Arizona baseball suffers sweep over weekend in Corvallis
The Arizona baseball team faced a daunting task when it traveled up to Corvallis, Ore., to take on No. 2 Oregon State. The ‘Cats were hoping to provide a challenge for the Beavers and turn around their season but fell short, losing all three games. Let’s take a look, game-by-game, at how the Wildcats fared against the Beavers:
The Wildcats drew first blood in the third inning, when third baseman Nick Quintana delivered a solo home run. After the Beavers tied up the ballgame in the bottom of the inning, the Wildcats answered back in the top of the fourth, when designated hitter Tony Bullard delivered a three-run home run to put the ‘Cats back on top 4-1. Randy Labaut started the game for the Wildcats, finishing the night allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out six. The lead did not last, however, as the Beavers were able to get to the Wildcats bullpen, scoring two runs in the seventh and four runs in the eighth inning. Oregon State was able to hold on the rest of the way, eventually winning 8-4.
Friday night’s game was postponed due to weather, so the Wildcats played a doubleheader against the Beavers on Saturday. The first was started by Quinn Flanagan, and it was not his best start, to say the least. The Wildcats started off taking the lead early with a home run coming from catcher Matthew Dyer in the top of the first inning before things got ugly. The Beavers scored six runs off Flanagan in the bottom of the third and never looked back, chasing the UA pitcher out of the ballgame in the bottom of the fourth inning before going on to win 15-3.
Flanagan finished the game going 3.1 innings with eight earned runs on seven hits to go along with four walks and two strikeouts. Oregon State senior pitcher Bryce Fehmel improved to 6-0 after going seven innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run to go along with seven strikeouts in the win.
The second game of the doubleheader, and final game of the series, had the Wildcats trying to avoid the sweep. Much like the first two games, the ‘Cats got on the scoreboard first. In the top of the first inning, after two singles from Donta Williams and Austin Wells, Arizona coach Jay Johnson played with his speed on the base paths as he signaled for a double steal. Williams was able to steal home successfully and Wells got in safely at second base to quickly start the game with a 1-0 lead.
Like the first two games, however, the ‘Cats were not able to hold onto the lead, as the Beavers responded with three runs in the bottom of the first off of Wildcat pitcher Andrew Nardi. Nardi finished the day going five innings while allowing five earned runs on seven hits to go along with four walks and three strikeouts.
The ‘Cats weren’t able to add much to the scoresheet for much of the game, eventually losing 9-3. The sweep now puts the Wildcats record at 18-19 on the year with a 6-12 record in the Pac-12. The Beavers will most likely hold their number two ranking the polls as they now have a record of 28-6-1 on the year, with a 14-4 record in the Pac-12.
The Wildcats will be back at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday night against one of their in-state rivals in Grand Canyon University, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. In their first and only meeting earlier this year, the Wildcats were able to win a thriller by a score of 14-13.
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