Then the tide turned.
Assistant coach Sergio Brown delivered an intense, lightly profane message to the team, hammering home a point that this group will need come June.
You need to win on Sundays to succeed.
Arizona did just that, scoring four in the bottom half of the seventh, taking home a 6-5 win and a series sweep.
"It's a little explicit," Cody Ramer joked after the game of Coach Brown's message. "But breaking it down, he said, if you want to make it to the postseason, you gotta win on Sundays."
Louis Boyd led the inning off with a walk, then Justin Behnke flew out to right.
Ramer followed that up with a single, bringing Zach Gibbons to the plate.
In typical Gibbons fashion, he slashed a ball through the opposite side, cutting the Beavers' lead to two.
Zach Gibbons just knows how to hit the ball. He drives in Boyd to cut the lead to 5-3.https://t.co/5ZYibAC2Re— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) May 8, 2016
JJ Matijevic came up next, and skied a pitch deep to left. The left fielder misplayed it, letting the ball drop.
As the ball eventually fell to the ground, it appeared that Matijevic may have passed Gibbons on the base paths, but no call was made, upsetting Oregon State head coach Pat Casey. Ramer was able to score on the play.
Unsung hero Ryan Aguilar drew a walk, loading the bases for Alfonso Rivas.
Rivas, who had already pitched in the game (allowed three hits, two unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning), got a shot at redemption, and did just that, tying the game with a sac fly.
Tie game!https://t.co/dfhthmuwCU— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) May 8, 2016
Kyle Lewis, who started at third base all weekend in place of Bobby Dalbec, came up with the go-ahead single through the middle.
KLew! Arizona takes the lead!https://t.co/CNwt2XjPjR— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) May 8, 2016
"I was thinking (the pitcher) was just trying to get ahead," Lewis said of his at bat. "And so I just jumped on that first fastball, hit it hard and low, stayed with my legs and it got through the infield."
After the hit, Casey came out to talk to his pitcher, and after a short discussion, was ejected from the game. He was at least the third Pac-12 head coach to be tossed this weekend.
Oregon State had a chance in the ninth to extend the game. This play by Aguilar was the first out of the inning, and helped preserve the lead.
Arizona is in position to win this game because of Cameron Ming. After a lackluster first three innings, in which Oregon State took an early 4-2 lead, Ming took the mound, and would never leave it.
"My job's to keep it from getting out of hand," he explained. "Containing what the opponent's doing. My job's just to keep us as close as possible."
Ming retired the first six he faced, and nine of the first ten. That lone hit was a Logan Ice home run that nearly hit the scoreboard in left.
"I was locating the fastball really well early on," said Ming. "Unfortunately the one was just over the plate. I remember as soon as I let it go I was like 'Oh no'. Yeah, as soon as I let it go, I had a feeling."
That was the only hit Ming allowed the entire day, throwing six innings, struck out six, and walked one.
Arizona is now half a game out of first place in the Pac-12. Washington is 13-8, and the Wildcats are 14-10. The next series on the schedule is against Arizona State. Friday's game is scheduled to start at 7 PM at Hi Corbett.