Arizona Baseball

Arizona loses first game of important Pac-12 series at Utah

No. 17 Arizona lost the first game of its pivotal Pac-12 series at Utah 6-1 on Friday morning at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City.

Arizona (30-18, 17-8 Pac-12) is now one game ahead of Utah (31-16, 16-9) in the standings with five conference games remaining.

Arizona is still in contention to win the series, and have the potential standings tiebreaker next week, if it can beat the Utes on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Wildcats’ starter on Friday, Jackson Kent (3-2), went six innings and allowed four earned runs while striking out three and walking one.

Center fielder Brandon Rogers, a defensive replacement following an injury to TJ Adams, belted a solo home run in the fifth inning to drive in Arizona’s only run of the game.

Adams, a right fielder, collided with the outfield wall trying to catch a fly ball in the fourth inning and was removed after showing pain while trying to throw the ball.

Adams was inserted in the lineup earlier this month after Easton Breyfogle suffered a hamstring injury at Washington.

Third baseman Richie Morales, out since April 16 after getting hit on the face by a grounder during warmups at Grand Canyon, returned to the lineup and went 1 for 3 with a walk.

Utah left-hander Bryson Van Sickle (4-1) earned the victory while pitching his second complete game of the season. He allowed only three hits and two walks and struck out eight.

Karson Bodily went 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs and Drake Digornio was 3 for 4 with a double and two runs for the Utes.

In Saturday’s matchup, Arizona is slated to start right-hander Clark Candiotti (5-2, 2.93 ERA) against Utah right-hander Merit Jones (3-3, 5.02).

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