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Arizona crushes Rice for first road win of 2019

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The Wildcats started their week in Houston on the right foot

Nick Quintana celebrates after scoring a run in the third inning vs. Rice
Jason Bartel

HOUSTON — After a four-game home sweep of UMass-Lowell to open the season, the Arizona Wildcats faced their first road test of the 2019 season on Wednesday against the Rice Owls.

They passed with flying colors.

Arizona scored runs in each of the first three innings en route to a 16-5 victory in the first of their four-game trip to Houston.

Cameron Cannon got the offense started with a one out double down the left field line. Freshman Ryan Holgate, who hit .429 in his first weekend as a Wildcat, brought Cannon around to give Arizona the early lead.

Matt Fraizer and Matthew Dyer drove in runs in the second and third innings, respectively. Rice avoided a lot more trouble though as the Wildcats stranded eight runners in the first four frames.

Donta Williams wanted in on the fun in the fifth inning. The sophomore from Las Vegas nearly launched a ball into a nearby hospital room for a two-run shot, making the score 5-1 at the time.

Arizona would score three more runs in the sixth to seal the deal as Rice fell apart defensively. The Owls finished the night with eight errors resulting in seven unearned runs.

On the mound for UA, Avery Weems got the start after pitching 1 13 shutout innings on Sunday. He didn’t slow down much, tossing five-plus innings of one-run ball. Weems surrendered just four hits and two walks while striking out four. A second run was charged to him after a leadoff walk in the 6th eventually came around to score.

But it could have been a lot worse had George Arias Jr. not done some amazing cleanup work. He entered the sixth with a no-out, bases loaded jam. Only the one runner came across, keeping the Wildcats well in front as the game came down the home stretch.

From there the game was all Rice errors and pinch hitters. The Wildcats have now drawn 58 walks in the first five games of the season.

Arizona returns to action on Friday as they play the Houston Cougars in the first of a three-game series. First pitch at Schroeder Park is scheduled for 5:30 PM MST.

Postgame interviews

The Arizona Baseball bats stayed hot in Houston, which makes Jay Johnson happy

Posted by AZ Desert Swarm on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Notable lines

  • Cameron Cannon: 4-5, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 2B
  • Austin Wells: 3-6, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB, 1 2B
  • Matt Dyer: 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
  • Nick Quintana: 2-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SB
  • Avery Weems: 5+ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 K