TUCSON, Ariz. – Senior James Farris match his career high with 10 strikeouts in a complete game shutout as Arizona blanked visiting Alcorn State, 6-0, before a crowd of 2,385 at Hi Corbett Field on Saturday evening.
Farris (W, 2-0) went the distance for the fifth time in his career as he captured his second career complete game shutout. The righty scattered five hits and walked just one as he tallied the most strikeouts in a game since he established his personal best of 10 last April 13 at Washington State.
Arizona (4-2) took an early lead as it scored a run in the first inning for the first time this season. Zach Gibbons, batting leadoff for the first time in career, opened with a single. With two down and runners at the corners, Trent Gilbert was caught stealing but stayed in a run-down long enough for Gibbons to take home for the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats strung together four consecutive singles to open the third inning. A wild pitch hurled by Braves’ starter Ryan Fuentes plated Jordan Berger. Later, Kevin Newman drove in Joseph Maggi on a fielder’s choice groundout and Arizona had a 3-0 advantage.
Insurance runs were tacked on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings from a balanced offensive lineup. Gibbons had a pair of hits from the leadoff spot, while Kingery, Berger and Maggi each had two-hit games as well. Berger drove in a pair of runs, including a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and a two-out single in the eighth.
Alcorn State (0-6) put its leadoff man on base five times in the game, but never had a runner reach third base against Farris. Interestingly, despite giving up a pair of hits, Farris faced the minimum through 5.2 innings of play. His two-out walk in the sixth inning snapped the streak.
Fuentes (L, 0-1) suffered the loss after allowing five runs – four earned – on nine hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out four. Charles Wilson pitched the final two innings with one run allowed on two hits and three walks.
The teams conclude the three-game series Sunday in a doubleheader. The first game will begin at 2 p.m. with the second tilt slated for 6 p.m.
GAME NOTES: James Farris pitched his fifth career complete game … Farris’ only previous complete game shutout was in the season-opener against North Dakota State on Feb. 19, 2012 … Farris tied his career high with 10 strikeouts initially set last April 13 at Washington State … Farris has thrown a complete game in two of his last three starts, including a victory over USC last May 25 at Hi Corbett Field … Junior Trent Gilbert saw an 11-game hitting streak snapped … Kevin Newman stole three bases, which established a new career high. The sophomore is 5-for-5 this season and 16-for-18 in his career … Arizona was 3-for-16 hitting with runners in scoring position … Arizona improved to 4-0 all-time against the Braves. The first three wins came in a series sweep at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium on the UA campus May 6-8, 2011 … Arizona scored a first-inning run for the first time this season. Previously the Wildcats were outscored 13-0 in the initial frame … The series opened a day later than initially scheduled due to travel delays.