UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Coach Jay Johnson and the Arizona Wildcat baseball team came into their Friday matchup at Penn State ranked 50th in the RPI rankings. The Cats will be trying to sweep Penn State and Washington State in the final series of the season in hopes of making a late run for the NCAA tournament. Here’s more from the Friday sportscast on News 4 Tucson:
Andrew Nardi’s best outing of the season and huge nights at the plate from Justin Wylie and Austin Wells led the Arizona Wildcats (28-24) to a 15-5 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions (22-26) on Friday night at Medlar Field.
With a complete team effort, Arizona rolled to their sixth straight win and their ninth win in the last 10 games while securing the series victory.
Nardi worked 7.0 innings for the Cats – matching his longest start of the season – and held the Nittany Lions off the scoreboard throughout his time on the mound. The southpaw from Simi Valley allowed just five hits and struck out seven Penn State batters while earning his fourth win of the year.
Wells and Wylie led the charge in the Wildcats explosive offensive performance, combining to go 6-for-10 with five runs scored, one double, two home runs, and nine RBI. Wylie’s two-out grand slam capped off the Cats six-run top of the first inning and set the team on the path towards 15 runs.
With his three-run home run in the fourth inning, Wells became just the second Arizona freshman since 1976 to notch at least 50 runs scored and 50 RBI in a single season. He joins Keoni DeRenne, who collected 68 runs and 55 RBI during the 1998 campaign.
Also collecting multiple hits were shortstop Cameron Cannon (2×4, 3 R, 3B, 2 BB), third baseman Nick Quintana (3×6, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB), Dayton Dooney (2×4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), and right fielder Ryan Holgate (2×4, R, HR, RBI, BB).
Dooney’s two RBI gave him 14 for the week – he collected nine RBI in Monday’s doubleheader against Sam Houston State and three in yesterday’s series opener against Penn State.
The Wildcats and Nittany Lions will wrap up the series on Saturday afternoon at Medlar Field. First pitch is set for 11:00 a.m. MST.