Cats Blank Sacramento State, 5-0
March 19, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – Kurt Heyer and Nick Cunningham combined to throw a second consecutive shutout for the Arizona baseball team as the Wildcats extended their winning streak to nine games with a 5-0 victory over Sacramento State on Friday evening at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
Heyer, who improved to 3-0 on the season, pitched 7.1 innings with five strikeouts as he scattered seven hits. Cunningham replaced Heyer in the eighth and tossed the final 1.2 innings to preserve the shutout as he struck out two and induced a game-ending double play in the ninth.
Arizona (14-4) jumped on the visiting Hornets early, scoring two runs in the first inning and two in the second, before riding the freshman arms the rest of the way.
Joey Rickard, who finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, opened the bottom of the first inning with an infield single. He moved to third on a Rafael Valenzuela single and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Jett Bandy.
Later in the first, Bobby Rinard drove home Valenzuela to stake the Wildcats to a 2-0 lead off Hornet starter Logan Todd.
In the second inning, Rickard blasted his third home run of the season. With Bryce Ortega on first base, UA put on a hit-and-run play, but Rickard launched the 1-1 pitch over the left field fence to push the lead to 4-0.
Arizona plated a fifth run in the fifth inning after Ortega was hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ortega moved up to third base on a single by Rickard, and then came in to score when Valenzuela reached on an error.
The Wildcats tallied 11 hits off Todd, who suffered his first loss of the season in his first start. Todd lasted 5.1 innings and gave up five runs with one walk and one strikeout.
On Wednesday, the Wildcats shut out Wichita State, 19-0. Tonight’s 5-0 win gives Arizona consecutive shutouts for the first time since March 7-9, 2008, when it did so in three straight games.
The two teams will continue the three-game series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.