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Five notes from Arizona baseball team’s extra-innings loss to GCU

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Megan Ewing | The Daily Wildcat Donta Williams prepares to bat. The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 14-2 on Tuesday, April 6 at Hi Corbett Field.

The Arizona baseball team was in unfamiliar territory on Tuesday, April 13, as they lost to Grand Canyon University 5-4 in extra innings. It was the team’s first extra-inning game of the year. 

Here are five notes that explain the team’s struggles and ultimate loss:

13 runners left on base:

Arizona had more than enough chances to score, 13 to be specific. No matter how well you play, it is very rare to leave 13 runners on base and win. Arizona loaded the bases once in the game, but those runners were a part of the 13 that were left on. GCU left just four runners on base. 

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Poor starting pitching performance:

Right-hander Chandler Murphy got the nod today, but his outing did not last long at all. Murphy got torched early by GCU, allowing three runs, three hits, two walks and zero strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Murphy’s tough outing brought his ERA up to 5.13.

Offense dried up:

After scoring four runs in three straight innings to take the lead, Arizona’s offense was nowhere to be found. For the rest of the game, Arizona batted .269 (7-26) with runners on and even worse at .188 (3-16) with runners in scoring position. Arizona even had 10 hits but could never capitalize when it mattered. 

Pitchers could not find the strike zone:

Not only did the starting pitching struggle but so did Arizona’s entire bullpen. As a unit, Arizona was only able to throw 74 strikes the entire game. GCU was much more accurate and dominated the mound, throwing 105 strikes. 

Home runs win games in extra innings:

Both offenses were quiet near the end of the game which resulted in an extra-innings contest. Neither had hit a home run up until this point. Finally, someone made some noise, but it was not Arizona. Pitcher Vince Vannelle came in during the bottom of the tenth inning to try and push the game further for the Wildcats. GCU’s Channy Ortiz had other plans and sent a 2-2 pitch over the fence in walk-off fashion for the Antelopes. 

The Wildcats will continue its road trip and head to Pullman, Washington for a three-game series against the Washington State Cougars beginning on Friday, April 16 at 3:05 p.m. MST.


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