Kurt Heyer threw his third-consecutive complete game and the Wildcats rapped out 11 base hits as the cruised to a 10-2 series-opening victory over Washington.
April 20, 2012
Arizona 10, Washington 2 (Box Score)
SEATTLE - Kurt Heyer tossed his third-consecutive complete game and 13th-ranked Arizona rapped out 11 base hits as the Wildcats rolled to a 10-2 series-opening victory over host Washington on Friday evening at Husky Ballpark.
Arizona (25-12, 11-5 Pac-12) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third and never looked back. Another single run in the fourth, two in the fifth and six-run explosion in the seventh gave the Wildcats a commanding 10-0 advantage.
That was more than enough run support for Heyer. The junior scattered seven hits, struck out five and walked two on the evening.
The complete game performance was the fourth of the season and seventh of Heyer's career. He improved to 7-1 on the season and lowered his earned run average to 1.96. The right-hander carried a shutout bid into the ninth inning, but a leadoff catcher's interference call and back-to-back one-out hits plated two runs for the Huskies. Just one run was earned on Heyer's line.
The top of the order provided the punch for the Wildcats' bats. The No. 1-4 hitters - Joey Rickard, Johnny Field, Alex Mejia and Robert Refsnyder - combined to hit 9-for-16 in the game, including five extra base hits, with seven runs scored and six runs batted in.
Rickard broke out of a mini-slump with a three-hit day - all doubles - three runs scored and two runs batted in. Refsnyder added his fourth homer of the season, and Mejia had three hits, a run scored and an RBI.
Washington (19-16, 5-8 Pac-12) starter Aaron West (4-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits and four walks over 5.2 innings. Relievers Adam Cimber, Mac Acker and Kim Dae Yang threw the final 3.1 innings. Cimber gave up five runs - three earned - and Acker yielded one run in the six-run seventh.
Arizona struck first with a run in the top of the third. Rickard drew a two-out walk and stole second base, before Field singled to center to plate the game's first run. An inning later, Refsnyder hit a solo shot to left-center that extended UA's lead to 2-0.
The Wildcats added a pair of runs in the fifth. With two outs, Rickard doubled to left-center, Field walked and Mejia reached on an infield single to load the bases. Rickard scored on a wild pitch, and then the Huskies elected to intentionally walk Refsnyder to re-load the bases. Seth Mejias-Brean then worked a full-count walk to force in another run to give UA a 4-0 lead. A flyout by Bobby Brown stranded three to end the inning.
Arizona broke the game open in the seventh, scoring six runs on six hits, including four doubles. Rickard led off with a double and, one out later, scored on Mejia's RBI double. Refsnyder followed with a run-scoring single and, one out later, Brown followed with an RBI double.
Riley Moore reached on an error and, after Acker replaced Cimber, Trent Gilbert followed with a single to knock in Brown. Brandon Dixon was then hit by a pitch that loaded the bases, and Rickard followed with his second double of the inning, which drove in two more runs to push the lead to 10-0.
Pinch-hitter Robert Pehl reached on catcher's inference after apparently flying out to open the bottom of the ninth inning. After Heyer struck out Branden Berry, Andrew Ely singled and Ryan Wiggins hit a two-run double to put the Huskies on the board. Heyer finished the game with a groundout and a strikeout to seal the victory. Pehl's run was unearned.
Arizona will look to clinch a series victory in the second game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. PDT at Husky Ballpark.