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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats reeling after first sweep, head to Oregon for weekend series

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Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

In both of its contests against New Mexico State this week, the No. 5 Arizona baseball team looked disorganized.

As the Wildcats regroup for their second weekend of conference play, they will need both the offensive and defensive sides to come together if they want to have any success against the No. 19 Oregon State Beavers this weekend in Corvallis, Ore.

It was a simple lack of cohesion that plagued the Wildcats (16-6, 2-1 Pac-12) during the mid-week contest against unranked New Mexico State.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats’ pitching was solid, but behind them the fielding effort was mediocre at best. To top it off, the Arizona bats couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

The next day, the situation flipped.

The offense was able to produce, but it had to do so behind one of Arizona’s worst pitching efforts of the entire season.

“We didn’t hit for them (on Tuesday),” Arizona third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean said. “We should have put up the offense for them, so we can’t get frustrated with the pitching, because we didn’t do anything for them the first night. It’s a two-way street.”

Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said that, for the Wildcats to turn things around, they have to go back to their mentality through the first couple weeks of the season.

“You have to go back to those first 20 games,” Lopez said. “We have to pitch well, catch on defense and get some timely hitting.”

Against the Beavers (14-5, 3-0 Pac-12), however, that’s not going be an easy task.

Oregon State boasts two hitters hitting above .400 on the year in junior Tyler Smith and freshman Michael Conforto.

Against Cal on Sunday, Conforto clubbed six RBIs, becoming the first Beaver to do so since 2008.
The freshman has already hit a total of 26 RBIs on the season, with 16 of those coming in the last seven games.

That could spell bad news for the Arizona pitching, especially after Konner Wade, scheduled to start on Saturday, was shelled in giving up four runs in just an inning on Wednesday when he came on in relief.

Kurt Heyer, Friday’s starter, should test the Beavers, but if the rest of Wildcat pitching effort resembles this past week, it could get ugly really quick.

The Oregon State pitching staff was able to deliver against Cal last weekend.

They only allowed the Golden Bears to hit a combined .237 throughout its three-game series.

The good news is that six of the Arizona starters are hitting above .300.

For Mejias-Brean, the mindset going into the weekend is simple.

“We just have to stay together after these two losses, go up there and just play like we have been,” he said. “(We just need to) go up there and kick some ass.”

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