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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | Last updated: 4:06pm

Brown becoming offensive leader after slow start



The Arizona offense was already rated as the best in the Pac-12 coming into the its last series against East Tennessee State, but things got just plain silly for senior Bobby Brown and company over the weekend.

“I just felt really confident up there at the plate,” Brown said. “I just felt great and it worked out for me.”

Brown went 9-for-12 on the weekend with nine RBIs, but he was just one of the many Wildcat hitters that turned the pitcher’s paradise at Hi Corbett Field into a batter’s playground.

Everyone was taking good at-bats all weekend by staying unselfish and doing their job, according to sophomore Johnny Field, who went 11-for-15 at the plate.

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The Wildcats outscored East Tennessee State 51-17 and combined for 65 hits with a .503 team batting average on the weekend. This success raised their overall batting average to an impressive .336, placing Arizona within the top three in the nation.

The offensive attack was constant, especially in Sunday’s game, in which the UA scored at least one run in every inning but the fourth.

Field said that coming into the matchup Arizona knew the Buccaneers had a good offense, so the Wildcats couldn’t take them lightly.

“We had to come out and hit the ball around the yard, and that’s what we did for three games,” he said.

And the confident hitting this weekend put this team in the Arizona record books.

During Friday’s 24-7 dismantling of East Tennessee State, the Wildcats hit six triples on the night, including two by Brown and junior Alex Mejia.

The six triples set an Arizona record — the high was previously five, set against New Mexico in 2000 — and the Wildcats finished with nine triples in the series.

And all of this scoring was produced without much power.

Hi Corbett Field is a death trap for the deep ball, especially in right field where the wind blows over the fence to hold the ball in the air. But a resurgent Brown didn’t seem to care.

Brown crushed a solo shot over that right field fence Saturday, powering it through the wind and over the tall, black fence.

The hit was impressive, but the fact that it came off of Brown’s bat would have seemed unbelievable at the start of the season.

Brown began the year in a 0-for-14 slump and was just 2-for-21 before being benched in the second game of a double-header against Auburn.

Without regular starts, it becomes even more important to take advantage of every opportunity, Brown said.

“And that’s what I did,” he added.

Ever since the Auburn series, the redshirt senior has been working his way into form, and this past weekend it all came together.

Brown is now hitting .345 on the season, is second on the team in slugging percentage (.569) and fourth in RBIs, with 35 this season.

And after Brown’s recent performances, it feels like a lifetime ago that the senior was being benched against Auburn.

“I felt like I was putting too much pressure on myself to get hits,” Brown said. “Finally I got that monkey off my back and just kind of relaxed and got the job done.”


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