All three games were extremely stressful. On Friday, the Cats came out on top 10-7, but ASU repaid the favor with a 6-3 win on Saturday. Sunday, it all came down to Augey Bill in the 9th inning, and he came up huge with a 1-2-3 double play to end the game and give Arizona a 7-6 win.
Overall, the offense was fairly balanced up and down the entire lineup. The pitching staff was interesting. The bullpen struggled for the most part, but it could have been a lot worse than it was. Four total runs given up by Arizona relievers, but it easily could have been fourteen. The three starters averaging just under 7 innings really put the Wildcats in a position to win the series.
Here's the good, and the not so good from the weekend that was:
1. Tyler Crawford: Crawford was the star of the weekend for UA. Friday, he was unexpectedly called upon in the ninth to close it out after Mat Troupe's late-season struggles continued. As Crawford said, "I was sitting in the dugout and I didn't have cleats on, and they said put your spikes on, get loose."
Then on Sunday, Crawford ended up throwing 112 pitches, the first time he ever went over 100 pitches in his career. He threw 7 1/3 innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on nine hits and a walk. So in total, he finished the weekend with 8 1/3 innings, one win, and one save. Pretty amazing.
2. Joseph Maggi: Maggi always gets up for ASU, maybe because his brother played for the Sun Devils, maybe some sort of hero complex he's got in him. But Maggi ended up going 4-for-9 with 3 RBI, 3 runs scored and a walk. He also made an important play in the ninth inning of the Sunday game. With two on and no one out, ASU tried to move the runners over with a sac bunt, but Maggi had the ball hit right at him, and got the lead runner at third for the first out of the inning. Oh, and he scored the game-winning run in the 8th.
3. Brandon Dixon: After being named a Howser Trophy semifinalist earlier in the week, the junior went 5-for-12 on the weekend and drove in seven runs, including the game-winning run on Sunday. He also scored two runs of his own.
1. Mathew Troupe: Troupe is struggling right now. It's gotten to the point where Andy Lopez isn't relying on him to finish the game, and going with match-ups, which is how Crawford and Augey Bill got their saves. Troupe got one out in each game of the three-game set, walked seven guys, and gave up two hits and two runs. So he faced 12 batters and only got three of them out.
2. Cody Ramer: In his first starts in left field, Ramer ended up hitting just 1-for-11 and striking out three times. Head coach Andy Lopez: "He had a couple good at bats, he had some other at bats that I wish we had seen a little bit better result out of it. We're still searching." He did make a pretty good play in left field on Sunday though with a diving catch close to the warning track. It'll be interesting to see what the outfield looks like this weekend against USC.
3. Zach Gibbons: Gibbons also went 1-for-11 on the weekend as he moved over to right field with Ramer in left. He did drive in two runs, but also struck out twice.