TUCSON, Ariz. – Scott Kingery and Zach Gibbons had three hits apiece to pace the University of Arizona baseball team to a 10-2 victory over Air Force as the Wildcats completed a two-game midweek sweep Wednesday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.
The sophomore duo of Kingery and Gibbons combined to hit 6-for-9 with four runs scored and one run batted in for the Wildcats, overcame an early deficit en route to scoring the game’s final eight runs.
Air Force (4-10) scratched across a run in the top of the third inning to claim the early advantage, before the Wildcats tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth. The Falcons reclaimed a one-run lead with an unearned run off reliever Nathan Bannister in the fifth inning.
Arizona (10-9) answered with five runs in the home half of the fifth to chase Falcons’ starter Trent Monaghan from the game. Kingery tripled and Cody Ramer was hit by a pitch to lead things off, before Air Force called on reliever Steven Trojan.
The right-hander gave up a sacrifice fly to Kevin Newman, who drove in two runs in the game, as the Wildcats tied the game, 2-2. Then Trent Gilbert ripped a run-scoring triple and scored on one of Gibbons’ three hits of the afternoon.
The Wildcats kept things going as Bobby Dalbec singled and stole second base to set up a two-out, two-run single from Riley Moore to cap the decisive inning.
Monaghan (L, 0-1) suffered the loss. He was charged with four runs on six hits in 4.0 innings.
Arizona Starter Austin Schnabel, slated to start again this Sunday, tossed two scoreless innings to begin the game before giving way to Bannister, who allowed two runs in 2.1 innings.
Cody Moffett W, 1-0) replaced Bannister in the fifth inning and worked 1.2 scoreless with just one hit allowed. Xavier Borde tossed two innings with one hit allowed, and Bobby Dalbec worked the ninth inning to keep Air Force scoreless over the final four innings.
Arizona’s pitching staff registered five strikeouts and did not issue a walk in the game.
The Wildcats added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Michael Hoard tripled home Gilbert in the seventh, while Newman drove in a run with a double and later scored on an error for account for the two runs in the eighth.
Pac-12 Conference play begins in earnest this weekend. Arizona hosts Washington State (4-8) for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.