The Arizona Wildcats probably needed to leave Corvallis with a series win, and the pitching staff did all it could to make that happen.
After a 3-1 loss on Friday, Arizona countered with a 3-1 win of its own. Then in the rubber match, OSU got just enough to wind up with a 5-3 victory.
Here's a look at the bright spots and the dark spots for the Wildcats.
1. Nathan Bannister
In his first career collegiate start, Bannister was able to get out of a few tough jams, allowing just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings of work. That's six more innings than Robby Medel and Xavier Borde had combined the last two mid-series games, so certainly a step in the right direction for the pitching staff.
2. Tyger Talley
As the team's new closer, Talley pitched a total of 3 1/3 innings between Saturday and Sunday, earning a save, the second of his career, and only giving up one hit. This is another move that seems to have turned out well.
3. Bobby Dalbec at the plate
Another 5-for-11 weekend for Dalbec, which included two home runs to bring his season total to 12. The rest of the team only put together 11 hits combined in the three games.
1. Justin Behnke
Behnke went 0-for-9, and also struck out three times on Sunday. He also stranded a total of three runners.
2. Kevin Newman
The junior shortstop went a total of 2-for-13, including an 0-for-9 performance in the final two games of the series. When Dalbec is stroking the ball the way he is, you have to get on base in front of him to make those home runs count. Newman did not do that this weekend.
3. Scott Kingery and Riley Moore
They get to be together because they both went 2-for-12, and are also both in front of Dalbec in the lineup. That's right, Arizona's 1-thru-3 hitters went a combined 6-for-37 against OSU. That's not going to get it done no matter how good your pitching staff is. And if you really want to dive deeper into the issues, Behnke is the nine-hole hitter. So the four batters in front of Dalbec were a combined 6-for-46! That's good for a .130 batting average. So much yuck.
ASU comes to Tucson Wednesday night at 7 PM for a single game before Cal comes in for the weekend.