregon sneak past Arizona and take first place in the conference.

“You just want to play good baseball,” Lopez said. “I know that sounds like a really corny, stupid line, but it’s the goal. We tell our guys all the time there is a definition of good baseball. I thought we played very good baseball for three nights in a row even though it wasn’t conference baseball.”

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