Series Recap: UA vs. UW

Arizona was able to take the final series of the season against Washington. Here is a closer look at how it happened.

The Arizona Wildcats left no doubt this weekend that this was a team that was not only going to qualify for the postseason, but also a squad ready to do some series damage. The Cats ended the 2011 regular season with a dominating sweep of the Washington Huskies, which leaves Arizona in sole position of fourth place in the Pac-10 with a conference record of 15-12 and an overall record of 36-19.

With the sweep, the Wildcats also solidified their case for number two seed in this year's regionals, making them a legitimate threat in this season's NCAA tournament.

WildcatAuthority.com was in attendance all weekend long to witness Arizona end the 2011campagin in a very positive manner.

Friday 5/27: Arizona 9 Washington 0

W: Kurt Heyer (8-3) L: Geoff Brown (1-8)

Saturday 5/28: Arizona 6 Washington 5

W: Matt Chafee (6-3) L: Adam Climber (4-5)

Sunday 5/29: Arizona 8 Washington 2

W: Bryce Bandilla (5-3) L: Jacob Clem (4-6)

Player of the Series: Kurt Heyer. If he received the award last series, he most certainly has to get it again this week because he basically had a replica performance, if not better. For the second straight start Heyer tossed nine innings of shutout baseball, scattering seven hits while fanning five.

For the second straight week, he's got a real shot at winning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, especially since he was able to pick up the win this time around. Sure is a positive sign when your staff ace heads into the postseason with 18 straight scoreless innings under his belt. Heyer is absolutely locked in right now.

Unsung Hero: Bobby Rinard. Boy did the senior outfielder pick just a convenient time to have an absolute monster and monumental series. He began the weekend by hitting his first career homerun Friday night, and then coming up with the walk off single on Saturday night, which of course happened to be senior night.

In the season and series finale, as if he hadn't already had a huge series, he went 3 for 4 at the dish, while scoring two runs. For the series Rinard went 8 for 10 at the plate with three RBI and five runs scored. He also ends the season batting .456 in 57 at bats.

Rookie Watch: Konner Wade worked through 4 innings and gave up two runs on eight base hits. It wasn't a phenomenal performance, in fact he didn't even go deep enough to qualify for the win, but at the same time it has to be an encouraging sign to see that he didn't walk a batter and put himself in bad situations.

For the numbers people out there, Wade is still undefeated as an Arizona Wildcat, which is good because you can almost bet he'll be pitching in a game very soon in which the season will be on the line.

Three Up

1. Sweeping up some Momentum: Washington isn't the greatest team in the world, in fact they're the worst in the conference, but the bottom line is Arizona did what it had to do this weekend to end the season strong. There are no easy wins in the Pac-10, just ask Arizona State and Oregon State, who both dropped a game to the Huskies within the last two weeks. With the series sweep, Arizona enters the postseason as one of the hotter teams in the country, victors in 12 of its last 15 contests.

2. Double Trouble: Even when the Huskies tried to get a rally going, the attempt didn't last long, as Arizona turned in nine double plays during the series. This caused Washington to leave 15 men stranded on base just between games two and three alone. Remember the combination of Alex Mejia and Bryce Ortega led the nation in double plays turned last year, just before Ortega went down with his injury.

They've both been healthy this year, and to say the Wildcats have benefited from that would be an understatement. Arizona led the conference in fielding percentage (.977) and was third in turning twin killings (47) this season.

3. Back on Track: The Arizona offense put up 23 runs for the series and had two instances where it scored four or more runs in an inning. After scoring just eight runs against Stanford a week ago, this weekend's effort was extremely encouraging, as every position player that played this weekend was at least able to get one hit.

Three Down

1. Game 2 Meltdown: The Wildcats very nearly dropped a game that was all but won Saturday night. Arizona lead 5-1 going into the 9th inning and even lead 5-2 with 2 outs in frame, but after two hit batsmen by Kyle Simon and three base hits surrendered by Matt Chaffee, Washington came all the way back to tie it up. The Cats won the game, but don't expect to get off that easy when you play a team next week that's not 17-37 overall.

2. Gotta Go Deeper: There's no reason Kyle Simon should be forced out of a ball game with a three run lead and only one out left to get. For a guy that very rarely walks batters, him plunking back to back hitters, that are bottom of the order guys no less, was very uncharacteristic. Same goes for Konner Wade, you absolutely have to get through at least five innings. It's one thing to pitch poorly, but it's another not to have enough stamina to even qualify for a win.

3. Just short of the top: Josh Garcia had one at bat this weekend and he picked up a hit, but it wasn't a home run. Garcia had a chance to pretty much embarrass the Pac-10, as up until a few weeks ago he led the conference in homers with literally less than half the at bats as anyone else in the race. He finishes the regular season with seven homers, just two short of the Pac-10 lead. His seven jacks are good enough for third.

Quote of the Series

: "I've told this group, facts are facts. The fact is you're going to be on the road the next two weekends. The fact is you're going to be a visiting team. Those are both facts, but I learned a long time ago that the attitude you have is a lot more important than facts. So we need to just carry on the attitude we've had the last two weeks and see what happens."

--Arizona head coach Andy Lopez talking about the postseason.

On Deck: Arizona will begin its journey to Omaha somewhere on the road this Friday when NCAA regional play begins.


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