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Arizona baseball scores 18 runs, avoids sweep at Utah

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It’s Jay Johnson’s first win against Utah as UA’s head coach

Rachel Huston

The Arizona Wildcats‘ were in high gear Sunday, as they routed the Utah Utes 18-12 in Salt Lake City.

Arizona snapped its five-game losing streak and avoided its second straight sweep. Arizona is now 24-17 on the season and 7-11 in the Pac-12.

This was Jay Johnson’s first victory over the Utes in nine tries since becoming UA’s manager.

Both teams had traffic on the bases seemingly every inning. Arizona had three big innings, scoring eight runs in the seventh, four runs in the fourth, and three runs in the sixth. Utah also scored plenty with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, and three two run innings.

Nine of the 10 batters for the Wildcats in the game had an RBI.

Left fielder Alfonzo Rivas led Arizona offensively with two home runs and five RBI. He also scored three times, walked, and hit a sacrifice fly.

Rivas hit a solo home run as the second batter of the game. It was a 420-foot bomb to center field. He homered again in the fourth, this time a three-run shot to make the score 6-1 at the time.

Third baseman Nick Quintana seemed to get out of his hitting slump by reaching base four times. He hit a solo home run, a two RBI double, a single, and walked.

Matt Fraizer went 4-for-5 to lead the team in hits. He added two RBI. Seve Romo and Jacob Blas each had three hits while three others had two hits.

Arizona’s pitching was not nearly as good as its offense. Starter Juan Aguilera got roughed up for the second straight game, going 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs while walking two.

The next pitcher, Avery Weems, gave up two runs in his inning of work. Later, reliever Zach Stone hit two batters.

The Arizona pitcher to struggle the most was Robby Medel. He was hammered for eight hits, seven runs, and one walk in 2 2/3 innings.

Every pitcher Utah used gave up three runs. Starter Brett Brocoff gave up four runs on four hits with four walks in two innings.

Jacob Rebar and Riley Pierce gave up three runs in two and one innings respectively. The following pitcher, Spencer Johnson, gave up five runs in 1/3 of one inning to begin the seventh. Austin Moore finished the game with 2 2/3 innings while giving up three runs.

Deshawn Kirsey Jr. continued his incredibly hot hitting. He had four hits in six at bats. He was a hom erun short of the cycle and led off in the first with a triple. Outfielder Chandler Anderson had three hits and three RBIs. Rykker Tom also had three hits.

Arizona plays Utah Valley on Monday before coming home for a three-game series against UCLA at Hi Corbett Field on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Wildcats’ RPI sits at 60. It was 31 heading into the series, but two losses to Utah, which has an RPI of 197, were extremely detrimental.

Arizona will have to fight down the stretch to secure a spot in the postseason.