Arizona took 2-of-3 from Washington State this weekend in Pullman. Friday's game was delayed by rain after seven innings, and the Cats went on to lose 9-5. Arizona took the Saturday and Sunday games by scores of 6-5 and 7-3 to win their third straight series.
Here are the key guys:
1. Tyler Crawford: The sophomore left-hander threw his first career complete game on Sunday and the first complete game by the Arizona pitching staff in 2013. In his 9 innings of work, he gave up 3 runs (all in the second inning) on 9 hits and 1 walk. A great performance from a guy who wasn't even in the conversation for Sunday starter at the beginning of the year.
2. James Farris: Saturday, Farris rebounded from horrible outings his last two times out. He went 7 1/3 innings, not giving up a run until the 8th inning. The Junior only gave up four hits and struck out ten Cougars. All three starters (Wade, Farris and Crawford) all went at least seven innings, putting the pitching staff in a good place for the game Tuesday against Arizona State.
3. Johnny Field: Arizona's lead-off man has now reached base in 22 straight games now. The Junior center fielder went 3-for-10 on the weekend with three walks and six RBI.
1. Zach Gibbons: The freshman came back down to earth after last week going just 1-for-13 this week.
2. Mathew Troupe: He only appeared in Saturday's game, and it was in the snow, so maybe this is a little unfair. But he did record just one out, and walked the other three guys he faced. Tyger Talley replaced him in the 9th inning Saturday and allowed all three of those walks to score, which did not help Troupe's ERA in the least. He was at 1.54 entering the weekend, and is now at 2.66.
3. Defense: Errors and passed balls are leading to huge innings by the opponents in a lot of these games. There were a total of five unearned runs on the weekend allowed by the Wildcats, four alone on Friday! With ASU, Stanford and UCLA still on the schedule, these mistakes have to be taken care of. A lot of these games are going to be tight with the amount of great pitching in the conference this year. Giving up free outs, bases and runs can not happen.
It's still early, but Arizona's ranked somewhere in the 20s in almost all the polls right now after winning eight of the last nine. Last weekend a lot of teams around them lost their series. As long as the Wildcats keep winning series in the tough PAC-12, they'll be in good shape when it comes to selecting the tournament field.