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Arizona baseball recap: Wildcats crush Abilene Christian 12-1

Wildcat on Wildcat crime

Kevin Ginkel threw six innings of three-hit ball against Abilene Christian on Tuesday
Kevin Ginkel threw six innings of three-hit ball against Abilene Christian on Tuesday
Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats are finishing their 2016 home schedule with a couple of midweek games against the Abilene Christian Wildcats.

The ACU (16-36, 8-21 Southland) version of the Cats is definitely the worst team Arizona has faced all year. Tuesday's game was never in doubt, as Arizona took a 12-1 decision.

Kevin Ginkel got the start on the mound for Arizona. He certainly looked like the dominant pitcher he's been over the last month, allowing just three hits and one earned run in six innings of work.

"Yeah Ginkel, he's shown to everyone that he's a dude," Ryan Aguilar said of his starting pitcher. "We need him for the playoffs, and I hope he keeps it rolling."

"I thought he was great and filled up the zone," head coach Jay Johnson added.

Ginkel has given up just five earned runs in his last 29 1/3 innings since April 20th.

"Coming into Arizona, I knew how to get guys out," the junior college transfer said. "In my junior college career, I did a lot of blowing fastballs by guys, but now I'm trying to work on my secondary pitches."

The hard-throwing right hander made some adjustments to his lower body mechanics, and that's what he attributes to his recent string of success.

"Over this last month, I did some mechanical adjustments and I'm starting to see results, so I'm really happy about that."

He only needed 73 pitches on the night for his six innings, which will allow him to pitch Saturday against Hawaii.

"We didn't plan it that way," Johnson said about being able to get Ginkel out after that few pitches.

"I talked to (Johnson) last night, and he basically said just get outs, be like yourself, don't try to do too much and let everything take care of itself," Ginkel said of his mentality going into the game.

On the offensive side, U of A blasted the ball all over the field. Cody Ramer came up a home run shy of the cycle, and Aguilar had his first four-hit game since the second game of the year. Arizona (34-20, 16-14 Pac-12) had eight extra-base hits as a team, three of them triples. The team had 16 hits total.

Ramer and Zach Gibbons reached base to start the game. Somehow, that was the only time Gibbons reached base all night. Alfonso Rivas dropped a sac bunt to move them both into scoring position. Ramer scored the first run of the night on a balk.

Gibbons was thrown out at home on an Aguilar fielder's choice. However, Aguilar would eventually score thanks to a JJ Matijevic single followed by a two base error in the outfield.

"Getting two runs right away in the first was huge for me," Ginkel said of the fast start.

The hits kept coming in the second. Louis Boyd drove in the third run of the night with an RBI single.

Ramer drove him home with an RBI double

Arizona only scored one run over the next two innings, but would get the offense going again in the fifth.

This Ramer triple was his third hit of the game, and brought him within a home run of the cycle. It also put the Wildcats up 7-1 at the time.

A four-run sixth sealed the deal. The first four batters of the inning reached base, and all of them wound up scoring. Matijevic's triple was the highlight. There was also an RBI double from Bobby Dalbec, who did not start, but entered the game for Kyle Lewis in the fifth.

In the 8th, Arizona was able to get catcher Cesar Salazar out of the game for a brief stint, putting Sawyer Gieseke behind the plate for the final two innings. U of A still plays four games in the next five days with a long plane flight to Hawaii in between, so any chance to get Salazar out of the game is a welcome one.

Gieseke would come up to bat in the 8th and rope a double down the left field line after Michael Hoard drew a pinch-hit walk.

"It was awesome," Johnson said of the double. "He took a rip. He's been a great team guy this whole time, so to see him, Hoard and (Casey) Bowman, that was awesome."

"It was pretty cool," Ginkel added. "I knew when he swung that it was gonna go. Every swing he takes he looks like he's swinging out of his shoes and I love that."

"You know what, he works on his swing a lot, a lot more than people notice," Aguilar tacked on. "It's just good to see him come up with that, and happy that he put it together."

Hoard scored the 12th run of the game on a wild pitch.

Coach Johnson said after the game that Ryan Haug was available to catch, but wanted to get Gieseke in the game because he might be needed at some point in the postseason.

Fifth-year senior Tyler Crawford also got in the game for possibly his final appearance at Hi Corbett. He set down Abilene Christian in order in the 9th to close out the game.

The Wildcats face each other again on Wednesday night at 6 PM PT. Arizona will be looking to finish the year 23-7 at home.