Apr 27, 2013 1:14 AM
TUCSON - Konner Wade pitched a complete game and Brandon Dixon blasted a three-run home run to pace Arizona to an 8-2 series-opening victory over Alabama State before a crowd of 2,583 on Friday evening at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona (26-14) won for the eighth-consecutive time in its home ballpark to open a seven game home stand despite being out-hit, 11-10, by Alabama State (27-20).
Wade (W, 4-4) scattered the 11 hits and got stronger as the game progressed, allowing only three hits after the fourth inning en route to his seventh career complete game. The junior righty struck out five and did not issue a walk, while being charged with two runs allowed, but only one earned.
Dixon broke open the game with a three-run shot over the wall in left field to give Arizona a 5-0 lead after three innings. The homer was Dixon's sixth of the season and his second in three ballgames.
Johnny Field went 3-for-4 with two triples and a pair of runs scored out of the leadoff spot, sparking a productive night out of the top of the order.
Behind Field, Trent Gilbert was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Dixon scored twice and freshman Zach Gibbons drove in two runs on a first-inning single.
Together, the top four hitters combined for seven runs scored and seven RBI, while batting 7-for-14 in the game. The quartet was 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Hornets threatened in several innings against Wade, but were only able to score in the fourth. Consecutive one-out singles were aided by a two-base error by Field, who misplayed Einar Muniz's RBI single to center. Muniz advanced all the way to third on the play and later scored on Marcus Swint's groundout.
Wade wiggled out of a jam in the seventh when the Hornets put runners at the corners with no outs. Dillon Cooper attempted a safety squeeze, but Wade pounced off the mound, fielded the bunt with his glove and shoveled to catcher Riley Moore to cut down a potential run.
Inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth position Wade for the complete game, his first of the season.
Field's one-out triple in the bottom of the fifth was followed by an RBI double by Gilbert, who was thrown out trying to stretch out a triple of his own.
In the seventh, Field crushed a two-out triple to drive in Ryan Koziol, who had earlier singled.
The Wildcats scored their final run in the bottom of the eighth off reliever Michael Tellado, who loaded the bases before walking Moore to force in the game's final run.
Starter T.J. Renda (L, 8-1) suffered his first loss of the season. The righty was charged for seven runs - six earned - over seven innings. He scattered nine hits and walked one, while registered two strike outs.
The schools continue the series on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field. The game will be broadcast on 1290 AM in Tucson.
GAME NOTES: Arizona collected its eighth-straight home victory ... Konner Wade tossed a complete game for the seventh time in his career (first in 2012) ... Wade did not allow a walk for the first time this season, which marked the third time in his career he has thrown a complete game without a walk... Brandon Dixon's three-run homer in the third inning was his team-leading sixth of the year ... Dixon stole his conference-leading 27th base of the year and now has 35 (in 43 attempts) in his career ... UA has eight home runs at Hi Corbett Field in 2013 to match its season total over homers hit in the ballpark a year ago ... Johnny Field hit his Pac-12-leading sixth and seventh triples of the season. Field now has 19 career triples to tie three other players (Jim Morrison, 1961-63; Bill Henry Brown, 1962-64; Dwight Taylor, 1979-81) for ninth-most in school history ... Field reached base for the 27th-straight game ... Kevin Newman extended a hitting streak to 11 games, matching an 11-game streak set from Feb. 27 - March 13 earlier this season ... Riley Moore's six-game hitting streak was snapped, but he was hit by a pitch to reach base for the 13th-consecutive contest.