Despite slow start, Arizona overpowers Nicholls State for third straight win
After a rough first couple of innings, Arizona baseball overpowered Nicholls State and won 11-5 as the Wildcat's bats came alive again at Hi-Corbett on Friday night. Late-inning home runs from Nick Quintana and Cameron Cannon pushed Arizona ahead and were ultimately the difference maker.
Before the offensive firepower showed up, Arizona fell behind early. Juan Aguilera got the start for Wildcats and it went south real fast. The first three baserunners got on for Nicholls State and trouble ensued. Gil Luna came in quickly to relieve Aguilera and after the first inning when the ‘Cats were lucky to only be down two runs.
After loading the bases again in the second, Luna was able to work around the trouble without allowing a run. However, Nicholls State was able to get two more runs across in the third and go up 4-0. UA head coach Jay Johnson emphasized pitching struggles after the game.
“Awful… that was a tough start. Juan has been phenomenal for us, he’s one of the reasons for the success we’ve had. He just didn’t look right tonight. I bet he probably could’ve worked through it...but I wasn’t going to go down that road of last weekend on Saturday night.” Johnson said.
The offense was as bad as the pitching early and Arizona couldn’t get a baserunner until the third inning. In that third inning, number nine batter Jacob Blas cranked a home run deep over the left field wall to get the scoring started for the Wildcats. It was his first career home run for the freshman.
“I just try to barrel up the baseball, that’s all you can do and hope it finds a hole… going up there I wanted to spark something because we were struggling and I felt good from yesterday’s game.” said Blas.
The pitching finally calmed down and only let up one more run throughout the game. The Arizona offense on the other hand didn’t let up. Morimoto and Frazier brought runs across in the fourth to take the lead.
After the Colonels tied the game, Nick Quintana hit a two run home run in the and Cameron Cannon unloaded on a fastball for a grand slam to put the Wildcats up 11-5 in the sixth. Neither team scored the rest of the game and Arizona picked up another win. The two teams meet again tomorrow at 1 p.m. to wrap up their three game set at Hi-Corbett.
Follow Jack Cooper on Twitter