Air Force flies into Hi Corbett Field
Having lost seven of its last 10 games, Arizona baseball finds itself in a less than ideal situation.
Playing their fifth game in as many days, the Wildcats (8-9) will host Air Force (4-8) of the Mountain West Conference in a two-game series. First pitch is tonight at 6:00 p.m., and Wednesday’s start will be at 1 p.m.
“With the things we’re struggling with, it’d be good to have a couple days of practice to get those fixed,” UA second baseman Trent Gilbert said. “It is tough, but we’ll be doing our best to try and fix it during the games.”
Arizona leads the all-time series over the Falcons 11-1. The series will be the first time these programs have faced one another since 1968. Air Force enters this game 0-4 on the road.
Sophomore Kevin Newman (2) stands on base during Arizona's 3-2 loss to Long Beach State at Hi Corbett Field on March 4. The Wildcats have lost their last two games and seven of their last 10.
The UA is coming off a .500 performance over the weekend at the Hi Corbett Classic, where it had a win and a loss each against UC Santa Barbara (10-2) and Mississippi State (12-7).
“We’re still a work in progress offensively, but there are some bright spots,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “I saw a competitive spirit over the weekend, and that’s really what we need right now. We lacked some execution so we have to do a better job with that.”
Air Force recently went 1-2 against No. 24 Fresno State, and the run total between the two teams was even at 19.
Tonight’s starter for the Wildcats is up in the air.
Last Tuesday, righty Cody Hamlin (3-1) got the nod, but Saturday he threw 125 pitches in a 7.1 frame win versus Santa Barbara. The next day, southpaw Tyler Crawford (1-3) toed the rubber, but after another poor outing on Sunday, Lopez said that he is going back to the bullpen permanently.
Two possible candidates to start for Arizona are sophomore left-hander Cody Moffett (0-0) or freshman righty Morgan Earman (1-1). Lopez said that Moffett didn’t pitch over the weekend because he was recovering from pneumonia, but he should be ready to go tonight if needed.
Freshman left-hander Jacob DeVries (0-0) will be on the hill for the Falcons tonight in his first career college start. He’s made two appearances so far this season, only working 1.1 total innings with a pair of earned runs on as many hits, a walk and a strikeout.
“We showed some good signs the first two games of this tournament, so we’ll hopefully take some positives from that moving forward,” Gilbert said.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo