What’s the perfect remedy for a struggling offense?
Well, how about a midweek game against a pitching staff with the 240th-ranked team ERA in the country?
Yep, that’ll work.
The Arizona Wildcats went from Palo Alto to Santa Clara for a quick Monday game before returning to Tucson, and really turned the bats loose before getting on the plane back to the desert.
Arizona won this game 16-10, thanks to a 12-run second inning,
That second inning only had seven Wildcat hits, but also included five walks and a hit batter. The final five hitters of that at bat reached base, but Mitchell Morimoto was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double to end the inning.
Morimoto had already executed a squeeze play to score the third run of the inning. Cal Stevenson and Jared Oliva each picked up their first of two RBI hits in the second before that Morimoto squeeze.
The final line for Santa Clara starting pitcher Alex Barden read a little something like this: 1 2⁄3 IP, 5 H, 10 ER, 7 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 73 pitches, 32 strikes. Barden had also walked the bases loaded in the first, but got out of it by inducing an Alfonso Rivas groundout.
As a team, Arizona walked 13 times in this game. Four different Wildcats had multi-walk games. Santa Clara had been giving up 4.85 walks per nine innings, the worst mark in the West Coast Conference.
U of A would score another run in the third, two in the fifth, and the 16th and final run of the day in the ninth. It came from another Oliva RBI double, his fifth hit of the game.
Here are some of the top Arizona lines:
- Jared Oliva: 5-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI
- Cal Stevenson: 2-for-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 1 HBP
- Mitchell Morimoto: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
- Nick Quintana: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB
- Alfonso Rivas: 2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HR
Michael Flynn was the Wildcats’ starting pitcher. He gave up six hits and two walks in three innings of work, leading to four Santa Clara runs.
Rio Gomez was (predictably) the most effective pitcher of the four Arizona ended up using. He tossed two no-hit innings and also struck out two Broncos.
Arizona’s pitching depth remains a huge question after this game. Flynn struggled, and Seve Romo had a very hard time in the ninth inning closing this game out. Santa Clara only hits .251 as a team and scores 4.2 runs per game this year, yet managed 11 hits and ten runs in this one.
Romo gave up three hits and two walks, including a three-run homer in his one inning of work. Only 18 of his 35 pitches were strikes.
After playing four games in five days in the Bay Area, Arizona now returns to Tucson for a three-game series against Washington beginning on Friday. First pitch for the first two games of the series is scheduled for 7 PM PT.