After the Wildcats came off a disappointing loss at home against Rhode Island last Sunday, they were able to bounce back on Tuesday with an 8-6 win over the Texas Longhorns on the road.
Here are a few key numbers and statistics to take away from the impressive win.
After starting the season hitting under .200 and struggling mightily, Matthew Dyer has really turned things around these last few games, racking up 10 RBIs and smashing two home runs over Arizona’s last three games after combining for just five RBIs with no home runs over the team’s first nine games. Dyer, who hit .393 last season, is one of the major key components to this Wildcats offense that appears to be regaining the form that we saw just last season.
Wildcat pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts Tuesday evening. They entered the night No. 20 in the country and 2nd in the conference with an 11.64 K/9 rate, a significant difference from the 7.52 mark posted by Arizona’s pitching staff last season. Outside of last Sunday’s blunder, it has been evident what a difference new pitching coach Nate Yeskie has made on the entire pitching staff as a whole. They appear to be playing with a lot more moxie, an attribute that was missing from the pitching staff last season.
The Wildcats showed great patience at the plate, drawing eight walks. They were also hit four times. Arizona took advantage of the shaky Longhorns' pitching, as six of their eight runs scored on the night came from players who had either drawn a walk or were hit by a pitch. They only notched four hits on the night, but two of them were big ones in home runs from Matthew Dyer and Branden Boissiere.
Donta Williams extended his on-base streak dating back to last season to 21 games, as he recorded one hit and walked once on Tuesday. Arizona head coach Jay Johnson expressed his high regard for Williams during last Sunday’s postgame press conference, calling him “one of the best players in the country.” Ryan Holgate also extended his on-base streak to 18 games, which dates back to last season. He did not record a hit but was rather hit by a pitch in the 3rd inning.
The Wildcats return to Hi Corbett Field for a weekend series against Houston. The first game is Friday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. MST. This is their final non-conference series before heading into conference play next week.
Follow Ari Koslow on Twitter