Arizona Baseball tunes up for Pac-12 play - Tucson News Now

#20 Arizona Baseball tunes up for Pac-12 play

TUCSON, Ariz. – Brandon Dixon continued his torrid hitting pace by scoring five runs and tying his career high with four hits, including an inside-the-park home run, to propel 20th-ranked Arizona to another 14-2 victory over visiting Butler on Wednesday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.

Arizona (15-5) rapped out a season-high 19 base hits and scored in double-digits for the second straight game, completing a two-game sweep of the Bulldogs by identical 14-2 scores.

The Wildcats finished the series with a .434 team batting average, buoyed by Dixon's 8-for-10 combined performance that included three home runs, a triple a double, eight runs scored and seven runs batted in.

Dixon, who collected his first career multi-homer game on Tuesday night, picked up where he left off on Wednesday by hitting the school's first inside-the-park home run since Trevor Crowe accomplished the feat in 2005.

With two outs and Zach Gibbons on third base, Field pulled a ball that caromed off the left field wall. The ball rolled back toward the infield and Bulldog left fielder Michael Fries was unable to track it down before Dixon completed his trip around the bases.

The junior third baseman highlighted a relentless Arizona offensive attack, notably in the middle of the lineup. Ahead of Dixon, Field, finished 3-for-6, including a two-run home run in the third, while Trent Gilbert batted 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBI behind Dixon. Together, the Nos. 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 11-for-15 with nine runs scored and six RBI on the afternoon.

Arizona implemented a pitcher-by-committee rotation on Wednesday. Freshman Tyger Talley started and gave up a run on two hits, before classmate Cody Moffett tossed 3.2 scoreless innings. Moffett (W, 2-0) scattered three hits, did not issue a walk and matched his career high with four strikeouts to earn the win.

Tyler Hale and Stephen Manthei pitched the final 3.1 innings. Hale notched three strikeouts and allowed one hit in 1.1 innings, while Manthei surrendered a run on two hits over 2.0 innings.

Butler (5-9) scratched across a run in the top of the second to cut UA's early 2-0 lead down to a run, but the Bulldogs were unable to score again until the eighth. By that time Arizona had already scored its allotment for the day.

Starter Gunner Johnson (L, 0-2) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks over 3.0 innings. Five relievers combined for the final five innings for Butler.

Arizona opens Pac-12 Conference play this weekend against fourth-ranked Oregon State. The three game series begins Friday night at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.

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