TUCSON, Ariz. — Senior James Farris match his career high with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout as Arizona blanked visiting Alcorn State 6-0 before a crowd of 2,385 at Hi Corbett Field on Saturday evening.
Farris (W, 2-0) went the distance for the fifth time in his career en route to his second career complete-game shutout. The righty scattered five hits and walked just one as he tallied the most strikeouts in a game since he established his personal best of 10 last April 13 at Washington State.
Arizona (4-2) took an early lead, scoring a run in the first inning for the first time this season. Zach Gibbons, batting leadoff for the first time in his career, opened with a single. With two down and runners at the corners, Trent Gilbert was caught stealing but stayed in a rundown long enough for Gibbons to cross the plate and give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.
The Cats strung together four consecutive singles to open the third inning. A wild pitch hurled by Braves starter Ryan Fuentes plated Jordan Berger, and later, Kevin Newman drove in Joseph Maggi on a fielder’s-choice groundout to give Arizona a 3-0 advantage.
Insurance runs were tacked on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings from a balanced offensive lineup. Gibbons had a pair of hits from the leadoff spot while Kingery, Berger and Maggi each had two-hit games as well. Berger drove in a pair of runs thanks to a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and a two-out single in the eighth.
Alcorn State (0-6) put its leadoff man on base five times in the game but never had a runner reach third base against Farris. Despite giving up a pair of hits, Farris faced the minimum through 5 2/3 innings of play. His two-out walk in the sixth inning snapped the streak.
Fuentes (L, 0-1) suffered the loss after allowing five runs — four earned — on nine hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out four. Charles Wilson pitched the final two innings and allowed one run on two hits and three walks.
The teams conclude the three-game series Sunday with a doubleheader.