Arizona Baseball: Wildcats Dominate In-State Rival Sun Devils

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Arizona Baseball: Wildcats Dominate In-State Rival Sun Devils
tusconcitizen.com

TEMPE, Ariz.—Rich in history, the State Farm Territorial Cup Series is one of the more highly contested rivalries in the NCAA. However, tonight, the No. 14 Arizona baseball team would have its way with in-state rival No. 18 Arizona State, as the Wildcats put together a lopsided 10-2 victory over the Sun Devils.

Capitalizing on costly opportunities, Arizona (34-15) jumped all over ASU starter Darin Gillies, putting up an early three-spot in the visitor’s column.

Not the prototypical way to get things started, Gillies drilled the first two batters—a mistake he would later regret and that ASU would not overcome. Adding insult to injury, he followed by misplaying the bunt attempt by Alex Mejia, which left all bases occupied.

Putting the team on his back, Robert Refsnyder stroked a double for the Wildcats, plating two across for the early lead. Seth Mejias-Brean wrapped Refsnyder around after he hit into the fielder’s choice, extending the lead to 3-0. 

Gillies was quickly relieved of his duties, although reliever Adam McCreery didn’t find much success either. In the third, Joseph Maggi laced a single up the middle to bring Riley Moore across for the fourth Arizona run of the game.

The Wildcats have hit 11 homers in 17 road games this season. That's a statistic widely noted by senior Bobby Brown, who laid into his fourth long ball of the year in the top of the fifth, lifting the lead to 5-0.

After pecking at the lead over the last few innings, the minor leak turned into an opening of the floodgates, as the Cats poured it on in the sixth. Stepping in as the third pitcher of the game for ASU, reliever Joseph Lopez wound up walking the bases, juiced for Brown to pad the stats, as he roped in a two-run single. Brown would conclude the night with three RBI.

Trying to stop the bleeding, Mathew Dunbar came in to relieve Lopez, and yet he couldn’t find the strike zone. Dunbar followed in Lopez’s dreaded footsteps, walking the bases loaded again. Trent Gilbert then drove in a pair of his own, and Brandon Dixon tacked on the fifth and final run of the inning.

Turning over from the Wildcats bullpen, freshman Mathew Troupe earned his first career win as a starter, compiling five scoreless innings of work and allowing only two hits. Tyler Crawford came in to seal the final four frames, stringing together his second save.

Riding the offensive wave, Arizona will hope the runs continue to pour on, as they head for the coastline in their seven-game road stint, beginning this weekend at USC.

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