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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball beats New Mexico 9-1, continues team winning streak

Arizona+Garen+Caulfield+hits+a+home+run+on+Tuesday+April+2+at+Hi+Corbett+Field+in+a+game+against+University+of+New+Mexico.+Arizona+won+the+game+in+the+top+of+the+ninth+inning+9-1.+
Nathanial Stenchever
Arizona Garen Caulfield hits a home run on Tuesday April 2 at Hi Corbett Field in a game against University of New Mexico. Arizona won the game in the top of the ninth inning 9-1.

Sophomore slugger Mason White hit his 11th home run of the season, junior Tommy Splaine had a career-high four hits, and Arizona beat the University of New Mexico 9-1 in a Tuesday night battle of the bullpens.

The Wildcats faced an experienced New Mexico lineup that started six seniors and had eight batters who entered the game hitting over .300. However, Arizona’s pitchers held the potent Lobos offense to just a single run off six hits.

Making his first career start, freshman pitcher Josh Morano gave up two hits and a walk over two innings but didn’t allow a run in the game and has still yet to allow a run this season.

“He was the pitcher of the game,” Arizona head coach Chip Hale said of Morano’s performance. “If we don’t use him at Cal, he’ll probably be our starter at Stanford.”

Dawson Netz and Bradon Zastrow then combined for three scoreless innings of their own, striking out three batters.

Garen Caulfield kicked off the scoring for Arizona in the third inning with a 404-foot 2-run home run that bounced off the scoreboard in left field. Emilio Corona opened the fourth inning with a fly ball that landed on the right field line for a triple, setting up an RBI single from Splaine to give Arizona a 3-0 lead.

“I’m just trying to be a little bit more simple, have fun and stay up the middle,” Splaine said of his approach at the plate.

Splaine went four for four with a double, an RBI and a run scored.

“He’s starting to calm it down and get to a spot now where he feels pretty comfortable to get barrel to the ball,” Hale said.

Adonys Guzman capitalized on a Brendan Summerhill triple that split the gap in right-center field, singling up the middle to score Summerhill and put the Wildcats up 4-0 after five.

Guzman went two for four with an RBI and a double, while TJ Adams, who was playing for the injured Easton Breyfogle, also went two for four with a stolen base.

An RBI groundout following a Reed Spenrath triple to the left-field corner put New Mexico on the board in the top of the sixth. However, with two on in the bottom of the sixth, White extended the Wildcats’ lead with a 417-foot home run to left field.

Arizona loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, adding 2 runs on a Richie Morales sacrifice fly and a New Mexico throwing error.

Meanwhile, Arizona didn’t allow a baserunner after the sixth inning, with Kyler Heyne, Tony Pluta and Anthony “Tonko” Susac combining for five strikeouts over the final three innings.

Arizona entered its matchup Tuesday night coming off a three-game home series sweep against UCLA. The Wildcats walked off the Bruins in each game, including an extra-innings comeback to secure the sweep on Sunday. It was a much-needed reversal of fortune for an Arizona team that had struggled to win close games, having previously gone 2-8 in games decided by 2 runs or less.

“I think it was huge,” Splaine said of the UCLA series. “It made a statement…we just built a lot of confidence and built off those games as well. We even saw that tonight. Everyone is swinging the bat really well right now. Our pitchers have been great all year. We’ve got great confidence in them. I think we’re just really putting it together right now and having fun.”

With the win, the Wildcats improved their record to 14-13 (7-5 in Pac-12), extending their win streak to a season-high four games and putting the team over .500 for the first time since their 9-6 road win against USC on March 6.

Looking ahead:

Arizona kicks off a four-game California road trip with a three-game weekend series against the University of California, Berkeley that begins on Friday, April 5, at 6:05 p.m. The Wildcats will conclude their road trip with a one-off game against Stanford on Monday, April 8, at 12:05 p.m.


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