Arizona baseball: Eight observations from the season opener
Arizona baseball was able to close out the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks early on Trevor Hoffman’s jersey recognition night at Hi Corbett Field. Here are a few talking points that impacted the season opener:
‘Cats win 12-4
On a cool and breezy night at Hi Corbett, Arizona baseball opened up its home regular season on fire, with the return of one of its top starting pitchers, Randy Labaut, and a solid performance in the batter’s box from the entire team. The Wildcats showcase their offensive talent with a 12-4 win over UMass Lowell.
13 hits and 12 RBI’s
The ‘Cats were able to start their 2019 season hot at the plate, having a total of 13 hits and 12 RBIs. Even with preseason all-American junior 3B Nick Quintana’s quiet night at the plate going 1-5, Arizona received help from some returning faces and some new additions.
Labaut returned to action for the Wildcats on Friday night for the first time since being shut down the remainder of the 2018 season following a pair of surgeries last March. Labaut finished strong for the ‘Cats, pitching five innings, with five Ks, and only allowing two ERs.
The Wildcats were able to jump to an early lead with the help of their first two hitters in the lineup. Junior CF Matt Frazier’s lead off ability was one of the catalyst to the Wildcats' success on Friday night, which was apparent from his first at-bat, leading with a triple and drawing two walks. Preseason all-American junior SS Cameron Cannon was able to follow with a 2-4 night at the plate; the two went for a combined three for seven night, three BBs and two RBIs.
Freshman just shy of cycle in his first game.
The ‘Cats were able to unleash freshman C/1B Austin Wells. Wells exploded in Friday’s contest against the River Hawks. Wells' first at-bat describes it perfectly: He hit a missile for a home run out to dead center, driving in three runs in the first inning giving the ‘Cats an early 3-0 lead. Wells finished 3-5 at the plate, with four RBIs and a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Arizona received additional help at the bottom of the lineup from sophomore LF Donta Williams, providing a spark by hitting doubles on each of his first two at-bats, drawing two walks and scoring twice. The Wildcats also received solid relief work from senior Cameron Haskell; he finished with four innings pitched, four K’s and only allowed one run.
Rough pitching night for the opposition
The River Hawks could not seem to find the answer on the mound on Friday night, as their rotation surrendered 12 runs, on 13 hits with only two errors.
‘Cats right back at it
The ‘Cats will look to stay hot at the plate, with a double header slated for Saturday. The first game starts at 1 p.m., and the second starts at 6 p.m.
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