TUCSON, Ariz. – Junior starter James Farris racked up a career-high eight strikeouts over eight innings and sophomore catcher Riley Moore reached base five times to score three runs as 10th-ranked Arizona defeated visiting Coppin State 14-1 before a crowd of 2,969 on Saturday at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (2-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning and blew it open with three four-run innings. Moore finished the game 2-for-2 with three walks, three runs scored and a pair of runs batted in.
Farris (1-0) set the tone early by retiring the Eagles in order the first time through the lineup. In the fourth, Chris Kashangaki led off with a triple and scored when the next batter, John Walls, singled home the tying run. From there, Farris dominated, retiring the final 15 batters he faced. To complement his career-high eight strikeouts, the right-hander did not issue a walk in the game.
The Wildcats did not blink after giving up their first run of the season. Johnny Field singled and stole second base to open the bottom of the fourth before Moore plated him with a single up the middle. Brandon Dixon followed with a run-scoring double into the left field corner. After Dixon stole third, Trent Gilbert brought him home with an RBI single to push the UA lead to 4-1.
That signaled the end of afternoon for Eagles starter Yahya Muhammad, who was replaced by reliever Jhar Devilme. Against the lefty reliever, Scott Kingery collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats a four-run cushion.
Muhammad (0-1) suffered the loss after lasting just three-plus innings. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits and two walks.
The Wildcats added a single run in the sixth and then followed with consecutive four-run frames in the seventh and eighth innings. The floodgates opened in the eighth, as UA scored four runs on four hits against reliever Paul Hawk. Moore delivered an RBI triple and Ryan Koziol crushed a two-run triple in the inning, giving the Wildcats six triples over the first two games of the series.
Coppin State (0-2) struggled to throw strikes for the second game in a row, walking eight Wildcats and hitting another. On Friday night, the Eagles’ pitching staff walked seven and hit a UA single-game school record seven batters.
Conversely, the Wildcats did not issue a free pass on Saturday until the ninth inning, when freshman Tyger Talley relieved Farris. The right-hander walked two but also struck out one in a scoreless inning of work.
Arizona, which has won 13 consecutive games dating back to last season, will go try for the series sweep Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Hi Corbett Field, where the Wildcats have won eight in a row.