Arizona baseball sweeps Alabama State, scores run in every inning
Arizona ran away with the series sweep of Alabama State Sunday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field 18-3. The Wildcats scored 18 runs on 22 hits and for the first time since 2008, scored a run in every inning.
Arizona (28-14,9-9 Pac-12) starting pitcher Tyler Crawford (5-1) was looking to rebound against Alabama State (27-22, 15-6 SWAC) after a rough outing last week at Stanford. Sunday, the sophomore left-hander was decent, as he went 6 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. Freshman Cody Moffett relieved Crawford and finished the game and collected his first career save.
“[Crawford] got a little careless in the middle, it was good for four though,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “For 50 pitches it was clean, a lot of zeros but you can’t go base on ballwith a 10 run lead — that’s unacceptable.”
Crawford was given the luxury of working with an early lead. Arizona began the day with back-to-back doubles from Trent Gilbert and Brandon Dixon. The Wildcats only scored two runs in the inning, but then piled it on with a five-run third inning, the largest scoring inning of the day.
Kyle Mittan / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona baseball won 4-3 on Saturday night against Alabama State. After falling 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning, the Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom and one more in a single extra inning.
A lack of command hurt Crawford in the fifth and sixth innings. Crawford gave up all three runs in the middle innings, surrendering three walks and two hits, including a triple.
“It was good to get the early lead, but what happened in the fifth and sixth was unacceptable,” Crawford said. “First four innings were good, just lost command in the fifth and sixth.”
By the time Lopez pulled Crawford to start the seventh inning, Arizona had a 14-3 lead over the Hornets.
Dixon had his fourth four-hit game of the season. The third baseman went 5-for-6 with three doubles. Right fielder Joseph Maggi went 3-for-3 with four RBI, a career high for the sophomore, who said he has become increasingly more comfortable at the plate.
“I’ve been letting the ball get deeper in zone,” Maggi said who has been hitting .356 in the last 16 games. “Really working with where the ball is being pitched and having quality at-bats. Making sure to swing at my pitch, not their pitch.”
Arizona’s offense, which ranks first in the Pac-12, kept things rolling against the Hornets. In the three-game series, the Wildcats scored 30 runs. The abundance of runs was plenty of offense to help the Wildcats capture their sixth series sweep of the 2013 season.
Wildcats’ center fielder Johnny Field went 8-for-14 in the series. Sunday, the junior hit a two-run home run in the second inning, the Wildcats’ 12th home run of the season.
“This is now a sprint, not a marathon,” Lopez said. “We can’t let any games get away.”
Arizona will look to carry the offensive power into Tuesday as it’ll host rival No. 8 Arizona State in the second non-conference game between the two schools.
Lopez has yet to name a starter for the mid-week game. Senior Nick Cunningham started the last mid-week game against the Sun Devils but only lasted 2 innings and gave up four earned runs.