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February 16, 2013

Bats stay hot, Farris deals for 'Cats



James Farris and the No. 24-ranked Arizona Wildcats sent the Coppin State Eagles back to the hotel on Saturday with an impressive 14-1 defeat at Hi Corbett Field.

Farris, who set a career high with eight strikeouts, pitched eight strong innings of one-run ball without walking a single hitter.

"He had great command of the outer half (of the plate)," head coach Andy Lopez said. "I think he had five strikeouts on curveballs today, so that's a good sign."

After the game, the junior right-hander said that location was his main focus.

"What I did really well today was fastball location," said Farris, who allowed just two hits. "I really wanted to feed the zone and throw strikes. My goal today was don't walk anybody."

However, Farris (1-0) also explained to the media what he feels he needs to work on moving forward.

"The thing I could work on is stamina. In the latter innings I was getting a little fatigued," he added.

The Wildcats (2-0) picked up where they left off at the plate on Opening Day, piling on 12 hits against four different Coppin State pitchers.

Already tied at 1, the UA hit parade exploded in the fourth inning as Riley Moore sent a liner up the middle, scoring center fielder Johnny Field. On the next at-bat, Brandon Dixon knocked an RBI double down the line to plate Moore. Trent Gilbert added an RBI single and Scott Kingery's sacrifice fly helped the Wildcats take an early 5-1 lead.

Timely hitting from Gilbert and two freshmen, Kevin Newman and Ryan Koziol, in the sixth and seventh elevated the Arizona lead to 10-1. Both hits from Newman and Koziol were the first of their careers.

In the end, the Wildcats combination of gap-to-gap hitting and small ball were just too much for the Eagles (0-2) to handle. On the day, Arizona had three triples, two doubles, two bunts and four stolen bases.

"That's the way it's always going to be for us," Moore said. "Whether we're big, small, power or no power, we will sac, hit-and-run, steal, that's just the kind of program we have here."

UA freshman Tyger Talley was called out of the bullpen to close out the ninth inning. He walked two Eagles batters, but did not allow a run.

"It was good to see Talley get in there and look nervous," Lopez joked.

Eagles starter Yahya Muhammad (0-1) was dealt the loss after allowing five runs - four earned - on five hits in three innings of work.

The finale of the three-game series will be played at noon Sunday. Right-hander Stephen Manthei will take the mound for the Wildcats against Eagles lefty Anderson Burgess.

Danny PassovoyDanny Passovoy
GOAZCATS.com Baseball Staff Writer

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