Arizona baseball runs into a Trojan horse
Arizona baseball found itself locked in a pitchers’ duel with Pac-12 foe USC at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles on Thursday night, but the Wildcats ultimately fell short and were shut out 1-0.
Senior righty James Farris (5-4) took the loss for the Wildcats (17-21, 6-10 Pac-12 ), while USC junior and fellow right-hander Wyatt Strahan (3-3) earned the victory. Both hurlers tossed complete games.
Farris, who had struggled in his previous several starts, gave his best performance against a conference opponent of the season. He allowed just one earned run over eight innings on six hits and had as many strikeouts. Not a single batter was walked by Farris.
It was also a very efficient night for the veteran, as he only threw 91 total pitches. Farris entered the contest with a 4.59 earned run average, but chopped it down to 4.23.
Alas, his efforts would not be enough, as Strahan was lights out the entire game.
The Villa Park, Calif., native went the distance without giving up any runs. As a team, Arizona only had five total base hits and stranded seven runners. Six out of the nine Wildcats in the lineup were hitless, a combined 0-for-19.
Second basemen Trent Gilbert, shortstop Kevin Newman and third baseman Willie Calhoun were the lone UA players to earn hits. Gilbert and Newman both went 2-4 at the plate, and Calhoun was 1-3.
Bobby Dolbec, who was in the designated hitter spot Thursday, and left fielder Zach Gibbons both struck out multiple times. Calhoun, catcher Riley Moore, right fielder Kenny Meimerstorf and first baseman Joseph Maggi were Strahan’s other strikeout victims.
After delivering USC the complete game shutout, Strahan’s earned run average was dipped from 4.25 to 3.82. As the Saturday starter last year for the Trojans, he posted the team’s lowest ERA at 2.45 in 13 appearances.
Freshman catcher Jeremy Martinez, who was the designated hitter Thursday, had the most successful night swinging the bat for USC. The Fountain Valley, Calif., native collected a trio of hits in as many at-bats and drove in the only run of the game, in the bottom half of the first. Martinez boasts one of the Trojans’ highest averages at .331.
The lone USC player to come around to score was junior catcher Garrett Stubs. In the game he went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
Game two of three this weekend will be at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
Right-handed sophomore Cody Hamlin (5-2) will be on the mound for the Wildcats. His ERA of 2.14 is second on the team to Dalbec’s 1.08. Last weekend, Hamlin went all nine innings and only gave up two runs (one earned) in a 3-2 win over then-No. 22 UCLA last Saturday.
USC’s starter for Friday night has yet to be announced. The second Trojan starter last weekend was senior lefty Bob Wheatley, who didn’t make it out of the fourth inning Saturday against Utah.
Wheatley lasted just 3.1 innings and surrendered a pair of earned runs on as many hits and five walks.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo