Cats shut down the Colonels

Updated: Mar. 29, 2018 at 10:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. – Cameron Cannon, Cesar Salazar and Jacob Blas all had three-hit games and Robby Medel tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings to push the Arizona Wildcats past Nicholls State 11-3 Thursday night at Hi Corbett Field.

Medel, pitching in relief of starter Avery Weems, earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season and Salazar had his third straight multiple-hit game and has now reached base safely in 22 straight games this season.

Arizona improved to 14-10 on the season and Nicholls dropped to 9-16.

The Wildcats jumped on starter Jacob Bedevian in the first inning with a five-run frame. After Cal Stevenson walked on four pitches to start the game, Cameron Cannon doubled to score Stevenson and make it 1-0 two batters into the game.

After a strikeout, catcher Cesar Salazar singled to left to plate Cannon and make it 2-0. Nick Quintana and Tate Soderstrom then reached base back-to-back on a hit by pitch and walk respectively to load the bases for left fielder Ryan Haug. Haug dropped down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher that scored Salazar from third. Quintana also scored from second on the play, not breaking stride when Bedevian fired to first.

The two-run sacrifice bunt made it 4-0. Matt Fraizer followed with a single to put two men on for freshman shortstop Jacob Blas, who singled to score Soderstrom and complete Arizona's five-run inning.

Nicholls cut into the lead in the third inning with two runs, but Arizona responded with a run of its own in the fourth. With two outs and Cannon on second, Salazar tripled to right-center to plate Cannon and make it 6-2. It was Salazar's first triple of the season and fifth of his career.

The two teams traded runs in the fifth. Nicholls scored an unearned run to make it 6-3, but the Cats extended back to a four-run lead in the bottom half when Blas came through with an RBI double to score Fraizer, who walked earlier in the inning.

In the seventh, Arizona extended the lead with two more runs. Blas had another RBI double, this time scoring Soderstrom, who doubled himself earlier in the inning. Stevenson then scored pinch-hitter Donta Williams with a deep sacrifice fly to right field.

The Cats again added two more runs in the eighth with Salazar scoring on an error by the shortstop and pinch-hitter Travis Moniot scoring on a wild pitch.

Jason Seever and Zach Sherman tossed two combined scoreless innings behind Medel to close out the win. Sherman tossed 1 2/3 innings, striking out four of the five he retired and allowing just one hit.

Cannon finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored. Salazar was 3 for 5 with two RBI and two runs, and Blas was 3 for 5 with three RBI. Fraizer finished 2 for 3 with a run and two walks. Arizona's six doubles Thursday were a season-high for the Cats, who have pounded out 33 hits over their last two games.

Medel, who has now thrown 14 1/3 innings this season, kept his ERA at 0.00 with his strong outing Thursday.

The Cats and Colonels will continue their three-game series Friday evening at 6 p.m., at Hi Corbett with Arizona looking to win the series.