Arizona baseball stays hot, sweeps Hartford to move to 13-1

Arizona baseball against Hartford at Hi Corbett field on March 11. 

Arizona baseball was hot with the bat this weekend at Hi-Corbett Field as they swept Hartford in a three-game series. The Wildcats started the series off Friday night where they scored a season-high 21 in runs defeating the Hawks 21-5.

Senior lefty JC Cloney picked up his fourth win in four starts on Friday where he went for five innings giving up three earned runs. Senior right-handed pitcher Luke Soroko relieved Cloney and pitched the final four innings of the game.

Photo: Heather Newberry

Arizona outfielder Jared Oliva (42) hits the ball during the baseball game against Hartford on March 11 at Hi Corbett field.

Hartford earned their first two runs in the first inning with Erik Ostberg who hit a two-run home run to centerfield. Cloney hadn’t given up an earned run during this season until Ostberg’s home run.

Arizona responded quickly to Hartford’s two-run advantage scoring five runs in the first inning with JJ Matijevic hitting a double into right field to bring in Cal Stevenson. Freshman Nick Quintana reached on an error bringing in Matijevic to tie the game. Sophomore Cesar Salazar tripled with two outs to score Matijevic and Quintana followed by freshman Cameron Cannon with a base hit to bring in Salazar.

Hartford was able to grab a run during the third inning, but the ‘Cats offense continued to respond with dominate force. This was only the beginning for the Wildcats as they racked up nine more runs through the fourth inning with Alfonso Rivas hitting his second career home run to make it 14-4.

The fifth and sixth innings were quiet followed by the Hawks adding another unearned run to the board. Arizona added seven more runs in the eighth inning finishing the game 21-5, their most runs since last season.

Following the powerful offense in game one, the Arizona Wildcats reached new heights during Saturday’s game as they scored their most runs in a game since 2006, topping the Hawks 25-3. The Cats blew through the first two games with 45 hits, seven doubles, three triples and two home runs against Hartford.

Starting pitcher Michael Flynn pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits along with sticking out over 70 pitches. Cody Deason, Ryan Gowens, Juan Aguilera and Randy Labaut pitched the final four innings relieving Flynn.

The Hawks followed in the footsteps of Friday’s game where they scored two runs in the first inning and then was quiet until the eighth inning where they scored one final run. Arizona answered back to Hartford the same way they did Friday as they racked up four runs right off the bat.

Matijevic doubled to centerfield bringing in Stevenson followed by Jared Oliva with a double to centerfield bringing in Quintana and Matijevic. Oliva then advanced to third on a wild pitch bringing in Salazar.

The Cats continued to bring in runs through the fourth inning, but exploded at the plate with 14 runs in the fifth inning. At the end of the fifth inning, Arizona had sent 18 players to the plate who combined for 11 hits during the inning making the score 22-2.

Hartford earned one last run during the eighth inning but Arizona responded with another three runs and they won 25-3.

The Arizona Wildcats finished the series on Sunday afternoon where they swept the Hawks 17-13. Hartford put up a battle during the third game of the series but were unable to catch the Cats.

Hartford put numbers on the board right away in the first with a sacrificed fly followed by a home run making it 3-0. The Wildcats didn’t respond in the first inning as Hartford went into the second scoring three more runs to take the lead to 6-0.

Stevenson gets the Cats back on track in the bottom of the second with a double down the right field line bringing in Kyle Lewis and Cannon. Rivas brought in two more runners with a single to right field to bring the Cats to a two-run deficit at 6-4 along with one more run in the third.

Bases were loaded in the fourth inning when Oliva unloaded the bases with a grand slam to left field to bring in Matijevic, Rivas and Stevenson gaining a 9-7 lead on the Hawks.

Arizona held onto the lead through the next four innings escaping with a 17-13 victory. Arizona swept the three-game series against Hartford and the Wildcats are now a perfect 11-0 at home and 13-1 overall.

Arizona baseball is going on the road Wednesday, March 15 to take on Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. followed by a three-game series against UCLA that begins on March 17.


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