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Arizona baseball: Wildcats demolish Utah Valley 14-0

The offense just keeps on keeping on

Ryan Aguilar hit his third home run in three games to help Arizona to a big win over Utah Valley
Ryan Aguilar hit his third home run in three games to help Arizona to a big win over Utah Valley
Jason Bartel

If there's no functioning scoreboard at the ballpark, are you really sure if you won or not?

Well, the Arizona Wildcats wanted to leave no doubt on Tuesday night apparently, as they throttled the Utah Valley Wolverines en route to a 14-0 win in a single midweek game on Tuesday night.

Utah Valley was lining up its defense in strange ways the entire night, and it cost them a couple of times. It allowed JJ Matijevic to get a single in the second inning as he went slightly opposite way, smacking the ball just to the left of the second base bag.

In the fourth inning, it was a lot more costly. With their right fielder playing somewhat shallow against Bobby Dalbec of all people, Dalbec went opposite way for a two-run triple, giving the Cats a 5-0 lead.

The right fielder was somewhat responsible for the first three runs as well. With the bases loaded, Zach Gibbons dribbled a single to the opposite side of the field, scoring two runs. But right fielder Ryne Edmondson came up firing to third base to try and get Alfonso Rivas. Unfortunately for Edmondson, the ball bounded into the Utah Valley dugout, allowing Rivas to score, and moving Gibbons to third.

A two-out error by first baseman Spencer Gothberg in the 6th would not only allow Arizona's 9th run of the game to come across, but give the Wildcats an opportunity to score their 10th, 11th and 12th runs. That was after an absolute bomb by Ryan Aguilar to right field, his third home run in the last three games.

"Basically, right before it, they called timeout and had a meeting at the mound, and Jay (Johnson) pulled me aside at the plate," Aguilar said of his home run at bat. "He's like 'alright you've seen this guy' and I said 'of course'. It's a 2-0 count and he says 'you've got the green light, what are you thinking right now?'. I go 'base hit up the middle' and he goes 'that's what you need to think'."

"Then I just turned on it. Even though my approach was up the middle it just happened."

"I'm really comfortable, the game's really slowing down for me," Aguilar said of his recent power outburst. "I'm just having fun out there. It's just really picked up this last week. I'm really confident right now."

The Arizona defense on the other hand, was the reason Utah Valley was unable to score any runs. Not one, but two relays from left field, to Cody Ramer, to third baseman Louis Boyd cut down Wolverines trying to get within 90 feet of a run. Cesar Salazar also gunned down a would-be base stealer, as he continues to impress behind the plate.

The pitching from Arizona wasn't bad either. Austin Schnabel got the start, and would pitch the first 2 1/3 innings of the game, surrendering two hits and a walk. He would be lifted in favor of Cody Moffett after hitting a batter in the third.

"I like it," Schnabel said of his recent trend to throw about two or three innings as a starter. "Obviously I'd like to be going more but if I just need to give the team two or three strong innings of no-run baseball and then pass it off to the next guy I'll do that."

"I'm trusting the process and it seems to be working really well so far," he continued. "I feel really good. My arm's the best it's felt in years, and my velocity is consistent now at least. I feel really good while I'm out there, and I'm getting more in a groove as the game goes on."

Moffett would have one of the better outings of his Arizona career, tossing three innings of one-hit ball. He would throw 41 pitches, 26 for strikes, and struck out three Wolverines in the process.

Cody Deason would match Moffett's three Ks, but do it in just 1 2/3 innings, where he gave up just two hits. Deason threw just five balls out of the strike zone in his 26 pitches.

Austin Rubick would pitch a hitless 8th inning. The sprinklers came on in the middle of the freshman's wind up, which he did not seem amused by.

Rivas would move from right field to the mound for the 9th inning. One walk would be the only runner he allowed.

The Wildcats return to Pac-12 action on Thursday night as the conference-leading UCLA Bruins come to Tucson for a three-game set. UCLA went 3-0 against Washington State last weekend, while Arizona was just 1-2 at Washington. JC Cloney will start Thursday for Arizona, with Nathan Bannister getting the ball Friday and Bobby Dalbec getting the nod for Saturday.