A fifth inning in which Arizona scored 11 runs on 10 hits pretty much told the story Tuesday night, as the Wildcats cruised to a 12-3 win over the New Mexico Lobos.
"We just got some big hits in that inning to kind of get the momentum going," said UA head coach Andy Lopez. "Momentum is an amazing thing in athletics, once it gets going on your side it's hard to stop."
And momentum was exactly what the Arizona offense needed after it had only managed to score three runs in its last 18 innings prior to Tuesday night's explosive 5th frame that saw 16 Wildcats come to the plate, five extra base hits, and even a steal of home plate by Alex Mejia.
Bryce Bandilla, who eventually earned the win and relieved UA starter Konner Wade in the 4th inning, continued to pound the zone and got the Lobos to go down in order in the top of the 6th frame despite the long layover in-between innings.
"Yeah I definitely had to go back out to the bullpen to keep my arm warm during that long inning," said Bandilla. "I was just lucky to go back out and have it all work out."
A leadoff triple by Alex Allbritton to start the seventh led to the final run New Mexico would put on the board on this night. The combination of Nick Cunningham, Jacob Doyle, and Michael Lopez went on to pitch the final three innings for the Wildcats, giving up one run on three hits, eventually leading to the game one victory.
While a stretch where Arizona plays nine out of its next 10 games against ranked opponents looms in the near future, the team will take the time to enjoy its 18th win of the year for now.
"Man are you kidding me, these kinds of games are awesome," said Jett Bandy. "It gives guys like my boy Mike (Lopez) a chance to go out there and get work in. Did you know he threw 10 strikes and only one ball out there tonight?"
Big inning leads to win
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