Game Day coverage of Arizona Baseball is sponsored by Tucson Pool and Spa. If you are in the market for a new spa, pool service or supplies, stop by our showroom at 170 N. Harrison. For more information, call 296-0993.
The Wildcats were aided by nine walks and scored six of their 10 runs without the use of a hit. No Wildcat batter had more than one hit.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first on three consecutive walks. With the bases full the next hitter, first baseman Chris Cunningham, picked up his 10th RBI of the season as he was hit by a pitch. Moises Duran drove in another run on the fourth walk of the inning, allowing Marini to stroll home from from third.
Southern Utah went to the pen with little success. The Thunderbird reliever gave up a sacrifice fly to Richard Mercado that scored Marc Kaiser from third to give the Cats a 3-0 lead without collecting a base hit.
Chris Goodman (1-0) made the most of his first start of the season. The sophomore worked six innings giving up just one earned run, striking out four and walking only batter.Reliever Jason Snyder made his Wildcat debut, working the final three innings. He allowed just four hits and punched out four.
Despite mustering just five hits, the Cats did flash some power. Cunningham smashed a two-run homer that hit the scoreboard in right center. Justyn St. Clair added a triple for the Cats.
The day before the Cats suffered their first loss, 5-4 to Utah. The Utes (2-4) jumped out to a quick lead on first baseman Nate Weese's two-run homer in the top of the first inning off of Arizona starter Marc Kaiser.
The Wildcats tied the score with two of their own in the bottom half of the first on a pair of sac-flies by Brian Anderson and Chris Cunningham that scored Brad Hassey and Justyn St. Clair.
Utah posted three more in the top of the second on an two-RBI double by catcher Jared Synder and a run scoring ground out off the bat of Adam Castleton.
The Wildcats inched closer in the fifth with two runs on a pair of doubles by Clayton Bried and Chris Cunningham, cutting the Ute lead to 5-4.
Arizona threatened to tie the score in the eighth when Clarence Farmer, who came on as pinch runner for the walked Chris Cunningham, stole second to move into scoring position with one out. The threat ended there as Arizona could only muster a pair of harmless fly balls to center field to end the inning.
Down but not out, Arizona manufactured the tying run in the bottom of the ninth off of a leadoff walk by freshman Will Thompson. Pinch runner Chris Marini advanced to second on John Hardy's sacrifice bunt and came around to tie the score on Brad Hassey's single through the left side of the infield.
In the 10th Arizona reliever Tony Sulser (0-1) dug himself into a hole and nearly escaped. After issuing a leadoff walk to Brett Baldwin, Sulser rushed his throw to first on pinch hitter Donald Hawes' sacrifice bunt attempt. The throw missed its mark for a two base error, placing runners on second and third and no outs.
After an intentional walk to Castleton to load the bases, Sulser got Donnie Saba to hit into a fielders choice ground ball that allowed Hassey to gun down Baldwin at the plate on the force. Sulser then struck out Weese for the second out of the inning, but saw his good fortune turn bad as clean up hitter Britt Pannier plated two on the next pitch with a single for a 7-5 Utah lead.
Utah reliever Mitch Maio picked up the win with three innings of work, while Sulser was saddled with the loss.
The defeat was the first for Arizona under new head coach Andy Lopez, however the Wildcats will have little time to lick their wounds as they return to action on Monday when Southern Utah comes to town for a two game series at Sancet Field. Game time tomorrow is 1 p.m. Chris Goodman will take the mound in his first start of the season for the Wildcats..