Cats Crush Alabama State, Sweep SeriesPosted: Updated:
Johnny Field homered and Brandon Dixon had a career-high five hits to lead a relentless offensive attack that scored in every inning for Arizona, which routed Alabama State, 18-3, to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (28-14) won for the 10th-straight game in its home ballpark, doing so with season-highs in runs scored (18), total base hits (22) and extra base hits (eight). Seven Wildcats had multi-hit games, while 10 different players scored a run.
The scoring opened in the bottom of the first inning when Trent Gilbert doubled and scored on Dixon's first of three doubles. After Dixon stole his 28th base of the season, he scored from third on a safety squeeze bunt by Zach Gibbons to give the Wildcats the early 2-0 lead.
With a run already on the board in the second inning, Field roped a two-run home run to left field, pushing the advantage to 5-0.
The five runs over 1.1 innings prompted a quick exit for Hornets' starter Matt Burnside (L, 1-3), who gave way to five different relievers the rest of the way.
The Wildcats scored five more times in the third inning to take a commanding 10-0 lead. Joseph Maggi, who finished 3-for-3 drove in two of his career-high four runs with a single, and Gilbert later tallied a two-run single of his own to increase his season total to 44 runs batted in - most for any Pac-12 player.
Trailing 11-0 in the fifth, Alabama State (27-22) got on the board after starter Tyler Crawford (W, 5-1) surrendered a leadoff walk and back-to-back walks to lead the bases. Marcus Swint's sacrifice fly spoiled Crawford's shutout bid.
The Hornets tacked on two more runs against Crawford in the sixth, but that was all the scoring they could muster. Crawford earned the victory after giving up the three runs on six hits and three walks over six complete innings.
Freshman Cody Moffett tossed three hitless innings with just one walk allowed to finish the game. Moffett, who had a pair of strikeouts, earned a three-inning save - the first of his career.
Leading 15-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, Arizona scored three more times to ensure it a run in all eight innings it came to bat. Dixon, who finished 5-for-6, ripped his third double of the game to drive in David Lopez. Gibbons followed with an RBI triple to right field and then scored on Cody Ramer'sRBI double.
The 15-run margin of victory was the second-largest of the season for Arizona, which has now won 13 of its last 16 games overall.
The Wildcats play their final regular season non-conference game against No. 17 Arizona State (28-12-1) on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field. The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. (MST) and will be broadcast on 1290 AM.
Arizona resumes its Pac-12 Conference slate next weekend (May 3-5) with a three-game series against Washington (14-27) at Hi Corbett Field.
GAME NOTES: Arizona won its 10th-straight game at Hi Corbett Field ... The Wildcats have won 13 of their last 16 games overall ... The three-game sweep was Arizona's fifth of the season. Dating back to the final month of the 2011 season, the Wildcats have won 25 of their last 31 weekend series, which now includes 13 sweeps ... Arizona scored in all eight of the innings it came to bat. The last time a UA club did so was against Notre Dame on March 9, 2008, at the Whataburger Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas ... The 18 runs scored set a new season high for the Wildcats, whose previous single-game high was 16 in the opener against Coppin State on Feb. 15 ... Arizona's 22 base hits were its most in a game since collecting 23 against Louisville on June 2, 2012, at the Tucson Regional ... Johnny Field hit his career-high fifth home run of the season. He has 11 in his three seasons as a Wildcat ... UA homered for the ninth time this season at Hi Corbett, surpassing last season's total of eight in 40 games ... The Wildcats have a home run in four of their last five games ... Field reached base for the 29th-straight game and now has hit safely in seven consecutive contests ... With an RBI double in the first inning, Brandon Dixon collected his 100th career hit. Dixon finished 5-for-6 in the game, tallying his team-leading fourth four-hit game of the year. He also stole his Pac-12 leading 28th base ... Prior to Dixon, the last Wildcat to total five hits in a game was Joey Rickard against Cal State Bakersfield on May 8, 2010 ... Sam Parris became the 12th Wildcat to steal a base this season when he stole second in the third inning ... Joseph Maggi drove in four runs to set a new career-high.
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