Arizona Baseball rebounds to avoid sweep

Johnny Field flashes his glove making two outstanding plays in centerfield.
Johnny Field flashes his glove making two outstanding plays in centerfield.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Brandon Dixon homered, scored three runs and drove in three as part of a 3-for-3 day at the plate to help 10th-ranked Arizona bounce back from Tuesday's loss with a convincing 14-5 victory over visiting Utah Valley on Wednesday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.

Arizona (8-2) matched its 14 runs scored with 14 base hits, seven of which went for extra bases. After stranding 10 runners and hitting 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the 3-1 defeat on Tuesday, the Wildcats were a much-improved 9-for-14 in RBI situations on Wednesday.

Dixon's first home run of the season, a two-run blast over the left field wall, came in the bottom of the third inning and broke a 1-1 tie. The round-tripper was preceded by a run-scoring single off the bat of Johnny Field that erased an early 1-0 deficit.

The Wildcats broke the game open in the fifth inning with six runs. Utah Valley starter Ty Hansen was chased after walking Field to lead off the frame. After being bunted to second, Field stole third and scored on a throwing error by catcher Court Zollinger.

Later in the fifth, Sam Parris, who had a pair of doubles, drove in two runs with a double to left field. Scott Kingery followed with a single to plate Parris, and Kingery later scored on another throwing error by Zollinger. Riley Moore's RBI single capped the inning as the Wildcats held a 10-2 lead.

That was plenty of run support for lefty Cody Moffett, who made his first career start for the Wildcats. The Gilbert, Ariz., native earned the win after pitching 5.1 innings with three runs – two earned – allowed on four hits. Moffet (W, 1-0) struck out one and walked one.

Hansen (L, 1-0) suffered the loss after surrendering five runs – four earned – on six hits and four walks through four-plus innings pitched. Four Wolverines relievers combined for the final four innings.

Utah Valley (4-5) scored three times in the sixth with one run off Moffett and two off reliever Tyler Hale. But with one out in the frame, left-hander Augey Bill entered and pitched the next 2.2 inning without allowing a run. Mathew Troupe worked around a walk and a base hit in the ninth to close out the game.

The Wildcats stayed on the offensive as they scored a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth. With one down in the eighth, Field doubled and then scored on Dixon's double. The next batter, Trent Gilbert, collected an RBI with his second triple of the afternoon, and Kevin Newman followed with a single to score Gilbert and set the score at its final, 14-5.

Arizona continues an 18-game homestand with a three-game set against San Francisco this weekend. The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.

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