Arizona baseball defeats Aggies 5-4 in mid-week matchup
Following a tough road trip, the Wildcats welcomed the sight of their home fans at Hi-Corbett Field with a 5-4 win over New Mexico State Tuesday evening.
Frigid temperatures to go along with a strong inward breeze may or may have not played a role in the outcome. Nonetheless, the ‘Cats improve to 4-0 at home and 5-3 overall.
Coming off an impressive season debut with a career-high seven strikeouts in seven innings, starting pitcher Randy Labaut was not as sharp against the Aggies as he was against No.4 Arkansas. Labaut, finished the night pitching 4 1/3 innings giving up two runs, seven hits while punching out four.
“Today I just didn’t have my off-speed going for me, I was trying to pound the zone,” Labaut said. “Today wasn’t my day but, I still tried to battle and fight.”
Manager Jay Johnson, agreed with Labaut’s assessment of himself.
"I thought he was good, I don’t think he was great,” Johnson said. “He threw a lot of strikes, he was up in the zone a little bit.”
NMSU struck first in the fourth inning. First baseman Caleb Henderson, led the inning off with a double and would later score off Trey Stine’s fly-out to center.
Arizona responded in the bottom of the inning scoring five runs of their own taking a 5-1 lead. Cesar Salazar got things started with a single to center and ended up scoring off a throwing error by Matthew Perea. The scoring continued for Arizona as Matt Fraizer, Tate Soderstorm, Mitchell Morimoto and Jacob Blas all crossed the plate.
Johnson acknowledged how the weather did not do the offense for either team any favors.
“This was the most miserable offensive place in the world for the first five innings of this game tonight. Runs were going to be at a premium,” Johnson said.
The Aggies fought their way back into the game cutting the Wildcats lead to just one run. In the fifth inning Marcus Still led off with a single and would later be cashed in off Joey Ortiz’ single up the middle. Two innings later NMSU added a pair of runs cutting the ‘Cats lead to a single one but were unable to find the tying run.
Arizona is back on the road as they travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the Pac-12/ Big 10 Challenge Friday, March 2, where they will play a three game series against Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan State.
The Wildcats are back home Tuesday, March 6, to host the SDSU Aztecs.
Play of the night
Senior Ryan Haug, showed why it’s not a good idea for the opponent to test his arm out in leftfield, as he threw out Logan Bottrell at the plate who tried to score from third.
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