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March 30, 2013

Field interrupts pitcher's duel, lifts Wildcats to sweep

Tyler Crawford pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Johnny Field broke up a pitcher's duel in the seventh Saturday to help Arizona narrowly defeat Utah, 2-1, and pull off the three-game series sweep at Hi Corbett Field.

After the Wildcats (18-11) exploded for 15 runs last night, Arizona failed to get a run across through the first six innings. Through the sixth inning, the Wildcats had just four hits and left six runners on base.

That all changed in the seventh as Field took the two-out Dalton Carroll pitch into the gap in deep right-center field for a double, scoring Joseph Maggi all the way from first base.

To that point, the Wildcats were 1 for 11 with runners on the base paths.

Last night's star, Trent Gilbert, followed with an RBI single to right field in the eighth, scoring Brandon Dixon - who reached base on his third infield single of the day.

"You've got to tip your cap to (Carroll), he was hitting his spots with his fastball," said Field, who finished 2 for 3 at the plate. "We just couldn't get that big hit early on, and that really hurt us."

Carroll (2-2) tossed seven innings, allowed just one run, but took the loss for Utah (12-13).

"When you don't hit, it makes coach Lopez old," UA head coach Andy Lopez said. "Right now, we're having a tough time cashing runs in. Some of the juniors want to carry the entire club and hit a seven-run home run, and you got some of the freshmen there that are feeling the strain of the Pac-12."

With both Stephen Manthei and Cody Moffett unable to hold on to the third spot in the rotation, Lopez turned to reliever Crawford for the start. The left-hander allowed just five hits and struck out five in a no-decision.

"I was doing really well throwing my offspeed early in the count," Crawford said. "I actually struggled with my command, I think I walked three which is probably too many. I was able to make some pitches, though, when I needed to and my defense played well for me, which was big."

Reliever Augey Bill (3-0) pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning to earn the win.

Utah made it interesting in the ninth as Braden Anderson singled home Tyler Relf off closer Mathew Troupe. But Troupe shut the door to pick up his sixth save of the season.

"I've never smoked in my life, but I might start," Lopez joked, regarding his closer. "Troupe made it interesting, but if you've ever watched Troupe for the last year-and-a-half, that's just him. He gets guys out."

Next up for the Wildcats will be a three-game home weekend series with California beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

Danny PassovoyDanny Passovoy
GOAZCATS.com Baseball Staff Writer

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