March 4, 2009
Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats
TUCSON, Ariz. - A pair of Wildcats making their first career starts - Kyle Stiner and Codi Harshman - paced the Wildcats to a second straight victory over Holy Cross, 8-1, on Wednesday evening at Jerry Kindall Field.
Stiner, a freshman, and Harshman, a junior college transfer, combined to go 5-for-6 at the plate with four runs scored and three runs batted in.
A third newcomer to the 2009 club, pitcher Kyle Simon, made his second career start and led a UA pitching staff that turned in its most effective collective outing of the season, limiting the visiting Crusaders to only one run on three hits.
Arizona (6-4) jumped on the board in the bottom of the first thanks to two defensive miscues by the Crusaders. Leadoff hitter Hunter Pace reached on a fielding error by shortstop John Stills. Pitcher Matt Croglio attempted to pick Pace off at first, but his throw sailed past the bag and down the right field line, allowing Pace to advance to third with no outs and later score on a run-scoring double by Brad Glenn.
The Wildcats added to their early lead with two runs in the bottom of the second. Matt Presley and Harshman hit consecutive singles to lead off the frame, then were advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Weldon. Presley scored on an RBI groundout by Stiner, and Harshman crossed home on a passed ball later in the inning.
Holy Cross (0-5) scored its only run of the game in the fourth following a throwing error by Stiner that allowed Jake Gorman to reach second base. Gorman scored on a Tim Hughes RBI single later in the inning to cut the UA lead to 3-1.
The Wildcat duo that caused havoc for the Crusaders all night long created another run in the home half of the fourth. Harshman reached base on a one-out walk, then stole second base. With two outs, Stiner hit an RBI single to right field to bring home Harshman.
Simon, who allowed only one run in 3.1 innings of work, gave way to freshman Bryce Bandilla, who finished the fourth inning in relief of Simon and pitched effectively over the next 2.1 innings to earn his first career win.
Stiner added an insurance run to the board in the seventh, reaching base with a walk to start the inning and getting into scoring position with a stolen base. After a wild pitch put him on third base, Stiner scored on a sacrifice flyout by Glenn, giving UA a 5-1 lead.
The Wildcats put the game out of reach with three more runs in the eighth. Presley doubled and Harshman followed with a single to centerfield. Presley scored on a sacrifice flyout by Weldon, and Harshman touched home for the third time in the game on another run-scoring single by Stiner. Hunter Pace added a third run later in the inning on a passed ball.
Cory Burns and Jason Stoffel slammed the door on the Crusaders, combined to pitch perfect baseball over the final 3.1 innings. In fact, Holy Cross did not collect a base hit after the fifth inning.
The Wildcats will continue their home stand with a three-game series against Massachusetts this weekend. The series will begin on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.