Four stats that mattered in UA baseball's loss to GCU
The Arizona Wildcats baseball team (18-20, 6-12 Pac-12) lost its fourth consecutive game on Tuesday night against Grand Canyon University by a score of 11-9.
Here are four stats that played a role in the outcome of the game:
Despite boasting one of the country’s most electrifying offense, the Wildcat's biggest struggle that has held them back all season has been the pitching staff. Entering Tuesday, the Wildcats had a 6.24 team earned run average, second to last in the Pac-12.
Coming off a series against Oregon State last weekend, in which the pitching staff allowed 32 runs in just three games, the hope was that head coach Jay Johnson could get a quality game from his pitchers against Grand Canyon, before the Wildcats head to Stanford for a three-game series this weekend.
However, that didn't turn out to be the case as starter Avery Weems went 2.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk before Zach Sherman came out of the bullpen.
It didn’t get much better for the Wildcats following the departure of Weems, as Sherman and Gil Luna combined to go two innings allowing five runs on just two hits. Command of the zone was an issue for the both of them as they combined to walk four batters and hit another three. Sherman failed to record an out, throwing just three strikes over 15 pitches.
The Wildcats came into the game averaging almost nine runs per game, good for second in the conference. But GCU's pitching staff was able to keep the Wildcats in check for most of the game, holding them to just three runs on six hits through the first seven innings.
The resiliency the Wildcats have showcased all season arrived in the eighth inning, as consecutive base hits by Donta Williams, Matthew Dyer, Austin Wells and Nick Quintana helped cut the deficit to 10-8 at the time. All five runs came with two outs in the inning.
This late comeback was cut short for Arizona, as Branden Boissiere flew out to end the late-inning rally. The Wildcats added one run in the ninth but were not able to complete the comeback.
The Wildcats entered the night with 58 errors, the most in the Pac-12. This has been another huge weakness for Arizona all season.
After committing just one error Tuesday night, Arizona has now combined for just two errors over the last three games. This is a good sign heading into a series against Stanford who is third in the conference in home runs and will take advantage of any mistakes made by the Wildcats defense.
15-game hitting streak
Dyer has been on a tear lately, entering the night hitting .396, second in the conference. He continued his dominant stretch Tuesday, extending his hit streak to 15 games after going 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The sophomore has been a key part of the Wildcats offense this season, providing quality at-bats each game.
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