TUCSON, AZ - Four pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout for the University of Arizona baseball team, which cruised to 10-0 victory and completed a two-game midweek sweep of visiting New Mexico State on Wednesday evening at Hi Corbett Field.
Starter Xavier Borde scattered two hits and a pair of walks over four-plus innings of work, before turning the game over to relievers Rio Gomez, Cody Moffett and Matt Hartman. Gomez (W, 1-0) earned the win in 2.1 innings of work behind Borde, while Moffett and Hartman did not allow a hit in 2.2 combined innings.
Arizona (12-4) had eight players combine for 14 total base hits, including Kevin Newman who was 3-for-3 with a pair of walks and three runs scored. The shortstop was one of five Wildcats with multiple hits in the contest.
New Mexico State (1-12) trotted out six pitchers in the contest, including starter Robert Kraft (L, 0-2). The lefty tossed 4.2 innings, but was charged with five runs on 11 hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five.
The Wildcats scored two first-inning runs. The initial run came on a wild pitch that plated leadoff hitter Scott Kingery, who tallied three runs on the evening. The second came on Handsome Monica's single, which drove in Newman.
After adding a run in the second on Riley Moore's run-scoring single, the game remained a three-run contest into the fifth inning. But in the fifth, the Wildcats scored three runs on four hits, while chasing Kraft from the game.
Jared Oliva's sacrifice fly, Zach Gibbons' run-scoring triple and a wild pitched uncorked by reliever Matt Stein accounted for the trio of runs that effectively put the Aggies away.
Arizona went on to add a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
Yet, the damage could have been worse. The Wildcats struggled to a 4-for-16 clip with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 runners on base in the game. The club was also 0-for-4 with the bases loaded.
Despite the three-hitter, Arizona's pitching was not dominant. The four hurlers combined for five walks, including two by Borde, two from Gomez and on by Hartman in the ninth.
Still, it was the second shutout of the non-conference season for the Wildcats, whose team earned run average lowered to 2.88 with Wednesday's win.
Arizona continues its busy stretch of play with a series against Portland this weekend at Hi Corbett Field. The three-game set begins Friday at 6 p.m. (MST), continues Saturday at 4 p.m. and concludes Sunday at noon.
GAME NOTES: Arizona improved to 10-2 at home this season … The Wildcats have scored in the first inning in eight of their 16 games … Bobby Dalbec has now reached base in all 16 games this season, while Scott Kingery has done so in each of the last 12 contests … UA opponents have been charged with 40 errors in 16 games, leading to 23 unearned runs … Arizona improved to 11-0 when leading after six innings and is also 11-0 when out-hitting the opposition … The Wildcats now have two shutouts, matching their season total from the 2014 campaign … UA is 7-1 when scoring first … Kevin Newman and Bobby Dalbec each collected their eighth multi-hit games of the season, joining Scott Kingery for the team-lead in the category … Arizona now leads the all-time series against NMSU, 48-7.