March 2, 2012
Arizona 7, Harvard 1 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - Kurt Heyer matched his career high with 14 strikeouts and Trent Gilbert drove in three runs as the No. 7 Arizona baseball team defeated visiting Harvard, 7-1, on Friday night at Hi Corbett Field before a crowd of 1,611.
Heyer tossed the fourth complete game of his career as he improved to 3-0 on the season. He did not issue a walk and scattered six hits, facing just 33 batters in the game that lasted a brisk two hours and eight minutes.
Arizona (6-2) opened the game quietly as the batting order was retired in order over the first three innings by Crimson starter Brent Suter (0-1). The Wildcats finally broke through with three runs in the fourth, two in the sixth and two more in the eighth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Joey Rickard broke up Suter's perfect line with a single to left field. After Alex Mejia bunted Rickard into scoring position, Robert Refsnyder drove in Rickard to open the scoring. Later in the inning with a pair of runners in scoring position, Gilbert lined a single to centerfield to drive in two runs and stake the Wildcats to a 3-0 edge.
In the sixth inning, Johnny Field hit a one-out single and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by reliever Conner Hulse. One batter later, Gilbert racked up his third RBI with a single through the right side. With Riley Mooreat the plate, Gilbert stole second base and scored on Moore's RBI single to right field.
The only hiccup on the evening for Heyer came in the top of the seventh inning when Brandon Kregel hit a solo home run to left field to lead off the inning. The earned run allowed raised Heyer's season ERA from 0.64 entering the game to 0.78 following the game.
Even so, Heyer was dominant throughout. He struck out at least one batter in eight of the nine innings, including three in the sixth frame. The game ended fittingly with a pair of strikeouts for Heyer, who last tallied 14 punch-outs against Washington State on April 16, 2010.
The Wildcats tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Field singled and stole second to lead off, and Seth Mejias-Brean followed with an RBI single. Mejias-Brean later scored on a throwing error by catcher Jon Smart, who was trying to throw out Moore stealing second base on a double-steal attempt.
Gilbert finished the game with two hits and a run scored to go with his three RBI. Field registered three hits and three runs scored, while Refsnyder and Brandon Dixon each added a pair of hits to help push UA's team tally to 13 in the game.
Harvard (0-1) totaled six base hits by six different players off Heyer. Suter suffered the loss despite giving up three runs on five hits with no walks in five innings of work. The Crimson played their first game of the 2012 season.
The two clubs, which had never faced each other prior to Friday, will continue the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field. The series concludes on Sunday at 11 a.m.