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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball sweeps Sunday double header

Jen Pimentel
Arizona pitcher Michael Flynn (26) pitches at Hi Corbett field on Sunday, March. 6. Flynn allowed three earned runs during four innings.

The Arizona baseball team defeated Saint Mary’s College 11-5 in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader sweep.

Arizona would score all 11 of its runs in the first four innings, but St. Mary’s would strike first, scoring two runs in the top half the first inning thanks to a homer to straight away center by Anthony Gonsolin and an RBI double by Jackson Thoreson.

Left-hander Cody Moffett started on the mound for the Wildcats, making his first appearance of the season, but he’d only last for two-thirds of an inning. He faced six batters, and gave up three hits plus walked another batter.

Moffett was replaced by Michael Flynn, who would get a strikeout to strand the bases loaded.

The Gaels’ lead was short-lasting, however, as the Wildcats would counter with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the first.

With one out, Ryan Aguilar singled to center, and Zach Gibbons and JJ Matijevic would both walk to load the bases. Aguilar would score on an error, and Gibbons would score on a wild pitch to tie things up.

A sacrifice fly by Bobby Dalbec would then put Arizona up 3-2, and the Wildcats would eventually tack on another run with a successful double steal.

Arizona’s lead would continue to grow. Flynn found a groove on the mound, retiring 10 batters in a row, while the Wildcats’ offense found ways to bring runners home.

Gibbons drove in two runs in the bottom of the second to make it 6-2, then a two-run triple by Cesar Salazar in the bottom of the third would extend the lead to 8-2. Salazar would then score on a sacrifice fly by Cody Ramer to make it a 9-2 game.

Ramer went 2-3 with an RBI while Gibbons went 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

In the fourth, Alfonso Rivas would line a 2-run single to left field to give Arizona a nine-run lead. Rivas finished 1-4 with a team-high three RBI.

But Flynn would start to labor, giving up a walk and a double to begin the fifth. A sac fly and a pair of RBI singles would then cut Arizona’s lead to 11-5.

Flynn was replaced by Austin Schnabel, who escaped a jam with the six-run lead intact. Flynn, who was credited with the win, pitched four innings, allowing three runs, three hits, while recording a trio of strikeouts.

Schnabel was effective out of the bullpen, as the right-hander would pitch 2.1 scoreless innings, and Arizona would continue to hold a 11-5 lead heading into the eighth.

Cody Deason came on in the eighth, throw a scoreless frame, and would remain on the mound for the ninth. But the Gaels would load the bases with one out, leading Arizona head coach Jay Johnson to make a pitching change.

Left-hander Cameron Ming was called upon, and he’d get a strikeout and groundout to close things out.

In the second game of Sunday’s double-header, Arizona defeat the Northwestern State Demons by a score of 4-1.

For the second straight time, senior pitcher Nathan Bannister put together an outstanding performance for the Wildcats (8-4), as he went 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run while knotting up five strikeouts on three hits with no walks. The senior has gone 13 1/3 innings in a row without allowing a run.

Head coach Jay Johnson attributed Bannister’s early success this year to the amount of time Bannister devoted to his physical training in the offseason.

“The guy has completely transformed his body in the last six to nine months,” Johnson said after the game. “The conditioning level that he has right now is pretty spectacular and it’s paying dividends early in the season.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats struck for two runs early on after 3B Louis Boyd launched a double in the left center field gap that scored Bobby Dalbec and Justin Behnke in the second inning.

The Wildcats added to their lead in the fifth after right fielder Zach Gibbons bunted in Cody Ramer from third and then reached first on an error. Gibbons then proceeded to steal second base which prompted Jared Oliva to break from third and score on a close play at the dish.

Bannister was lifted in the seventh with two outs and a runner on second for lefty Rio Gomez who was able to force a ground out to Ramer at short.

The lone run allowed by the Wildcats’ pitching staff came in the eighth after Dalbec relieved Gomez on the mound with two men on base. The Demons pushed a run across following a ground out to 1B Ryan Aguilar.

Dalbec sat the Demons down in order in the ninth to secure the victory for the Wildcats.

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