Short and Sour: ASU’s quick win prolongs Arizona’s baseball slumpby Scott Terrell on Apr. 27, 2011, under Sports
The Arizona Wildcats tried to treat Tuesday like Friday but it wasn’t enough as Arizona State won again in Tucson to finish the season series.
The UA threw its ace, pitcher Kurt Heyer, which wasn’t in itself a shock as Heyer had a couple midweek outings earlier in the year. But when the sophomore right-hander stayed out there into the 4th, 5th and 6th innings it was clear Arizona coach Andy Lopez really wanted to win this game.
“We’ve played ourselves into the situation we’re in,” Lopez said after the game. “We’ve got to finish strong. We’ve got to get hot.”
The Sun Devils – even without their new Bearded Trident logo – started the 2nd inning with four straight hits to take a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 victory.
Arizona had the tying run on 2nd base when Alex Mejia grounded out to end the game.
The Wildcats remain 7-1 when Heyer starts on those magical Friday nights but fell to a mere 2-3 when he pitches on any other day.
Enough negativity. How is the softball team doing?
They scored how many in an inning? And they lost?
Arizona may be leading in the insurance company thing but ASU is way ahead in wins that make Wildcat fans sit in their seats an extra 20 minutes trying to figure out what just happened.
Tuesday night was not one of those games on the baseball diamond. It was a crisp, well-played 140-minute contest. Both teams played good defense (especially ASU third baseman Riccio Torrez) and not a single batter was walked. However, for the fourth time in five head-to-head games – and the third straight head-to-head season – the Sun Devils were better.
The Wildcats’ only hope now for baseball rivalry bragging rights rests on the NCAA rejecting ASU’s appeal and upholding the postseason ban. No, things aren’t going to well when all you’ve got left is, “Go sanctions!”
Of course, that assumes Arizona makes it into the tournament themselves. If the Cats don’t start finding some wins they’ll be in jeopardy of self-sanctioning a postseason ban of their own.
(Pause for the menacing music to kick in. And moving on…)
Here’s what happened around the Pac-10 last weekend:
OSU won two of three vs. WSU.
Scores: 4-2, 7-6, 0-2
The Cougars did manage to snap Oregon State’s 11-game winning streak. Maybe the Beavers were worn out from too many high-fives.
ASU won all three at Cal.
Scores: 6-4 (17 inn.), 5-0, 6-0
Speaking of worn out, the Bears hung with ASU for almost two games’ worth on Thursday only to get shut out the final two games’ worth.
Stanford won two of three vs. UCLA.
Scores: 7-4, 1-4, 5-4
It took a spiritual comeback but the Cardinal secured a big win.
USC won two of three at Washington.
Scores: 2-1, 12-9, 2-8
That’s three straight Pac-10 series wins, making the Trojans the best losing team in the nation.
Oregon won two of three vs. ARIZONA.
Scores: 4-2, 1-2, 7-3
The Ducks doubled their conference win total. (Don’t pause, just move on…)
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The updated rankings matrix:
Stanford dropped out of three of the five polls last week but bounced back to replace Arizona in those same three polls. Can the Cats do their own bouncing?
“I think we’ve got plenty of time,” Lopez said after the ASU game. “But we better get going.”
Everyone associated with the Arizona baseball program is certainly ready to move on.
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