It feels redundant to say it, but the Arizona bats did not do their job Tuesday night against Grand Canyon University. The Wildcats lost 3-1, and that only run scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
So instead of focusing on that and how GCU showed why ASU and others are afraid to schedule them (it's not really about the money people), let's focus on the bright spot from Tuesday.
Talley, who found out this morning in a text from pitching coach Shaun Cole that he would start tonight, had probably his best outing in an Arizona uniform.
The sophomore started this season as the closer, but after a couple outings where it seemed like he had no idea where his pitches were going, Talley lost that role.
He has been searching for a role, and that may be long reliever now.
In his last outing, he went five innings, which was his career high. Well tonight, he went 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run, scattered five hits, and walked just one batter.
"Everything was working tonight," Talley said. "Fastball location was there, I could execute two offspeeds tonight. Everything was just there."
Coming into the game, Talley had walked 12 batters in 9 2/3 total innings in 2014. Maybe starting is what's best for him, but it's not a permanent thing coach Lopez said after the game.
"Not right now," coach said. "We're pretty secure with who we have right now, our weekend starters are pretty much set."
Talley kind of hinted that he was more comfortable though after having all day to prepare.
"There's a lot more preparation," he stated. "I can get my mind right and a lot of other stuff instead of just coming right out of the pen where you just kind of have to be ready right now, and be good or be gone."
"I've just been working on a couple things, and it finally showed on the field tonight."
"He's getting better in his bullpens," Lopez added. "It bodes well down the road."
Arizona did have a chance to take the lead in the 8th. It was still 1-1, and Zach Gibbons hit a one-out single. Riley Moore came up to bat as a pinch hitter, and Gibbons took off for second, but was thrown out by the GCU catcher. It looked like it was supposed to be a hit and run, but apparently not.
"It was a straight steal," Lopez explained. "Hopefully our guy can steal a base in that situation but obviously he didn't."
GCU responded by scoring two runs in the ninth after Tyler Parmenter walked the lead-off guy and Xavier Borde gave up a hit to put runners on the corners. Bobby Dalbec came in, and prompty threw a wild pitch to let the game-winning run score, and then the insurance run came in on a single to right by Michael Pomeroy.
I guess this means the Antelopes clinch the Arizona state title since they won't play ASU (or ASU won't play them) and this was the only game the Wildcats play against GCU.
UA hits the road for the first time in 2014 this weekend for a three-game series against Washington Friday-Sunday. UW has won 10 of their last 11 games, so that's yet another test for this Arizona squad as it looks to find an identity, and find some offense.