The Arizona baseball team opened its fall practice season on Thursday night with an exhibition game against the LA Angels instructional league team in Tempe. The Angels won, 9-0.
Oct. 5, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - The University of Arizona baseball team opened its fall practice season on Thursday night with a nine-inning exhibition contest against a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim instructional league team at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Angels defeated the Wildcats, 9-0.
The Wildcats, who will begin their first full week of fall practices next week, took on an Angels club full of top prospects in the organization, including a handful of first round draft picks from recent years. Both sides used wooden bats during the game.
"It was a great opportunity for our young guys to compete," head coach Andy Lopez said following the game. "We haven't had much practice as a team, so it's hard to get a true measurement from a game like this. But, there were a lot of good things I saw. I think some of our young guys showed they are ready to compete. We've got a long ways to go this fall, but this was a good way to get started."
Arizona broke up its pitching rotation into nine one-inning outings, led by veterans Stephen Manthei, Tyler Crawford and Tyler Hale for the first three innings. The Wildcats turned to freshmen Cody Moffett, Jesse Scholtens, Kevin Elder and Dalton Brown for one inning apiece in the later innings, with senior Nick Cunningham also throwing one inning.
Offensively, the Wildcats started mostly returning players at each position and shuffled in younger players later in the contest.
The infield included Brandon Dixon at third base, Trent Gilbert at shortstop, David Lopez at second base and junior college transfer Sam Parris at first base. The outfield was set with Joseph Maggi in left, Johnny Field in center and Tyler Parmenter in right. Riley Moore handled the catching for the first six innings, while Jordan Berger started as the designated hitter before taking over for Moore behind the dish. Anthony de Jesus caught the final inning of the game.
The Wildcats played Ryan Koziol at third base, Kevin Newman at shortstop, Cody Ramer at second base, Sam Brown in left field, Zach Gibbons in center field and Field in right field over the final four innings. Jackson Willeford and Ethan Springston also received at-bats.
The Angels opened the scoring with an unearned run off Manthei in the first inning. With two outs, former UA signee and 2009 first round draft pick Randal Grichuk beat out a slow roller down the third base line. Dixon's throw from third to first skipped away and allowed Grichuk to advance to second. Kaleb Cowart followed with a two-out RBI single to drive in Grichuk.
Crawford and Hale each pitched scoreless innings before Moffett entered in the fourth inning. The lefty gave up four runs on five hits, including back-to-back RBI hits to former Arizona State players Andy Workman and Carlos Ramirez.
The Wildcats' first scoring threats came in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. In the fourth, Maggi left off with a single to left field, but a pair of fielder's choice ground outs and a caught stealing ended the threat.
In the fifth, Moore doubled to left-center and moved to third on a groundout by Dixon. However, UA was unable to drive him in as the inning ended with a strikeout and a flyout.
Scholtens pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, before turning the ball over to Elder in the sixth. Elder allowed a leadoff walk and a single, but picked up a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around an RBI groundout to avoid a big inning.
Cunningham gave up a leadoff triple to former first round draft pick Checy Clarke, which was followed by a walk. However, Cunningham induced a double play and registered a strikeout to allow just one run in his inning of work.
Freshman Dalton Brown pitched the final inning for the Wildcats, giving up a pair of doubles, two walks and two runs.
Arizona collected four hits in the game, with two coming from newcomers Willeford and Newman. Defensively, the Wildcats turned a pair of double plays and Moore threw out two runners attempting to steal.
The Andy Lopez Baseball Academy is hosting camps at Tempe Diablo Stadium this weekend, Oct. 6-7. Click here for more information on this camp and other upcoming fall camps.
The Wildcats will begin their full weekly practice schedule next week and continue through November 17. The 2013 season begins on Feb. 15 against Coppin State.