The Arizona Wildcats began their first game of the weekend series against the struggling Hartford Hawks Friday evening. This matchup got the Arizona bats back on track, as they scored a season-high 21 runs en route to a dominating 21-5 victory.
The first inning started off quickly with a two-run homer for Hartford (1-7), but Arizona didn’t even remember it when the bottom of the inning rolled around and they built up a 5-2 lead.
It was JJ Matijevic who got the Cats on the board with a double early in the bottom of the first. Alfonso Rivas reached home on an error to tie up the score, and from there it just became a game of capitalizing on Hartford’s errors and struggles on the mound.
Hartford’s starting pitcher, sophomore Billy DeVito, saw 12 runs tallied on the scoreboard through his three inning outing.
Brian Stepniak, senior pitcher for Hartford, threw a perfect pitch that Rivas delivered to the wall behind right field for a 2-run homer and a 14-4 Arizona lead in the 4th.
The eighth inning was the roughest for Hartford when it came to pitching. Arizona scored a total of seven runs and three consecutive batters were walked by freshman pitcher Jason Johndrow.
Throughout the course of the night, Arizona was walked a total of ten times, including the times Nick Quintana, Rivas, and Cesar Salazar were hit by pitches.
Arizona was on fire offensively, but was a little shaky defensively, totaling up five errors through 9 innings. However, the night was also decorated by some incredible plays like this catch by centerfielder Jared Oliva.
The club amazed a crowd of over 2,800 with the spectacular win that raised them to a record of 11-2 overall. The Wildcats look to collect two more W’s against Hartford in the remaining two games of the series on Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 1pm at Hi Corbett Field.