It was a disappointing weekend on the diamond for the Arizona Wildcats, dropping a three-game series at home to a Washington St. team that came in well below .500.
On Friday, Arizona opened up strong with a 12-1 win, but the weekend was a different story as the Cougars won Saturday 6-5, and again on Sunday 3-2.
So who were the stars and who were the black holes? Let's see:
1. James Farris
Farris had another great start on Friday. He's really only had one bad outing this season, which is very encouraging for a Friday night guy. The senior came within one out of tossing a complete game shutout. The Cougars got two hits with two out in the 9th to plate their only run of the night. No walks for Farris, and 9 Ks while scattering 9 hits on 117 pitches. That's exactly what this team needs from their Friday night guy each and every week.
2. Bobby Dalbec
This two-way guy is starting to find himself on Three Up a lot lately. It's obvious that he's a lot more comfortable at the plate than he was at the start of the season. He's not going for home runs each and every at bat. He's working the counts, going the opposite way with pitches. It's all starting to come together.
On the weekend, Dalbec was 5-for-12, raising his season batting average above .300 to .313. Add two RBI to that, plus two runs scored.
On the mound, Dalbec is starting to figure out the whole closer thing. If not for a Trent Gilbert error on Saturday, the save was his. No earned runs over 2 2/3 innings this weekend, struck out three guys, and didn't walk a batter. Out of everyone, coach Lopez seems happiest with this freshman phenom right now.
3. Kevin Newman
Newman was battling some sort of stomach bug that's going around the team, but was still productive at the plate outside of the last at-bat on Sunday.
The shortstop went 6-for-13 for the series, drove in five runs, and scored twice. One walk, was hit by a pitch, and did not strikeout.
1. Cody Ramer
Just as soon as I was starting to talk up how great Ramer is at the plate, all of the sudden he's gone a little cold. 1-for-12 over the series. He did walk once, score twice, and drive in a run (all on Friday), but Saturday and Sunday were pretty bad. Still a great defensive presence at third base, but scuffling a little bit at the plate. He was well above .360 about a week ago, but that average has dropped all the way down to .306.
2. Willie Calhoun
As the starting DH in all three games, Calhoun went 1-for-7 and walked twice. He doesn't get as many at-bats when Dalbec comes in because Arizona loses their DH in those games, but Calhoun seems to be one of those guys pressing really hard right now.
3. Clutch hitting
Arizona had the chance to sweep this series, if they had just come through in the clutch. 25 runners were left on base, 10 in each loss. A hit here and a hit there and all of the sudden we're talking about everything being well in Wildcat land. Instead, we're questioning whether this team will even finish in the top half of the Pac-12.