April 27, 2012
Arizona 24, ETSU 7 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - The 11th-ranked Arizona baseball team set season highs for hits and runs scored in a 24-7 rout of East Tennessee State that earned the school its 2,600th all-time victory on Friday night at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (27-13) became the eighth school in NCAA history to reach 2,600 all-time wins. Junior Kurt Heyer, who was also the winning pitcher in the Wildcats' 2,500th win in the 2010 season opener, earned the victory on the mound and improved to 8-1 on the season.
The story of the game was the offense, however. There were seven combined triples in the contest, which matches an NCAA Division I record last set by Houston and McNeese State on March 25, 1992, and only achieved five times.
The Wildcats scored 24 runs on 25 hits, including 11 for extra bases, which fell on shy of the school record. The No. 1-5 hitters in the lineup went a combined 17-for-28, with 16 runs scored and 16 RBI.
Leadoff man Johnny Field hit safely in his first four at bats of the game en route to a career-best 5-for-6 night at the plate. He scored three and batted in four.
Shortstop Alex Mejia hit second in the order and collected two triples and a double as part of a three-hit night in which he scored twice and drove in four. Right fielder Robert Refsnyder hit third and scored three runs while driving in two.
Third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean delivered three hits in the contest and scored four runs in the cleanup spot, while designated hitter Bobby Brown hit fifth and did the most damage. The senior fell a home run short of the cycle, but hit two triples, a double, scored four runs and knocked in a career-best six.
The nine starters for the Wildcats had all reached base by the end of the third inning. By the end of the fourth, all nine had a base hit and seven different Wildcats had at least two hits. Also by the end of the fourth, UA had a new season high in hits (20) and runs scored (17).
It was all plenty of support Heyer, who lacked his dominating form he showcased in three straight complete games entering the night. Even so, Heyer registered nine strikeouts and allowed just one walk in 7.2 innings of work. He gave up six earned runs.
East Tennessee State (19-22) turned in a 16-hit offensive attack and scored seven runs. Clinton Freeman led the Buccaneers with three hits and three RBI.
Jake Long (2-6) suffered the loss after surrendering 11 runs on 14 hits in three-plus innings. Will Chesney and Will Carter gave up a combined 11 more runs, before nZach Waters, who started at catcher, settled things down and gave up just two runs in the final three innings.
For the Wildcats, Lucas Long gave up a run in relief, but otherwise pitched the final 1.1 innings to close the game.
The two teams continue the three-game set on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field.
- The seven combined triples are presumed to match an NCAA Division I record. The NCAA Division I Baseball Records Book published prior to the start of the 2012 season lists five all-time games featuring seven triples. The last occurrence listed was a game between Houston and McNeese State, in which the Cougars hit all seven triples (an NCAA record) on March 25, 1992. There were four previous occasions noted.
- Arizona set a school record with six triples in the game. The previous record was five set on seven occasions, the most recent coming against New Mexico on Feb. 5, 2000.
- UA's 25 bases hits were the most for the school since collecting 27 in a 29-4 win over Washington State on May 13, 2006, in Tucson.
- The 24 runs scored were also the most for a UA team since that 29-4 victory in 2006.
- The 41 combined base hits were the most in a Wildcat game since Arizona and Stanford combined for 42 in a 19-18 Wildcat victory on May 16, 2004.
- Bobby Brown collected a career-high six RBI. The last Wildcat to pick up six RBI in a game was Jett Bandy on April 1, 2011, in an 18-0 win over Oregon State.
- UA's 17-run margin of victory was the largest since that game with Oregon State (4/1/2011).
- Johnny Field tallied a career-best five base hits and became the first Wildcat to do so since Joey Rickard had five against Cal State Bakersfield on May 8, 2010. Incidentally, Field batted leadoff tonight and played centerfield in place of Rickard, who missed his second straight game after playing in the first 156 contests of his career, the sixth-longest streak in program history.
- Alex Mejia and Bobby Brown each had two triples in the game, falling one short of the school and NCAA Division I record three triples in a game. Four times in program history a Wildcat has hit three triples, the last coming by Alan Zinter on Feb. 27, 1987.
- A total of 13 players in the game had at least two base hits. Six had three or more hits.