The Arizona baseball team had an interesting stay in Las Vegas to say the least. The Wildcats managed to play probably one of their best games of the year in game one, throttling UNLV 12-1, which now stands as their biggest margin of victory on the road so far this season. But as good as Arizona's performance was in game one, game two was a completely different story.
The Cats pulled a complete 180 in the series finale, blowing a seven run lead in the seventh, as UNLV was able to score nine unanswered runs in the inning eventually claiming game two and the series split.
WildcatAuthority.com now takes a look back on what truly was a bizarre series for the Arizona Wildcats.
Tuesday 3/8: Arizona 12 UNLV 1
W: Vincent Littleman (1-1) L: Scott Dysinger (2-1)
Wednesday 3/9: UNLV 9 Arizona 7
W: Brady Zuniga (1-1) L: Matt Chaffee (1-1)
Player of the Series: Vincent Littleman and Konner Wade. This won't happen very happen, but the award absolutely deserves to be shared this time. Littleman, who had a 22.50 ERA coming into his start Tuesday night, went five innings of one hit and one run baseball. Wade took the mound Wednesday afternoon and did exactly what you're supposed to do after witnessing a solid start the night before; follow it up with another one.
He went six innings; surrendered two hits, zero runs, and struck out seven. Now were these the best starts seen out of Arizona starters this year? No probably not, but were they the most impressive? Absolutely.
Littleman and Wade are a part of the same Wildcat bullpen that gave up eight runs to the Rice Owls in a single inning and a part of the same pen that has walked a combined 20 batters in the last five games before this series.
But these guys weren't part of an Arizona bullpen that surrendered nine runs in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game against UNLV. In fact these two were the reason the Wildcats should have had a series sweep in Las Vegas.
Rookie Watch: This one is obvious, and it's not Johnny Field. Konner Wade stepped up Wednesday afternoon and shut down a high-octane UNLV offense on the road. He didn't get the win, but he sure pitched well enough to get it. He may have earned himself another mid-week start next week.
1. The Bats: The Arizona offense got it done this series from top to bottom. The Cats racked up 12 runs on 16 hits in game one and seven runs on nine hits in game two. When the bottom three hitters in the order combine to go 8 for 22 in two games, that's pretty impressive.
2. Flashing the leather: Aside from a few tough plays in the 7th frame of game two, Arizona made all the plays it was supposed to make this series, committing zero errors through the two games. As great as Wade and Littleman's performances were, the two couldn't have done it without the solid defense that was played behind them.
3. Joey Rickard: It's pretty difficult to raise a .458 batting average, but Rickard managed to do it this series. He went 6 for 9 at the dish, while picking up his first homerun of the year in the process. When a guy puts up these kinds of numbers, it's going to be hard not to mention him.
1. Game 2: Arizona had a 7-0 lead heading into the 7th inning and lost the game. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Arizona better hope so.
2. Matt Chaffee: He was the prime victim of that 7th inning massacre in game two. He recorded two outs and gave up eight runs. That's double the amount runs Arizona's Kurt Heyer has given up in 21.2 innings this season. Chaffee is a good pitcher and he'll bounce back, but Wednesday's outing was about as rough as it gets.
3. Giving it to em: Mentioned it as a problem for last series, and it was still a problem in this one. Eight walks in two games are just too many, especially against a team that can swing the bats like UNLV can. The walks didn't hurt the Wildcats last series; they did in this one.
On Deck: The Wildcats will look to improve on their 7-1 home record this season when Arizona welcomes in Northern Colorado for a three-game weekend series that starts Friday night at Jerry Kindall Field.
Series Wrap-up: UA vs. UNLV
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