Wildcats 10, Sun Devils 7: Arizona scores early and often, holds on late for Friday night victory

Tyler Crawford had an unexpected save in a 10-7 Arizona victory over Arizona State on Friday. - Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

9 runs in the first three innings led the Cats to a big win to open the three-game series in Tempe

Last week, Arizona scored 8 runs in 27 innings at UCLA.

They had 9 through 3 innings on Friday.

Trevor Williams (L, 5-6) had no movement on any of his pitches. Combine that with Wildcat hitters finding every hole in the field, and you get nine runs in three innings.

Konner Wade (W, 5-6) had a great start on Friday after back-to-back horrible starts against Washington and UCLA. The junior righty went 7+ innings, allowing just 4 earned runs, (6 total) on nine hits and four walks. He also struck out five.

"He threw more strikes than he has the last couple weeks" said head coach Andy Lopez "the one thing I thought was really a difference maker is his change up had a little more run and sink so he got some swing and misses."

The Arizona lineup lit it up early on Friday, taking advantage of Trevor Williams' off-day. Brandon Dixon broke the game open in the second with a 3-run double down the left field line, part of a 6-run second for the Cats.

"We just had a good approach, we were laying off his pitches and getting ours." said Dixon.

"I was sitting off-speed that whole at bat and then I think he beat me with two fastballs in, and then he kept going back to that slider. I was sitting on it and he then he hung it a little bit, just enough."

Arizona State made things interesting late, going through Augey Bill and Tyger Talley before Mathew Troupe entered the game.

Troupe came in after three runs had already scored and runners on first and second. He walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, and the go-ahead run then came to the plate, Nathaniel Causey.

Causey ripped a Troupe pitch to deep center, but Johnny Field ran it down, laid out face-first into the warning track, and made without a doubt the play of the year for Arizona.

Troupe then walked the first two batters in the ninth, which brought on Tyler Crawford. "We need a win. If Troupe throws strikes we don't go to Crawford, but we need a win."

Crawford (S, 1) struck out his first batter, forced RJ Ybarra to pop out,and then a fly out to Johnny Field ended the game.

Crawford was definitely not expecting to pitch tonight.

"I was sitting in the dugout and I didn't have cleats on, and they said put your spikes on, get loose. I was pretty excited, yeah it was fun." Crawford said. "Anytime you're in a game like this, especially at this time of the year...I was just happy to be in that situation."

"From here on out, every game is going to be big" said Dixon. "We're kind of on the ropes, we gotta keep winning. We took care of today, gotta take care of tomorrow and then Sunday."

"They're all important now," added Crawford

The bottom of the order and the outfield had a different look tonight, with Cody Ramer starting in left field and Gibbons in right. They were the only two Wildcats to not record hits though. Gibbons did drive in a run and walk twice.

Arizona improves to 11-14 in conference play, and picks up a much-needed win over an ASU team that is highly-ranked in the RPI. The two teams meet again at Packard Stadium Saturday night at 6:30 PM. James Farris returns to his Saturday role to face the 10-0 Ryan Kellogg.

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