Arizona baseball: Three Up, Three Down: Alcorn State series

Cody Hamlin allowed just five hits and one run in a complete game Sunday - Jason Bartel

It's really tough to find any negatives from this set of games

Arizona and Alcorn State played three games over the weekend, and the Wildcats took each one easily. Saturday, James Farris led the Cats to a 6-0 win, and on Sunday, UA won the first game 20-1, and the second game 11-1.

Since there really were no horrible performances this week, I'm going to change it up and go with Three Up, and Three Way Up. Let's do it!

Three Way Up:

1. Starting rotation

It's impossible to single out one guy, so let's just put all three of them right here. Alcorn St. had five hits in each game of the series.

James Farris threw a complete game shutout, the second shutout of his college career. Cody Hamlin went the distance as well, giving up just one run, and Tyler Crawford gave up just one run in his third start in eight days.

Over the three days, the pitching staff gave up just one walk, which was issued by Farris in the 6th inning of the Saturday game. Also, a total ERA of 0.67, and a starter's ERA of 0.74 over the weekend. It's pretty good. It's not quite on the level of South Carolina's 51 consecutive scoreless inning streak that's going on right now, but there's no way you can be upset with the pitching performances this week.

2. Scott Kingery

In addition to tying the single-game record for stolen bases in a game with four, the sophomore went 7-of-11, drove in five runs, scored three times, and added a greater defensive presence in centerfield after coach Lopez moved Joseph Maggi back to right. If there's one offensive star to single out, it's most definitely Kingery.

3. Baserunning in general

Alcorn St. may be the worst team ever at holding runners on. Not a good thing to be bad at when you give up so many hits (Arizona had 50 hits this weekend). The Cats took advantage, stealing ten bases in the early Sunday game. In total, 18 bags were swiped, six of them by Kevin Newman. Newman entered the series with just two stolen bases in the first five games of the year, so six in two days is damn impressive.

Three Up

1. Zach Gibbons

Now we get to the still really good portion of our program. Gibbons was moved to the lead-off spot for this series, and he certainly set the table more often than not. He went 7-of-13 on the weekend, walked three times, and scored three times. Being on base ten times is pretty much exactly what you want from your leadoff hitter.

2. Cody Ramer

Ramer just keeps getting the job done. He played third base each game, and is doing a much better job defensively so far than Brandon Dixon did last year.

Ramer also went 6-for-9, walked four times, scored four times, and stole two bases. His batting average for the season is up to .452, which leads me to the final three up.

3. Batting averages and on-base percentages

As a team for the weekend, Arizona went 50-for-108. That right there is a team batting average of .463. Ok then.

The Wildcats now have four guys hitting above .450 for the year (Ramer, Kingery, Gibbons, and Jordan Berger). Only three regular starters are hitting below .300 (Bobby Dalbec, Joseph Maggi and Willie Calhoun).

The OBP for the team is up to .439 this year. Last year's final team OBP was .400. Only three players are below .400 right now (Kevin Newman, Dalbec, Calhoun). The Wildcats have drawn 37 walks and only issued 13.

Maybe a series against a lowly team catapults Arizona into something big in the coming weeks. Certainly each and every guy in the lineup and on the mound gained confidence this weekend. But for once, there is almost nothing to be negative about for this team after this three-game performance.

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