It was a strange weekend at Hi Corbett, as the Arizona Wildcats managed to take two-of-three against the Washington State Cougars. Game one was a pitchers' duel until the WSU bullpen fell apart, leading to an 8-0 Arizona win. Saturday was probably the worst-played game by the Wildcats this year, as the Cougars evened the series in a 6-2 decision. Arizona responded well on Sunday morning, taking the series by a score of 7-3.
Here's a look at the best and worst from the unusual three days:
1. Nathan Bannister
Bannister swapped Friday roles with JC Cloney for the second-straight week, and after the first three batters of the game, he dominated. Each of the first three reached base, but after that, Bannister worked eight scoreless innings, allowing just four baserunners the rest of the way. For his efforts, he was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
2. Kyle Lewis
This is an interesting development in the third week of Pac-12 play. Lewis, who hadn't played much until the end of the Utah trip, had at bats in both of Arizona's wins. He went 4-for-4 with a walk in those two games, drove in three runs, and scored three runs. If anything, it gives the Wildcats another option, especially against left-handed pitching, and makes it easier to take out JJ Matijevic in late-game situations.
3. Cody Ramer
The senior infielder was 4-for-9, but also walked five times, including a school-record four times on Saturday. He scored three runs, drove in two, and made several nice plays in the field to maintain Arizona's leads. The biggest positive for the entire season has been Ramer's ability to hold down the lead off spot in the lineup. That's something that we haven't exactly seen the last few years.
1. JC Cloney
On the flip side of Bannister's start was Cloney's. Like Bannister, he got into early trouble, but unlike Bannister, he couldn't get out of it. Cloney would only last two innings, giving up four hits, and four total runs, although only one was earned. Saturday was just bad from the get-go, and the defense did Cloney no favors.
2. Cody Deason
Deason contributed to the poor performance on Saturday, allowing two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings after taking over for Cloney. This is Deason's first subpar outing of the year, and it came at a really bad time, when the coaching staff was probably looking for him to eat up some innings. Fortunately, Arizona's bullpen performed better than normal after Deason, not allowing any runs over the final 5 2/3.
3. JJ Matijevic
Coming into the season, Matijevic and Bobby Dalbec were supposed to anchor the Arizona lineup. This weekend? They were 7th and 8th in the order. Matijevic continued his recent slump, going hitless in seven ABs against the Cougars. We're also starting to see him get taken out in late-game situations to improve the defense while taking his bat out of the lineup. With Lewis heating up at the plate, and other superior defensive options to Matijevic playing better, we might start to see him play less and less.
The Wildcats are back in action on Tuesday night. They'll take on the Arizona State Sun Devils at Phoenix Municipal at 7 PM PT. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Arizona.