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Arizona baseball: Wildcats host McNeese State for four-game series

Preview and open thread for the second four-game series of the year

Jason Bartel

After opening the year with a four-game sweep of Eastern Kentucky, the Arizona Wildcats take on another extended series in the season’s second weekend, hosting the McNeese State Cowboys.

This will be the first time that the school’s have ever met on the diamond. Both will enter this series with perfect 4-0 records.

Here are the game times and probable pitchers (kinda):

THURSDAY (6 PM): LHP JC Cloney (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Bryan King (1-0, 2.25 ERA)

FRIDAY (6 PM): TBA vs. RHP Rhett Deason (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

SATURDAY (1 PM): TBA vs. LHP Austin Sanders (1-0, 5.06 ERA)


You can stream all games here. We will use this as the series open thread, so head on down to the comments section to chat about the games!

So, Cloney is the only guy guaranteed a start after having thrown 57 of 74 pitches for strikes last Friday. He also only allowed one hit, which was a double by the first EKU batter of the game.

“You should be ready to go but I just missed middle,” Cloney said after that game. “We were trying to go away on him and I just missed middle. From then on, it was just putting a little extra focus on it, but you should be ready from the get go.”

“We got a short week starting next Thursday, so just going after ‘em whether it’s 0-0 or 0-1, whatever it may be,” added Cloney about his low pitch count over seven scoreless innings. “Just going after ‘em and not giving in.”

After Cloney, the starting situation turned out to be murky. Tylor Megill, Cody Deason, and even Landon Faulkner didn’t have the greatest of weekends. I’d still expect at least Megill or Deason to start at some point against McNeese, with the possibility of someone like Cameron Ming, or even another start from Rio Gomez.

Michael Flynn also threw his hat into the ring with 3 13 scoreless tossed on Monday.

“It’s been the last few weeks,” Jay Johnson said of Flynn’s impressive outing. “As you can see, this has the chance to be a very special offense, so these guys have had a rough go of it for six months facing these guys, so to get him in against another opponent and to execute was great. We’re gonna need him, no different than some of the guys that struggled.”

This could be a very offense-heavy series. Nick Quintana led the way for the Wildcats last weekend, earning Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after posting the best on-base and slugging percentages on the team.

JJ Matjievic also put up monster numbers in the first four games of his draft year.

And even though Arizona has the 6th-best team batting average (.379) in college baseball, they don’t even have the most impressive offensive output of these two teams.

McNeese State will travel to Tucson a day after putting up 32(!) runs against Louisiana Monroe in a game that basically rewrote the school’s record books. A 15-run fifth was the highlight of Tuesday night’s game in Monroe that pushed the Cowboys to 4-0 on the year.

“Every team on the schedule from this point forward is an NCAA Tournament-caliber team,” Johnson said after Monday’s win. “We’re looking forward to Thursday night against an undefeated team that has a really good pitching staff and a really good coach.”

“It’s the perfect team to play at this time of the year.”