Arizona bats combined for 20 hits, producing 15 runs as the Wildcats routed Missouri 15-3 in opening round NCAA Regional play.
UA's offense complemented a complete game, four-hit outing from starter Kurt Heyer (11-2). Heyer struck out seven and gave up just two earned runs, overcoming an early deficit to go six shutout innings down the stretch. A successfully turned double play for outs No. 26 and 27 gave him his tenth career complete outing.
The Wildcats distanced from the fourth seeded Tigers early to give Heyer plenty of breathing room. MU starter Blake Holovach lasted just 3 1/3 innings. Center fielder Joey Rickard's triple was the first of three on the night for UA, and plated two runs to spark a seven-run fourth inning.
Rickard went 3-5 with four RBI. He also scored three runs. Designated hitter Bobby Brown went 4-5, and second baseman Trent Gilbert was 3-4. The trio led a group of six Wildcats with multiple base knocks. Alex Mejia, Robert Refsnyder and Seth Mejias-Brean each had two.
Every Wildcat batter to dig in connected.
On Saturday, UA draws an opponent with a much different path into the winner's half of the bracket. Louisville shut down the typically explosive New Mexico State offense behind six quality innings from Justin Amlung, and three scoreless innings of relief by Travis Tingle.
The Cardinals overcame a 2-0 deficit, built when the Aggies' star catcher Zac Fisher drove in two. Once UL locked down on the defensive end, it opened the door for Nick Ratajczak's run scoring double in the fifth. The Cardinals' two runs were enough to seal the win.
NMSU and MU meet Saturday at 4 p.m. trying to stave off elimination. UA hosts UL at Hi-Corbett Field at 8 p.m. Konner Wade (7-3) should get the ball for Saturday night's affair, broadcast on ESPNU.