After an unexpected week of absence, it’s time for another Weekly Run-down. This Run-down will cover week six of the U of A baseball season from March 24th to the 30th. Before we get into that, I’ll include the quick scores from week five, March 17th to 23rd.
Over the weekend of March 19th through the 21st, Arizona swept Stanford at home, taking the Saturday night game 3-2, Sunday afternoon 6-5, and Monday night 10-3. The sweep resulted in Stanford dropping from #12 out of the Top 25. On Wednesday, March 23rd, however, New Mexico got their vengeance against the Cats 12-7 at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque.
Without further ado, let’s see how the Wildcats did in week six.
3/25 - UCLA (13-7, 1-2) at #11 Arizona (16-5, 5-1), Game 1
Entering a three-game set at Hi Corbett Field, the matchup seemed pretty even. UCLA was coming off a 2/3 set against Harvard the prior weekend in which they blew out their Ivy League foe 25-2 in game one. The rest of the series was much more even, with game two going to Harvard 5-0 and game three to the Bruins 3-2 in 11 innings. Afterwards, the Bruins handled Loyola Marymount easily 9-5 on Tuesday.
In this one, UCLA’s Cody Schrier was easily the key bat as he tallied five RBIs on only one hit, a 6th inning grand slam that made it 6-0 after a two-run 1st. Arizona only mustered two runs in the game, one apiece in the 6th and 7th innings as they were handled very well by the UCLA pitching. In the 9th, UCLA added four insurance runs to make the score 10-2.
The winning pitcher in this one was UCLA’s starter Jake Brooks, who improves to 4-2 on the year after pitching a strong 6.2 innings where he gave up seven hits, two runs, a walk, and notched three strikeouts. Arizona’s TJ Nichols’ quest for an undefeated season ends as his first loss (3-1) came on 5.1 innings of work, with five hits, five unearned runs, three walks, and six strikeouts. Also of note: the Wildcats committed a costly four errors in this one.
3/26 – Game 2
Game two proved to be a reversal of the previous night’s affair as pitching became the name of the game. Arizona jumped out to an early three-run lead in the 1st before adding a final security run in the 4th on a Tony Bullard single. The middle innings would be silent as both staffs worked well. In the 8th, a Daylen Reyes single for UCLA made it 4-1 and, in the 9th, a JonJon Vaughns SAC fly made it 4-2. The UCLA comeback attempt would ultimately fail.
Arizona’s Garrett Irvin moves to 3-1 on the year after a very fine 7.2 inning performance where he surrendered only three hits, a single run, three walks, and notched six strikeouts. Holden Christian gets his third save this year on a full inning of work where he gave up a hit, a run, two walks, and picked up a strikeout. UCLA’s Max Rajcic drops to 2-3 on the year as he was effectively shelled, giving up six hits, four runs (only one earned), two walks, and three strikeouts on 2.2 innings of work.
3/27 – Game 3
Game three proved to be an even affair, one UCLA would ultimately come out on top of. In the 1st, UCLA jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Wildcats rebounded in the 5th to even up the score. Over the next three innings, the Bruins scratched across five runs to make it 7-2 before Arizona scratched back a single run to make the final score 7-3. With the result, UCLA took the series 2/3.
Bruin starter Thatcher Hurd moves up to 2-0 on the season as his six inning start included only two hits given up, two runs (one earned), a walk, and four strikeouts. A fine outing indeed. Arizona’s Dawson Netz drops to 2-1 as in five innings he surrendered five hits, four runs, a walk, and three strikeouts.
#15 Arizona (17-7) at Grand Canyon (16-9)
Entering another one-off game on Tuesday night, Arizona recently found itself four spots lower in the Top 25, now sitting at #15. GCU entered this home game in solid straits, taking two straight against Sacramento State to clinch the series the weekend before in the California capital.
In this one GCU jumped out to a single run lead in the 1st inning, their only run for another seven innings. In the 6th Arizona took the lead with a two-run inning before making it 3-1 in the 7th on a Garen Caulfield single and 5-1 in the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, GCU scratched back a pair of runs as Mac Bingham dropped a flyball, allowing the runners to score. Despite this, Arizona would hold on and take the win 5-3.
Arizona’s reliever Eric Orloff got the win, his first of the year (1-1), on 3.1 innings of work in which he surrendered a single hit, the two unearned runs on the Bingham drop, a walk and four strikeouts. Holden Christian came in afterwards and shut the door for his fourth save of the season on 1.2 no-hit innings where he gave up a single walk and tallied three Ks. Carter Young, the GCU starter falls to 1-3 on the year in a tough result as he pitched six innings and only gave up two hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out seven. A sad case of a lack of run support.
With this week in the books, Arizona now stands at 18-7 on the year. They are 6-3 in Pac-12 play, placing them now at third in the conference, trailing Oregon State on overall record (19-5, 6-3) and above Washington on both records (14-10, 5-4). In this upcoming week, the Wildcats will continue the road trip they started Tuesday with a three-game weekend set starting tomorrow against Washington and then on Tuesday, April 5th at Arizona State. Let’s hope for some good baseball and bear down.