The Arizona Wildcats begin Pac-12 play this upcoming weekend at Washington, but had one last weekend series to get through before conference play.
The Sacramento State Hornets, who are one of the better West Coast baseball programs you've never heard of, came to Tucson with an 8-3 record. They left Tucson with twice as many losses to their name.
It was a pitcher's duel on Friday, but a late hit from Ryan Haug sent Arizona to a 3-1 series opening victory. Saturday was just silly as the Wildcats found themselves on the right side of a 23-1 beatdown....eight of the nine starters had multi-hit games. Arizona would lead the entire day Sunday, chalking up an 8-4 victory and completing the weekend sweep.
A lot of guys had good weekends, but here are the three that had outstanding weekends, and a few that left something to be desired:
1. Bobby Dalbec
It had been a struggle for Arizona's do-it-all star up to this point, but this may have been the weekend where those struggles are left in the rear view mirror. At the plate, he went 4-of-8 with a couple of walks, and bashed his first home run of the season. On the mound, he threw three innings of shutout, one-hit baseball. That'll work.
2. Nathan Bannister
The senior pitcher is having an incredible stretch here, as he has thrown 19 1/3 shutout innings in the last two weeks. He got the Saturday starting nod against Sac State, and allowed just two hits and a walk over six innings of work. He also only threw 58 pitches, so maybe we'll see him on Tuesday against New Mexico State.
3. JJ Matijevic
Used just as the DH, the sophomore went 7-of-12 at the plate, drove in five runs, and scored five runs. If Arizona can use him at DH, and have a better defensive lineup in the middle of the infield with Cody Ramer and Louis Boyd, that could be the winning combo.
1. Justin Behnke
Behnke started the weekend 0-for-6, including being the only starter to not record a hit in Saturday's outburst. He responded with a nice 2-for-3 day on Sunday, driving in a couple runs and scoring a couple of runs. But not joining the fun on Saturday and stranding four runners in that game alone puts him here.
2. Cameron Ming
Ming had been pitching well entering the season, but two hits, a walk, and two runs in one inning of work isn't going to get the job done. He now has a 7.24 ERA on the year, and his WHIP is just a touch under two. That's gotta get better if he wants to have success in the Pac-12.
3. Michael Flynn
Flynn faced two batters on Sunday, and walked them both. That set up a bases loaded situation for Cody Deason, who got out of it with a grounder to short. Arizona's downfall could wind up being the inconsistency of its freshmen pitchers.
The Wildcats are back at it on Tuesday as they host the New Mexico State Aggies at 6 PM PT for a single midweek contest.