Arizona welcomed Alabama State to Tucson for a non-conference match up in the middle of PAC-12 season this weekend. Hopefully the Hornets' plane has as much power as the Wildcat offense did on Sunday.
The Wildcats (28-14) completed a three-game sweep of Alabama State (27-22) with an 18-3 victory, a game which saw Arizona score a run in every single inning for the first time since March 2008 against Notre Dame. The Cats also racked up 22 hits.
Tyler Crawford (W, 5-1) went six innings, giving up six hits and three walks en route to his sixth career victory. Cody Moffett (S, 1) picked up his first career save by throwing three scoreless innings to wrap up the victory.
Those three innings essentially knocks him out of the Arizona State game coming up on Tuesday. "I don't know who I'm throwing on Tuesday," said head coach Andy Lopez "I'm not exaggerating. I don't know."
The Arizona bats were the clear stars of the game on Sunday. Brandon Dixon had an enormous game, racking up a career-high 5 hits including three doubles and three RBI. He also stole another base, giving him a PAC-12 leading 28 on the year.
Joseph Maggi also picked up a career-high on Sunday by driving in four runs while going 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
"I think he's doing a better job of staying back on the ball" said Andy Lopez.
"Results are sort of showing up for me right now." said Maggi. "I was swinging at a lot of pitches that were out of the zone, pitchers wanted me to chase but now I'm focusing on getting ahead in the count and getting my pitches."
Maggi's been playing more first base lately which is where he played last year. Before the last couple of weeks he was primarily in right field.
"I'm comfortable wherever coach plays me. Right now this lineup's working with me at first so whenever the lineup's working that's where I wanna be."
"I think if he became an outfielder he'd probably be happier" said coach Lopez. "I think he likes to play the outfield, but you know he does a good job for us at first too. He's just gotten better, started off slow but he's done a better job of letting the ball travel and go the other way."
Personally, I prefer to see him at first base. Opens up a spot in the outfield to play Scott Kingery. Plus, Ryan Koziol and Sam Parris have not exactly been stellar. Maggi made a great catch on a bunt play early in the game when Dixon threw the ball up the line a little bit. A catch that I don't think would have been made by Koziol or Parris.
Other guys with multi-RBI games included Johnny Field, Trent Gilbert (who came out in the fifth to rest his sore ankle), Zach Gibbons, Kevin Newman and Kingery.
It was an interesting break from the conference season for the Wildcats, who look to use this series and the Arizona State game on Tuesday as a spring board into the final four weekends of the regular season.
"For me, this week is more of a strain than any week I've coached over the last 8 or 9. I've been kind of yelling and screaming for three days 'You gotta play well this weekend, you can't let this weekend get away from you'."
Well, they didn't let it get away from them at all. In fact, it may have been just what they needed as the baseball season heads down the homestretch.