Wildcats double up opponent

Arizona defeated Utah Valley State Tuesday night. Read on for a closer look at how the Wildcats were able to win.

The #8 Arizona Wildcats opened the second week of the season Tuesday night at Hi Corbett with a 12-6 win over the Utah Valley Wolverines.

Arizona fell into a hole early, as starting pitcher Tyler Hale gave up three runs in the first inning.

The Wildcats responded with some offense in the bottom of the 1st, as freshman catcher Riley Moore recorded his first career hit, scoring Brandon Dixon.

In the top of the third, the Wolverines began to rally, forcing Hale out of the game. With two runners on and only one out, the Wildcats looked to freshman pitcher Lucas Long to get them out of a huge jam. The first pitch of his collegiate career resulted in an inning ending double play, getting the Cats out of trouble.

After trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth, UA center fielder Joey Rickard deposited one of his game-high four hits down the left field line to record his first RBI of the year, pulling the Wildcats to within three runs.

"Tonight I was just fortunate to put the ball where they weren't," said Rickard. "We knew we could get runners on, so we just tried to take advantage of those situations."

In the bottom of the fiftth, the momentum continued to swing in the Wildcats favor as they tacked on two more runs, thanks to a single by Seth Mejias-Brean and a sacrifice fly by Moore.

With the Wildcats down 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the floodgates opened for the Arizona offense. Eight of the first nine batters reached base, only two of which were by hits, as the Wildcats scored six runs in the inning highlighted by a Mejias-Brean RBI single.

UVU's pitching staff lost sight of the strike zone, walking three and also hitting two Wildcats. The exciting inning ended with Arizona taking a 10-5 lead and it never looked back.

Lucas Long was thoroughly impressive, going five strong innings and giving up one run on four hits, earning his first win of his career.

"I was really happy with Lucas Long and how he shut UVU down," said Coach Lopez. "He gave our offense a chance and he won the ballgame for us."

The Wildcats' next series is this upcoming weekend against SEC power Auburn. Game 1 of the series will start at 6pm Friday, as Wildcat ace Kurt Heyer looks to extend the UA winning streak. Games 2 and 3 of the series will be played on Saturday as part of a double-header. The first game will start at 2pm and the second game will follow at 6pm.

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