Arizona Baseball

Arizona opens Pac-12 play with 16-9 victory over USC

Former Pima star Emilio Corona is producing for Arizona (Arizona Athletics photo)

Information from the Arizona media-relations department contributed to this report:

Arizona started Pac-12 play on Friday night, routing USC 16-9 at Irvine, Calif.

Home games for USC (3-10, 0-1 Pac-12) are off campus this season while Dedeaux Field is renovated.

The second game of the series is Saturday night at 7:30, Tucson time.

Arizona (6-6, 1-0) plated 16 runs on 15 hits and six walks.

Only three hits were for extra bases, including a two-run home run from former Pima standout Emilio Corona in the top of the first inning.

The Wildcats pulled away from the Trojans with a seven-run third inning, highlighted by Tommy Splaine’s two-run home run.

USC rallied for seven runs across the middle innings before Arizona put the game away with a pair of two-run frames in the seventh and eighth. 

Garen Caulfield had a two-run double in the seventh. Caulfield went 4 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs. He is batting .500 (25 for 50) this season.

Wildcats starting pitcher Jackson Kent (2-0) went five innings. The left-hander struck out nine to set a career-high and allowed only five hits.

Arizona’s win improved its record in conference openers under head coach Chip Hale to 2-1.

It also marked the Wildcats’ first win in a road conference series opener since beating Utah 7-6 on April 14, 2022.

Corona finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

Richie Morales was 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI while former Salpointe standout Mason White was 2 for 6 with two runs and two RBIs.

White leads the Wildcats with 23 RBIs and ranks among the nation’s leaders in that category.

Left-hander Bradon Zastrow pitched an effective 1 2/3 innings in relief, allowing one hit while striking out two and walking none.

Arizona’s 16 runs are their most scored in a conference opener since scoring 19 in a 19-4 win over UCLA in 2017.

The Wildcats pitching staff stuck out 16, its most in a single game this season and the most posted by an Arizona staff since fanning 17 against Dixie State on March 1, 2022.

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