Wildcats snap cold streak against New Mexico State
Arizona outfielder Mitchell Morimoto (16) at bat during the baseball game against Oregon at Hi Corbett Field on April 14.
Fresh off its sweep at the hands of Utah last weekend, the Arizona baseball team responded with a dominant 11-2 victory Tuesday night over New Mexico State at Hi Corbett. The Wildcats seemingly rediscovered their offense in a major way after hitting a cold stretch over the weekend.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start as JJ Matijevic stroked a single to center to leadoff the second inning and later advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt to first. Next batter Nick Quintana drilled a double to left-center to score Matijevic and give UA the 1-0 lead.
After the Wildcats loaded the bases on a walk and hit-by-pitch, Louis Boyd drove in Quintana with a sacrifice fly to left.
UA got it going again in the fourth when Quintana led off with a single and moved to second on another errant pickoff attempt to first. After Salazar flew out, Cannon hit an RBI single to left to give UA the 3-0 lead. Matt Frazier followed up the RBI hit with a single of his own to put runners on first and second. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Boyd drove in Cannon with another sac fly to left.
The Wildcats got an efficient start from Cody Deason who went four innings, allowed no runs on one hit and struck out five. Right-hander Tylor Megill took over for Deason in the fifth.
“That was the goal: come out and set a tone,” Deason said. “They told me on Sunday that I was starting so I had that mental approach that I had to do something big for my team to jump start them into the weekend.”
UA tacted on one more in the fifth when Matijevic walked and then moved to second on another hit by Quintana. Salazar then hit a blooper that dropped in shallow left center to score Matijevic and make it 5-0.
The Wildcats added to their lead again in the sixth after Alfonso Rivas doubled an error by the centerfielder. After consecutive walks to Matijevic and Quintana, NMSU pitcher Matthew Perea balked in a run.
Megill was able to work his way out of trouble in the seventh when he surrendered two hits and walk to load the bases with one out before retiring the next two batters.
UA took advantage of some NMSU defensive miscues in the seventh when Cannon reached on an error by the third basemen to lead off the inning. After a walk and a single by Cal Stevenson, Rivas grounded to the first basemen who made an errant throw to second which allowed two runs to score. UA added another one when Matijevic hit an RBI single to right to make the score 9-0. Quintana and Salazar then hit back-to-back RBI singles to extend the lead to 11.
Seve Romo relieved Medill after three scoreless innings of work.
UA will now head to Palo Alto to face Stanford this weekend for a three-game set starting Friday at 6 p.m.
“It’s going to be a tough, hard-nosed baseball series,” Coach Jay Johnson said. “Coach [Mark] Marquess has been a coach in the Pac-12 for 40 years and you only do that if you know what you’re doing.”
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