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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA baseball takes care of Harvard

Will Ferguson
UA men’s baseball beat hard Harvard University 13-2 on Sunday, March 4, 2012. Will Ferguson/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The first-ever meeting between the Arizona baseball team and Harvard resulted in another first as well — the first sweep of the season for the No. 7 Wildcats.

“If we’re going to be a really good (team), you don’t give games away, you don’t give at-bats away, you don’t give innings away,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “I felt we did a pretty good job of that this weekend.”

Lopez felt the team gave away game three of the Auburn series last weekend, so a decisive 13-2 victory against Harvard on Sunday was what Lopez was hoping for.

“The end result is three games and three wins, and that’s nice and all the rest,” Lopez said. “But for me, the underlining thought is that we played the way I thought we would play on a consistent basis.”

The sweep started with the arm of preseason All-American Kurt Heyer, whose complete game led the Wildcats (8-2) to a 7-1 victory Friday.

Heyer had a career-high 14 strikeouts and gave up one earned run in nine innings of work, moving his record to 3-0 on the season with a 0.78 ERA.

The game was close, sitting at 0-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Wildcats finally put three runs on the board. That was more than enough support for Heyer.

The script started the same way Saturday, as both teams again went scoreless into the bottom of the fourth, with an Arizona starter again submitting a stellar game.

This time it was sophomore Konner Wade leading the Wildcats to a 3-1 victory Saturday after he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Wade pitched 7.2 innings with no earned runs off of only three hits and 10 strikeouts. Freshman Mathew Troupe came relieved Wade and shut down Harvard for his first career save.

However, Lopez said the team is still adjusting to the length of the ballpark and with offense.

Starter James Farris stumbled out of the gate Sunday, loading the bases in the second inning, but he escaped only giving up one run, and with the way the Wildcats swung the bat, he had plenty of room to breathe.

“Farris was okay — not great, not spectacular, but good enough to be efficient for us,” Lopez said. “(Farris) has some things to work on in terms of him being that third starter right now.”

Farris settled down and pitched seven innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the first inning, with two outs on the board no less, after a fielding error by Harvard kept the inning alive. Sloppy fielding was a theme for Harvard early Sunday, as the Crimson had six errors after just four completed innings — and the Wildcats pounced on the opportunity.

Arizona scored in all but two innings, and the whole lineup contributed, as every starter either scored or had a run batted in.

Freshman Trent Gilbert finished the weekend going 5-for-11 with five RBIs and two runs.

“(Catcher) Riley (Moore) and me, as freshmen, it feels good to be able to contribute and we just want to keep getting better,” Gilbert said.

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