The Wildcat bats emerged from their slumber as eight of the nine Arizona starters collected at least one hit in the game and freshman reliever Jason Snyder struck out a career-high eight Anteater hitters in 4.2 innings of work on the mound. The victory improves Arizona's record to 12-4 for the season and 11-1 at home. The loss drops UCI to 8-6 overall.
As a team, Arizona's 14 hits on Friday afternoon were two more than they collected in all three games last weekend at Texas A&M. The Wildcats blasted four home runs in the game and left only five runners on base.
Sophomore left fielder Marc Kaiser posted his most impressive offensive outing of the season with a 3-for-4, two home run, three RBI and three runs scored outburst.
Arizona jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on back-to-back home runs by Jeff Van Houten and Kaiser off of Anteater starter Paul French. Van Houten's blast, his team-high tying fourth of the season, scored Brad Hassey to make it 2-0, before Kaiser followed with a solo shot in the next at bat.
Irvine scored one in the second on a bases loaded double play ball and three in the third on Chris Millers third home run of the season to take a 4-3 lead.
Arizona's starter Sean Rierson had to leave the game with two outs in the top the third when he was hit on the forearm on a sharp single up the middle by Matt Anderson. The sophomore right-hander was removed from the game and diagnosed with a contusion on his right arm and is listed as day-to-day.
Snyder came on in relief and was responsible for Miller's three-run blast, but settled in nicely thereafter, allowing only three more hits before giving way to Wes Zlotoff in the seventh. Five of Snyder's eight K's caught UCI hitters looking as he picked up his first collegiate win with the effort.
The Wildcat offense retook the lead in the bottom of the third with four runs on a two-run single by Richard Mercado and Moises Duran's two-run homer, his fourth of the season.
Arizona added a pair in the bottom of the fifth on Clayton Bried's two-run single. Kasier's second homer of the game accounted for a lone run in the sixth to increase the lead to 10-4.
Arizona added another run in the seventh on a double steal that saw Mercado reach home before John Hardy was tagged out in run-down between first and second, and three more in the eighth on a Kaiser sacrifice fly and two run-scoring singles by Chris Cunningham and Mercado.
Along with Kaiser's impressive outing, Van Houten finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored and Mercado went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
UCI's French (1-2) was tagged for the loss, as he gave up seven runs in just 2.1 innings of work.