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Arizona baseball: Three Up, Three Down: USC series

The offense certainly didn't suck

Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats entered the Easter weekend series against the USC Trojans on a six-game winning streak. Well, they exit it on a three-game losing streak, dropping Thursday's game 4-1Friday's game 13-6, and Saturday's game 10-9.

Let's take a look at the best (offense) and worst (pitching) from the series sweep.

Three Up:

1. Scott Kingery

This one's easy. Kingery was ridiculous at the plate this weekend. 10-for-15, two home runs, a triple, two doubles, five runs scored, three RBI, and a stolen base. Unfortunately, Lopez took the bat out of his hand in the eighth of Saturday's game, asking him to bunt. Two strikes later, and he was up there striking out instead of getting his 11th hit of the weekend.

2. JJ Matijevic

It looks like the freshman first baseman has turned the corner both at the plate and in the field. 3-of-10 in the box, but he also walked three times, drove in a run, and scored twice. And after Joseph Maggi made a mistake on a bunt defense on Thursday, Matijevic was not lifted for a defensive replacement on Friday or Saturday, signalling that the coaching staff now trusts him in the field enough to not pull him in the sixth or seventh inning. He made a few nice plays on throws to the bag over the course of the weekend, including a couple where he ended up doing the splits stretching out for the ball.

3. Cody Ramer

Ramer probably played himself into a little playing time with his performance on Saturday. 3-for-5 with a couple of RBI. His usual role has been playing third base when Bobby Dalbec takes the mound, but we may start seeing him in left field, especially since Jared Oliva and Ryan Aguilar are not good options right now.

Three Down:

1. Robby Medel

Friday may have been the last time Medel gets a start in a weekend role. The freshman transfer recorded just one out, while being charged with six earned runs and allowing six hits. Medel has not lasted more than four innings in a Pac-12 game, and has not lasted more than six innings since the first weekend of the season. It's time to make a change here.

2. Nathan Bannister

Bannister also gave up six earned runs on Friday. It just took him four innings to do it instead of 1/3 of an inning. Not a good time to have a bad outing though when a rotation shuffle is coming.

3. Left fielders not named Cody Ramer

Jared Oliva was 0-for-4, plus Ryan Aguilar, Tyler Krause, and Elijah Skipps were each 0-for-1. #RamerForLeft

Honorable mention: Bunting

I don't know how many times Arizona hitters attempted to bunt a runner over, but they succeeded exactly zero times. If you get the one down in the sixth inning of Thursday, plus you get one down in either the seventh or eighth on Saturday, and you could be looking at a series win for the Wildcats. Also, not failing on a bunt defense in the 7th on Thursday leading to the deciding runs.

This series came down to bunting. How ridiculous is that?