Wildcats take first game

The #8 Arizona Wildcats jumped all over the Auburn Tigers early and often, coasting to an 8-1 victory on Friday night.

The #8 Arizona Wildcats jumped all over the Auburn Tigers early and often, coasting to an 8-1 victory on Friday night.

The Wildcats received a scare in the top of the second as Tiger second baseman Creede Simpson hit a screamer that nailed starting pitcher Kurt Heyer in his pitching hand. After falling to the ground for a few minutes, Heyer regained his composure and stayed in the game.

"My hand went numb right after it happened, but I just happy I was able to pull through it," said Heyer. "It did hurt for a little while after, but after I was able to settle down, I realized I was going to be able to stay in the game."

In the bottom of the second, the Wildcats responded with their best offensive inning of the year. After three straight singles to lead off the inning, senior DH Bobby Brown deposited a single of his own down the left field line, putting the Wildcats up 2-1.

After batting in the lower third of the lineup for the first four games, Alex Mejia was moved up to the number two spot, which paid off big time for the Wildcats.

Mejia nearly missed his first home run of the season in the first inning, flying out to the warning track in left field. But in his second at-bat, Mejia flexed his muscles and connected for a two run blast, as the Wildcats scored a total of five runs on six hits in the inning.

"It always feels great to square up a ball no matter how my wrist feels," said Mejia. "It was nice to hit one at home and be in this fun atmosphere".

Arizona continued to tack on in the bottom of the third, as first baseman Brandon Dixon doubled down the right field, scoring Trent Gilbert and extending the Wildcats' lead to 6-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mejia singled to left field, scoring Trent Gilbert and cushioning the Wildcats lead to 7-1. Mejia finished the day with three hits and four RBI's.

In addition to the offense, the Wildcats pitching staff was equally impressive. Heyer was very solid in his second start of the year, going seven innings and giving up six hits.

"It was a very courageous effort by Heyer to stay in the game after getting hit by that line drive," Andy Lopez said. "I had to hold my breath at first but once I talked to him I had a feeling he would be okay. It shows a lot about his character and his make up."

Freshman pitcher Matt Troupe continued his hot start to the 2012 season, as he went two innings giving up four hits.

"He is definitely moving in the right direction to earning a permanent spot in our bullpen," said Coach Lopez. "We are only five games into it so we will continue to experiment, such as using him for long relief or even some spot starts."

The series will wrap up on Saturday as the Wildcats and Tigers will play a double header with the first game starting at 2pm and the second game will follow at 6pm.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories