There is no other way of saying it, Arizona is in desperate need of a series win as the Stanford Cardinal arrive at Hi Corbett Field for a weekend series beginning on Friday.
After taking two of three from Washington State last weekend, the Wildcats lost to arch rival Arizona State on Tuesday night by a score of 7-5. Mistakes and a lack of timely hitting plagued Arizona on Tuesday.
For Arizona, starting pitching has been one of their strong suits this year, and that was shown again last weekend. Nathan Bannister was spectacular as he earned his fourth win of the season by throwing eight shutout innings while allowing just three hits and struck out seven. Bannister now has a record of 4-0 with an ERA of 0.83 at home.
Hitting wise, Kyle Lewis continued to make his case for being in the lineup more often as he went 4-4 with two doubles and three RBI against the Cougars. He has appeared in the last four games and has started in two of them.
Despite sweeping the Cardinal last season in Palo Alto, Stanford holds a 105-74 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1923. The Wildcats scored six runs in all three victories over Stanford last season, winning 6-5, 6-4 and 6-0. The last time Stanford visited Hi Corbett Field came in 2014.
Junior right-hander Kevin Ginkel has seen his role shift in recent weeks and coach Jay Johnson said after Sunday’s game Ginkel will “get meaningful outs for us near the end of the game” in the future.
Ginkel earned his first save of his Arizona career Sunday against Washington State. The righty tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings without giving up a hit. He needed just 16 pitches to get four outs and worked around a walk and a hit batsman. Ginkel gave up at least one run in five of his first six appearances.
Arizona pitchers are holding opposing hitters to a .248 opposing batting average, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12 behind Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon. The Cats pitchers have maintained that clip, despite throwing the most innings of any staff in the league at 289 2/3.
Arizona has been better at home rather than on the road, but that is expected since any coach will tell you that it is hard to win on the road. The Wildcats are 14-4 at Hi Corbett and hit .296 as a team while scoring 6.9 runs per game.
There is a huge difference in hitting numbers for the Wildcats when it comes to wins and losses. Arizona is batting .337 with an OBP of .428 in victories and are batting .230 with an OBP of .328 in losses. Arizona is 15-4 when recording 10+ hits in a game and 5-9 when recording less than 10 hits.
Fri., Apr. 15 (6 p.m. MST)
RHP Tristan Beck (4-2, 1.93 ERA) vs. RHP Nathan Bannister (4-1, 3.23 ERA)
Sat., Apr. 16 (7 p.m. MST)
LHP Chris Castellanos (4-1, 3.89 ERA) vs. RHP Bobby Dalbec (7-3, 3.07 ERA)
Sun., Apr. 17 (1 p.m. MST)
TBA vs. LHP JC Cloney (3-2, 2.72 ERA)
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