TUCSON, Ariz. – Konner Wade turned in his strongest outing of the season and Arizona benefited from a balanced offensive attack that saw eight players drive in a run as the Wildcats defeated California, 10-1, before a crowd of 3,109 at Hi Corbett Field on Friday night.
Wade (W, 3-2) finished one out shy of a complete game as he allowed just one run – in the ninth inning – in his longest outing of the season. The junior right-hander used a three-pitch mix all evening to keep the Golden Bears' hitters off balance, recording 13 groundball outs to go with three strikeouts. He scattered six hits and two walks.
Arizona (19-11, 4-6 Pac-12) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first and then broke the game open with a five-run second inning against California starter Ryan Mason (L, 4-1). The freshman righty suffered his first loss after surrendering eight runs on 12 hits over six innings of work.
The Wildcats received production up and down their lineup, but the top of the order did the most damage. Johnny Field went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI out of the leadoff spot, while Trent Gilbert matched the effort with a 3-for-5 night at the plate with a pair of runs scored and two RBI in the No. 2 spot.
Freshman Zach Gibbons hit cleanup for the first time in his young career and reached base all five times he stepped to the plate. Gibbons finished 2-for-2 with a pair of run-scoring singles, walked once and was hit twice. He also swiped his seventh stolen base of the year.
The bottom of the lineup did its part to produce runs, too. Kevin Newman, Jackson Willeford, Ryan Koziol and Joseph Maggi combined to hit a modest 4-for-14, but accounted for four runs scored to go with three RBI.
Wade was bidding for his seventh career complete game when he took the mound in the ninth, but a pair of singles prompted the Wildcats to turn to Augey Bill, who entered with two on and two out. Bill issued a walk and allowed an infield hit to Brian Celsi that drove in the Golden Bears' lone run of the game, before a groundout ended the game.
California (16-14, 5-5) finished the game just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while the Wildcats were an opportunistic 7-for-17 in RBI situations. Gilbert and Gibbons, who had two RBI apiece, combined to hit 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Newman led a sure-handed defensive effort by Arizona, which did not commit an error. Newman help turn a pair of double plays and matched Gilbert with a game-high five assists in the field.
The victory was the fourth-straight for the Wildcats after they dropped six in a row to open conference play. The four-game win streak is tied for its longest of the season.
Arizona will try to secure a series victory on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MST) and the game will be broadcast on 1290 AM. Sunday's contest is slated for 1 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPNU with a radio broadcast on 1290 AM.
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