Sophomore James Farris struck out six and tossed a complete-game shutout as Arizona knocked off North Dakota State, 8-0, to capture a series victory on Sunday.
Feb. 19, 2012
Arizona 8, NDSU 0 (Box Score)
TUCSON, Ariz. - James Farris hurled a complete game shutout in his first career start and the Arizona bats came alive late as the Wildcats earned a series victory with an 8-0 win on Sunday over visiting North Dakota State at Hi Corbettt Field.
Farris, a sophomore right-hander who threw just one-plus inning a season ago, was brilliant in his debut. The native of Gilbert, Ariz., cruised to a six-strikeout effort as he scattered five hits and did not issue a walk to earn his first pitching victory.
Arizona (2-1) scored a run in the first inning following Joey Rickard's leadoff double down the left field line. Robert Refsnyder delivered a one-out double to drive in Rickard, which paced the Wildcats a one-run lead and set up a four-hit afternoon for the junior right fielder who also registered two runs scored and three RBI.
The score remained 1-0 through the fifth inning as NDSU starter Zach Wentz kept the Bison in the game. Wentz, who suffered the loss, allowed just the one run in his five innings pitched. He allowed three hits and two walks to go with two strikeouts.
The Wildcats were able to open the game up when the Bison went to the bullpen in the sixth inning. Johnny Field was hit by a pitch thrown by reliever Anthony Kliniske to lead off the frame. Seth Mejias-Brean followed with a sharp line-drive single to center field, and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball.
Following a strikeout, Brandon Dixon collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly to left field that drove in Field. One batter later, Alex Mejiadrove a two-out single to center off reliever Byrant Larson to push the UA edge to 3-0.
Arizona tacked on two more runs in the seventh. Refsnyder opened the inning with a single up the middle, then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Field drew a walk and stole second base to put a pair of runners in scoring position for Mejias-Brean, who tallied his second straight hit with a two-run double.
The Wildcats continued the scoring in their final at-bats in the eighth. Mejia and Rickard reached on consecutive singles, and both were in scoring position following Trent Gilbert's sacrifice bunt. Refsnyder doubled in both runners with his fourth hit of the game. Bobby Brown's sacrifice fly later in the frame scored Refsnyder to set the game at its final, 8-0.
The series finale drew a crowd of 1,953, pushing the series total to 8,870 for Opening Weekend at Hi Corbett Field. The three-game total was nearly 25 percent of the school's tally of 36,412 through the gates in 33 home games a season ago.
Arizona will quickly turn around to host a mid-week game against Utah Valley on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.