Randy Labaut struck out a career-high nine batters, Dayton Dooney and Blake Paugh had three RBIs apiece and the Wildcats cruised in University Park, Pennsylvania, 11-2 over Penn State on Thursday.
Arizona (27-24) was the beneficiary of Labaut’s 6⅓ innings of one-run ball as the Wildcats took the first of a three-game series against the Nittany Lions (22-25). Labaut (7-3) has won each of his last four starts for Arizona.
Nick Quintana hit his UA-leading 13th home run in the fifth inning. Dooney, the designated hitter, hit a three-run home run with the Wildcats already out front 8-2. It was Dooney’s ninth homer of the season, the second-most on the team.
Paugh was 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and three RBIs, tied for a career high.
With the Wildcats up 6-1 in the seventh inning, Arizona reliever Vince Vannelle entered the game with the bases loaded and one out. His first pitch induced an inning-ending double play.
Senior Cameron Haskell closed out the game for Arizona by allowing one run on one hit in two innings.
The Wildcats, winners of five straight and eight of nine, go for the series win Friday at 3:30 p.m.