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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball holds off Oakland rally, wins 10-7

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Kyle Hansen

Arizona baseball outfielder Jared Oliva safely slides into second base during Arizona’s win against Oakland. Oliva and the Wildcats took down Oakland 10-7 at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday.

Arizona baseball defeated Oakland 10-7 behind an outstanding hitting effort on Tuesday night. Arizona finished with 18 hits and put up seven runs in the first two innings.

After Oakland recorded the first run of the game on a wild pitch in the top half of the first inning, the Wildcats (7-2) responded quickly by putting together four runs in back-to-back-to-back scoring plays.

Arizona’s five, six and seven hitters came through after two of the first four hitters set the table by reaching base.

The Wildcats went through their full lineup in the inning and retired Oakland’s starting pitcher, Tyler Palm, after only 35 pitches and two-thirds of an inning pitched. In came the lefty pitcher Nate Schweers, who gave 3⅓ innings of reliable relief pitching.

Schweers gave up three earned runs and registered two of Oakland’s three team strikeouts.

Arizona left fielder Jared Oliva went 4-5 on the night. He hit three singles, a double, recorded two RBIs and a steal. Oliva was one of six Wildcats with two or more hits and one of three with at least three hits.

Joining Oliva with productive offensive nights were first baseman J.J. Matijevic and center fielder Justin Behnke.

Matijevic went 3-4 with two RBIs to maintain his .250 average on the season. Behnke ended 2-3 with two walks and two stolen bases.

On the other side of the spectrum, Cody Hamlin started for Arizona, going 4.0 innings, giving up four hits, three runs and striking out three. Hamlin threw 57 total pitches, 40 of which were strikes.

Oakland (0-7) ended up with 11 hits and scored four runs over the last three innings of the game to make things interesting. Arizona pitcher Austin Schnabel got the job done in the top half of the ninth inning, holding Oakland short of a successful rally despite a big push in the last three innings.

Oakland left fielder Trent Drumheller sparked the visitors’ rally with an RBI single in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the seven-run deficit.

Luckily for Arizona, the pitching staff came through in the middle innings — or else that late push could’ve been much worse for the Wildcats.

Nathan Bannister was the first UA pitcher to come in for relief, and the junior from Peoria, Ariz., recorded the victory. Bannister pitched three innings, struck out three and allowed one earned run in 42 pitches.

The Wildcats as a team were 18 for 40 from the plate but left 13 runners on base, including a two-out, bases-loaded situation that ended with a foul out by Scott Kingery in the first. Despite the high number of runners left on base, Arizona was 8-20 with runners in scoring position and 11-27 with runners on base.

By comparison, Oakland left just three runners on base, hit 5-14 with runners on base and 4-9 with runners in scoring position.

The Wildcats finish the two-game series with Oakland on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field before heading out for their first road trip of the season against Samford and Mississippi State over the weekend.

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Follow Nicole Cousins on Twitter.

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