Cats Cruise Past Shockers, 13-5
March 16, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team continued its early-season trend of scoring runs early and often as it opened up a 12-0 lead after three innings and cruised to a 13-5 victory over Wichita State on Tuesday evening at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
The Wildcats roughed up WSU starter Josh Smith, who received little help from his defense, for eight runs – three earned – in the first two innings of the game, handing the left-hander his first loss of the season.
The Shockers committed one error in the first and four in the second inning, contributing to five unearned runs, while the Wildcats offense rapped out seven hits off Smith.
Arizona started the scoring in the bottom of the first, plating two runs after Joey Rickard singled and Rafael Valenzuela hit a ground-rule double to lead off. Both players came in to score two batters later when Steve Selsky reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tyler Grimes.
In the second inning, the Wildcats poured in six more runs thanks to five hits, four errors and a walk. After five runs were across and the bases were clear, Steve Selsky tripled and came home to score as Robert Refsnyder followed with an RBI triple, to push the lead to 8-0.
TJ McGreevy was able to escape the inning without any more runs crossing the plate, but was not as fortunate in the third inning as the Wildcats tacked on four more runs to take a 12-0 lead.
Arizona starter Daniel Workman, who was steady in his first three innings, ran into some trouble in the fourth as the Shockers scored four runs on three hits to cut the deficit to 12-4. Workman pitched 3.2 innings, allowed three hits and two walks to go with the four earned runs.
Stephen Manthei, despite a pair of wild pitches that led to runs in the fourth inning, led a dominating performance by the Wildcat bullpen, which allowed just two hits over the final 5.1 innings of the game.
Manthei earned his second victory of the season, tossing 2.1 innings. He gave up one hit and struck out three.
UA got its best offensive production from the top and bottom of the batting order. Rickard and Valenzuela collected three hits each at the top, while Mejias-Brean, Alex Mejia and Bryce Ortega combined for six hits and five runs scored in the bottom three slots.
Eight Wildcats finished the game with an RBI while six scored at least one run. Arizona tallied four triples in the game, including one each by Rickard, Selsky, Refsnyder and Seth Mejias-Brean.
On the season, the Wildcats have scored exactly half of their runs (77 of 154) in the first three innings of games. Tuesday was no exception as 12 runs were put on the board in the opening three frames.
Arizona will look to continue its seven-game winning streak on Wednesday as it hosts the Shockers in the final game of the mid-week series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.