Arizona baseball crushes Coppin State 16-0 on opening night
The Arizona baseball team (1-0) opened the 2013 season with a 16-0 victory over Coppin State, the largest opening season win for the Wildcats since 1999.
Behind a home crowd of 5,145 and starting pitcher Konner Wade (1-0), the Wildcats managed to secure their first win of the 2013 season without much resistance.
“I was really happy with how we hit with runners in scoring position tonight,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “[Wade] would probably say he didn’t do as well in some respects, went deep into counts, but I was really pleased.”
Wade threw 92 pitches through 6.1 innings of work. The junior struck out eight Coppin State batters and didn’t give up a hit until Eagles shortstop David Hamlett singled to lead off the seventh inning, the only hit of the game for the Coppin State.
Offensively, the Arizona bats were quiet the first time through the order but came alive in the bottom of the third. The Wildcats had four hits, including three triples, in the inning and scored seven runs.
Center fielder Johnny Field, the 2012 Pac-12 batting champion, started right where he left off on Friday. He went 3 for 5 with five RBIs, including a three-RBI triple in the third inning.
“I felt pretty good at the plate today,” Field said. “There’s always room for improvement, I was kind of out in front of some pitches today so I’ll try to wait back on those tomorrow and drive them up the middle.”
The Wildcats continued their offensive surge following a seven-run third inning with four hits and seven more runs in the next two frames.
Arizona started three freshmen in Friday’s victory. Left fielder Scott Kingery led the young Wildcats with three runs and two RBIs. The freshman was toughened up in his first Arizona game, as he was hit three times at the plate.
The Wildcats were hit seven times in total, a school record.
Kingery also had his first collegiate hit in the seventh inning as he led off with sharp single. In the eighth, Kingery pushed across the Wildcats’ final two runs of the game with a double to right center.
“I was a little nervous in the beginning,” Kingery said about his first collegiate game. “I think all of us [freshmen] were. But once I got out there, started being competitive, it just felt like another game.”
Freshman first baseman Ryan Koziol didn’t record a hit but got the Wildcats first RBI of the season, and of his career, when he reached base safely on an error by Eagles second baseman Colin Dower. The defensive mistake scored designated hitter Tyler Parmenter.
The other starting freshman, shortstop Kevin Newman, went hitless in five plate appearances.
Freshman Cody Ramer also had his first career at-bat when he pinched hit for Parmenter in the bottom of the eighth, but he struck out swinging.
“A lot of the freshman performed really well for us tonight,” Field said. “It was really good to see them slow the game down and not let the big crowed get to them.”
Lopez once again reminded everyone that Friday night was just the first of 56 games on the schedule, but appeared pleased with his team’s overall performance. The Wildcats will play game two of the opening series tomorrow at 2 P.M. with junior James Farris taking the hill.
“It’s just another game,” Field said about the opening season victory. “It’s good to get the first one under our belt and get the young guys used to what we expect, but it’s just another game.”