In what seems to be the only regular season game that the Arizona Wildcats and Saint Mary's Gaels will play in the foreseeable future, Jay Johnson's Wildcats got the best of his friend Eric Valenzuela's Gaels by the score of 11-5.
The Wildcats did all of their damage early in this one.
Saint Mary's scored two right away, thanks to an Anthony Gonsolin two-run homer off Cody Moffett just two batters into the game.
But Arizona would answer right back.
Four runs in the first were capped off by a double-steal situation. With Justin Behnke on first and Alfonso Rivas on third, Behnke took off for second, forcing the throw. Rivas then immediately headed home, scoring the run before the Gaels were able to tag Behnke out.
"We started a freshman, and put a freshman in a hostile environment like this and I was a little nervous going in," Valenzuela said after the game. "What shows a good team is we had the energy in the top of the first, and then they come right back and put a four spot on us."
"That shows a good team and well-coached team, and I don't expect anything less from them."
Arizona would make it a 6-2 game off the bat of Zach Gibbons. He lined a single through the right side, bringing in Cody Ramer and Ryan Aguilar.
The very next inning, the Wildcats would tack on three more, thanks to a two-run triple from Cesar Salazar, the first triple of his college career. Ramer would follow that up with a sac fly to make the score 9-2.
"With the way (Arizona)'s gonna hit, we might be in trouble here," Valenzuela said of the Gaels' pitching situation heading into this game. "I knew we were going to have to score a lot of runs."
After an Alfonso Rivas single made it 11-2 in the fourth, Saint Mary's would get back three runs in the fifth, chasing Michael Flynn.
The freshman Flynn came on for Cody Moffett early, as Jay Johnson made an interesting choice to start Moffett for this game. Flynn would last four innings, surrendering three hits and two walks en route to his first career win.
Austin Schnabel replaced Flynn in the fifth, and had a very impressive showing, not allowing a hit over 2 1/3 innings. That dropped his season ERA from 81.00 to 10.12.
Cody Deason and Cameron Ming also held Saint Mary's scoreless as they combined to pitch the final two innings of the game. Ming, who gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings as Friday night's starter, rebounded by retiring both batters he faced in the ninth to end the game.
Seven of Arizona's nine starters had hits in the game, with Bobby Dalbec and Justin Behnke being left out of the party. Behnke had three walks though, and scored a run. He also caught a fly ball from his knees after slipping on the Hi Corbett grass.
This win moves Arizona to 7-4 on the season before taking on Northwestern State in their second game Sunday afternoon.