As Arizona was coming off a crucial road victory over Texas, it looked to carry that momentum into a weekend series against Houston at Hi-Corbett Field. Here is how the Wildcats fared in their final series before conference play begins.
The combination of an impressive start from Garrett Irvin, phenomenal performance from the bullpen and a solid evening from the offense led to a 7-1 win for Arizona to open the series.
Irvin went 6.2 innings allowing one unearned run on five hits with seven strikeouts and zero walks. The one run scored off of Irvin was on a fielding error by Matthew Dyer, who was playing at second base. Blake Peyton entered the game out of the bullpen to replace Irvin and went two innings that would have been perfect if he didn’t hit a batter before 6-foot-11 freshman right-hander Hunter Cope made his collegiate debut closing the game out for Arizona.
The ‘Cats got on the board with two runs in the second inning off a Mac Bingham a bases loaded walk and Donta Williams RBI groundout. Houston scored their lone run on the evening in the fourth inning, but Arizona answered back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning before they added in at least one run in each of the next three innings.
Dyer hit another home run, his third long ball in the last four games. Williams, despite going 0-for-2 on the evening, recorded three RBIs off two sacrifice flies and the RBI groundout. Blake Paugh also had himself a nice evening going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
The Wildcats had all the opportunity in the world to put runs on the board in game two of the three game series, but failed to do so falling 3-1 against Houston to tie the series at one game apiece.
Arizona got on the board first after Dyer hit an RBI single in the first inning, but failed to score again the rest of the game as they left 12 runners on base. They put 19 runners on base in total off of 11 hits, eight walks drawn and one hit batsman, but failed to move those runners around to score.
Austin Wells led the Wildcats lineup going 4-for-5, the only hitter on the night for Arizona to record more than one hit.
Quinn Flanagan started the game for the ‘Cats, going 5.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk. The bullpen posted its second consecutive dominant outing of the series as Ian Churchill and Preston Price combined for 3.2 innings of shutout ball allowing just one hit to keep the team in the game.
Arizona concluded their final series of nonconference play defeating Houston 10-6 to take 2-of-3 in the series.
Chandler Murphy started the afternoon, going five innings where he allowed three runs and two earned on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Peyton, Price and Gil Luna combined to allow three runs (two earned) across three innings out of the bullpen before graduate transfer Davis Vainer made his season debut in the ninth inning and closed the game out.
The Wildcats opened up the scoring with a Branden Boissiere two run single in the first inning before Houston scored two runs of their own in the third inning to tie the game.
The two teams went back and forth the next few innings trading runs before the 'Cats blew the game open with a five run seventh inning. The Wildcats notched just two hits in the inning but took advantage of the four different pitchers Houston threw at them as the 'Cats drew three walks and were hit twice. They scored four of their five runs in the inning off two walks and two hit batsman with the bases loaded.
Boissiere led the afternoon going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Bingham added in two RBIs on a two-hit afternoon as well.
The Wildcats will travel to Tempe, Ariz., to play one game against ASU to open up conference play on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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