SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Despite blowing a seven-run lead, fourth-ranked Arizona won its eighth straight weekend series Saturday with an 11-7 series-clinching victory over Utah at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Arizona (23-9, 9-3 Pac-12) raced out to a 7-0 lead and chased Utah starter Kesley Kondo from the game in the third inning. The Utes (8-22, 4-8 Pac-12) answered with a five-run fifth inning against UA starter James Farris, forcing him from the game after just four-plus innings of work.
But the Wildcats would win the battle of the bullpens. Tyler Hale, Stephen Manthei and Mathew Troupe combined to throw five innings of shutout ball, scattering four hits and registering five strikeouts.
Hale (1-0) relieved Farris in the fifth inning with no outs and a two-run lead. The right-hander was unable to keep two inherited runners from scoring, but he did pick up two key strikeouts to strand a pair of runners and end the inning with the score tied 7-7.
The Wildcats did just enough...