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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats down Bison in season opener

With almost 4,000 people in attendance, the Arizona baseball team treated its Hi Corbett Field audience to a 3-1 win against the North Dakota State Bison on Friday in the Wildcats’ season opener.

“Obviously it was a good way to start, I’m really proud of our guys, I told them that in the clubhouse,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “I kind of anticipated that they would try to do too much.”

“I told our guys from day one that this would be a special night,” Lopez continued. Hopefully now they’ll just get back into the rhythm of baseball.”

Things got off to a shaky start for junior ace Kurt Heyer, as he allowed two hits and a walk while recording only one out to start the game.

“At the beginning I threw too many pitches, I wasn’t getting ahead, I got too anxious to throw,” Heyer said after the game. “I wasn’t standing back behind the rubber, my secondary pitch wasn’t working.”

The right-hander found his stride however, and continued through seven innings, striking out seven and allowing only one earned run.

Junior Stephen Manthei came into the game to relieve Heyer and followed suit, taking Arizona through the final two frames as he closed out the game for the save.

Offensively, Sophomore Johnny Field led the Wildcats, hitting a perfect 4-for-4.

Field was a home run away from the cycle, hitting a single, two doubles, and a triple.

“I think the pitcher just kept making mistakes with two strikes,” Field said. “He was leaving some pitches up and I was lucky enough to barrel them up and find some holes tonight, it kind of went my way.”

As for the facilities, It wasn’t a seamless transition over to Hi Corbett, as stadium officials tried to iron out a few kinks.

The PA system blew out three times, twice during the lineup announcements, and once during the national anthem.

Luckily, the crowd picked up the cue and proceeded to finish the rest of the anthem.

The beer seemed to be a hit as well. The concession lines had almost as many people in them as the stands did at any given time.

It had been since 1975 that Arizona had contested a regular season game at Hi Corbett, the former spring training ground for the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies.

As the sun was setting over the Tucson Mountains, glistening off of the palm trees behind the first base line, Heyer delivered the first pitch.

It seemed like Wildcat Baseball had found a new home.

“I had a huge adrenaline rush before the game,” Heyer said. “I told myself, ‘you’re gonna have like 4,000 fans in front of you,’ and it was like playing in Yankee Stadium or something.”

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