Wildcat Weekly: Baseball

Arizona was swept by UCLA this weekend in a crucial road trip. Read on to find out what went wrong and what's next for the Wildcats.

The defending champions have reached their last leg down the stretch of the season. What started out as a championship defense has turned into a battle just to reach the postseason for the Arizona Wildcats, who were swept by the UCLA Bruins over the weekend. Here's a look at what happened over the weekend and a look ahead for the Arizona baseball team:


Friday– UCLA 10, Arizona 2: In his first career Friday start, James Farris was sitting pretty until he hit the fifth inning.

With the Wildcats leading 2-0, Farris walked the lead off man and gave up back-to-back singles before hitting a batter and loading the bases.

He was taken from the game in favor of Augey Bill, but it was too late. Seven runs scored in the inning and UCLA took a commanding lead.

All was not bad for the Wildcats on the night. With two-outs in the second inning, Arizona batters Zach Gibbons and Scott Kingery got on base with a double and single. Pinch-hitter Jordan Berger singled to right, scoring Gibbons.

Arizona also added a two-out RBI from freshman Kevin Newman in the third, pushing the early lead to 2-0.

Saturday– UCLA 7, Arizona 1: With the flip-flop in the rotation, Arizona sent Konner Wade to the mound on Saturday afternoon. His performance was better, but the result was still the same, as he gave up five runs in seven and a third innings of work, but could not receive any support from his offense.

The Wildcats got their lone run across the plate in the fourth inning. Trent Gilbert led off the inning with a double and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs in the inning, he was plated by Newman, who had his second two-out RBI in as many games.

Bruin starter Nick Vander Tuig was masterful on the mound for UCLA. He allowed just six hits and walked a single batter in seven and a third innings. Tuig also struck out three batters, all in the first inning of play.

Sunday- UCLA 12, Arizona 5: Having lost the series already, the Wildcats desperately needed to steal a game from UCLA, but it was not to be.

Tyler Crawford started the night for Arizona and pitched just three innings before being pulled from the game. He was charged with seven runs, but only two were earned.

Leading 2-1 in the third inning, Crawford took the mound and gave up back-to-back singles after retiring the lead off man. A bunt single scored the tying run, but a dropped fly ball by Kingery loaded the bases and extended the inning.

A single scored two runs and a three-run home run from Chris Keck gave the Bruins a 7-2 lead.

Catcher Riley Moore cut the UCLA lead to four with a solo homer in the fourth, but Arizona's biggest chance in the game came in the fifth.

Consecutive singles to start the inning, coupled with a walk, loaded the bases for the Wildcats with no outs in the inning.

A pitching change turned the tide for UCLA and Matt Deeter forced two pop-ups and an inning-ending ground out to hold Arizona scoreless in the inning.


  • Coach Lopez announced last weekend that he would be switching the order of the pitchers for the series against UCLA. The rotation did not seem to make a big difference as both Farris and Wade picked up losses.

    Farris pitched four innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks. Wade pitched seven and a third innings, but gave up seven runs (five earned) on 12 hits.

  • Arizona will travel to Tempe for a series with the Arizona State Sun Devils. The season series between the schools is even at a game apiece, but all eyes from both schools will be focusing on the weekend series. A series win would give the Wildcats some hope of making the NCAA tournament.

  • Defending Pac-12 batting champion Johnny Field continued to excel this season. After hitting .370 with 44 RBI and 72 runs scored a season ago, the junior has fallen off slightly, but not by much.

    The outfielder is batting .350 with 50 runs scored and 38 RBI with six games remaining in the regular season.

    He is not the best batter on the team this season either. Fellow Wildcat Brandon Dixon leads the conference with a batting average of .367 with 52 runs scored and 43 RBI. He is also slugging .574, which is the highest in the conference. In addition, Dixon leads the Pac-12 in runs scored, hits, and stolen bases.

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