March 10, 2012
Arizona 16, Eastern Michigan 7 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - The seventh-ranked Arizona baseball team pounded out a season-high 19 base hits and scored 16 runs over the course of six innings en route to a 16-7 victory over visiting Eastern Michigan on Saturday evening at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (12-2) won its seventh-straight game while scoring a season-high 19 runs. All nine position starters collected a hit, with seven Wildcats posting multi-hit days. Alex Mejia paced the attack with a 4-for-5 day at the plate to go with four runs scored, while Trent Gilbert tallied three hits and four runs scored, and Johnny Field picked up four RBI in the route.
Eastern Michigan (3-10) threatened several times throughout the game, but each time the homestanding Wildcats had an answer. Make that a big answer.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but UA posted five in the bottom half of the inning. In fourth, EMU cut UA's lead to 6-4, but the Wildcats tacked on four more runs in the home half of the inning. In the sixth, a three-run inning by the Eagles was again answered by a four-run bottom frame, and by then the Wildcats had built up a 15-7 lead. A single run in the seventh capped the scoring at 16-7.
Arizona starter Konner Wade (3-0) earned the victory, but lacked the command he had shown in his first three starts that put him atop the national leaders in strikeouts. On Saturday, Wade struck out just three and lasted only 5.1 innings, as he surrendered seven runs - six earned - on nine hits and three walks.
Eagles' starter Steve Weber (1-2) did not have any better luck. Weber allowed 11 runs - 10 earned - in four innings as he gave up 11 hits and walked one. Jordan Glover, Ben Dartnell and Jeffrey Rousseau threw the final four innings, yielding a combined six runs on eight hits.
The Wildcats' bullpen quieted the EMU offense that rapped out 12 hits of its own for the seven runs. Lucas Long threw one-plus innings and did not allow a run despite three walks. Stephen Manthei pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed only two hits and no runs.
Timely hitting was a key difference between the clubs. Arizona registered five two-out RBI in the game, while the Eagles were just 2-for-10 and did not drive in a run with two outs. The Wildcats were 9-for-20 (.450) with runners in scoring position.
The two teams conclude the three game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hi Corbett Field.