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April 28, 2012
The 11th-ranked Arizona Wildcats went on a hitting rampage Friday night at Hi Corbett Field, beating the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 24-7. On a night when seemingly nothing could go wrong for the 'Cats, they set season highs in hits (25) and runs on their way to recording the 2,600th win in school history; a milestone only seven other schools have accomplished.
The night belonged to the batters of Arizona (27-13), who recorded 11 extra-base hits - including a school-record six triples in the contest - and turned in a nine-run fourth inning. The teams combined to hit seven total triples in the game, which tied an NCAA record set in 1992.
The Wildcats' hits total was the most since 2006, and the 41 combined hits were the most in an Arizona game since 2004.
Arizona's 1-5 hitters went a combined 17 for 28 with 16 RBIs. Eight Wildcats had two or more hits.
Johnny Field, who started at center field and batted leadoff in place of the injured Joey Rickard (knee bruise), had a career night at the plate, going 5 for 6 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
"Everyone was having good at-bats and seeing the ball well." Field said. "They were leaving some pitches up and our hitters weren't missing."
Shortstop Alex Mejia and catcher Riley Moore each had three hits and four RBIs, while designated hitter Bobby Brown went 4 for 4 and scored four times to go along with six RBIs. Mejia and Brown both accounted for two triples and a double.
Arizona ace Kurt Heyer (8-1) did not have his best stuff but earned the win. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on 12 hits while striking out nine.
"He didn't have a real good outing, but just because you didn't do something great doesn't mean you didn't do something good," head coach Andy Lopez said. "I'm not worried about Kurt. He's human."
Heyer was a little harder on himself, claiming he could have done a better job.
"It's one of those days where, if you let your guard down they can pounce on you a little bit," Heyer said. "I'm just happy my teammates were able to score a few runs for me."
Buccaneers starter Jake Long (2-6) gave up 11 runs on 14 hits in only three innings of work to earn the loss.
The 'Cats and Bucs will continue the three-game series Saturday at Hi Corbett Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
GOAZCATS.com Staff Writer
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