TUCSON – The Arizona Wildcats had the bats going from the very beginning of the day and never let up, sweeping a doubleheader from Sam Houston State on Monday at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (26-24) entered the day with one of the top offenses in the nation and showed why, scoring 30 runs in the twinbill in what was its first meeting with the Bearkats (29-22) since the 2017 Lubbock Regional.
The Bearkats now return home for their final weekend of the regular season, beginning Thursday night in the series opener vs Northwestern State. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m from Don Sanders Stadium.
Game 1 (Box Score)
Arizona 14, Sam Houston State 7
Arizona got after the Kats early and often in the day’s opener, scoring 14 unanswered runs to support a strong start from Avery Weems to get a 14-7 win.
Sam Houston scored three times off of Weems in the opening inning, getting a two-run triple by Hunter Hearn and an RBI ground out by Gavin Johnson, but Arizona responded by batting around and scoring five runs in the home half of the inning and never looked back.
The Kats had a chance to answer in the second inning after a single by Jackson Loftin and a double by Riley McKnight put two runners in scoring position, but nothing came of it and Weems took over from there as he retired 17 batters in a row until the ninth inning when the Kats struck for four two-out runs before Weems closed out his first career complete game.
Dayton Dooney turned in the biggest offensive game for the Wildcats, homering in the first inning and finishing with five RBI in three at-bats. In all, five Arizona hitters finished with multi-hit games as part of a 16-hit game.
Kyle Backhus got the start, but took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. In all the Kats used six arms in the game with Will Duncan carrying the bulk of the load with a pair of strikeouts and just two runs allowed in 3.2 innings of relief.
The Kats got their late runs on the strength of an error and singles by Eric Bohnert and Luke Repka to load the bases. Jordan Cannon followed with a two-run single before Colton Cowser brought in two more with a double to the left-field corner.
Game 2 (Box Score)
Arizona 16, Sam Houston State 2
A pair of big innings did all the damage that the Arizona Wildcats needed as they closed out the doubleheader sweep with a 16-2 win in the nightcap.
Arizona scored seven times in the second inning and eight times in the fourth to take the predetermined seven-inning affair. Senior Colin Cameron was saddled with the loss despite facing just three batters in his first start of the year while George Arias Jr. earned his first win of the year for Arizona.
The Kats gave the start to graduating senior Colin Cameron and the righty retired the first hitter he saw before Cameron Cannon opened the scoring with a solo homer just two batters into the inning. Landon Ausley came in to strike out a pair and get out of the inning, but the second inning did not go as well as the Wildcats pushed across seven runs on just two hits.
They were able to take advantage of five walks in the frame, getting two home on bases-loaded walks and another on a sac fly by Cameron; however, it was a grand slam by Dooney with two outs in the inning that was the shot that broke the game open.
Arizona continued to add on in the fourth, putting up another eight runs on eight hits with both Nick Quintana and Branden Boissiere driving in a pair.
Reliever Cole Wesneski put up a scoreless inning of relief in the fifth and the Kats got their first run of the game in the following inning when singles by Cowser and Jaxxon Grisham set the table and pinch runner Mac Odom came home to score on a wild pitch from Arizona reliever Cameron Haskell.
After Wesneski put up another scoreless frame the Kats got one more run home before things ended as a single by Bohnert and a walk to Repka set up Cannon to get home an RBI with a ground ball.