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Arizona baseball loses weekend series opener to College of Charleston 3-1

A dominant performance from the Cougars’ ace

JJ Matijevic stands in the box vs. Washington
Jason Bartel

On Wednesday, the College of Charleston Cougars defeated defending National Champion Coastal Carolina.

On Friday, they started a three-game set against the national runner-up Arizona Wildcats, and handed them a 3-1 loss to open the weekend series.

Bailey Ober, a 6-foot-8 senior righty that was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft last year, got the start for C of C in this one and was not phased by the dangerous Arizona offense.

Ober struck out a career-best 13 batters on the day, going the distance for C of C and improving his season record to 6-1 while walking just one Wildcat in nine innings.

The only offense Arizona could muster was a solo home run from JJ Matijevic in the first inning. It was his tenth home run of the year and 55th RBI.

However, that was just about it for the Wildcats in this one.

Nick Quintana also had a double in the first, but those were the only hits for this team on the day, which entered with a team batting average of .317 this season. It’s not like Ober has been a lights-out pitcher this year either, posting an ERA of 4.89 in seven starts before this outing, and an opposing batting average of .267.

This loss is also the first of the season for Arizona ace JC Cloney, who now has a record of 7-1 in 12 starts in 2017. Cloney lasted 6 2/3 innings in this game, allowing eight hits and a hit batter. It resulted in three runs total, just two earned. He was removed after throwing exactly 100 pitches, 69 of them for strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 27 batters he faced on the day.

The unearned run also came in the first inning on a Jared Oliva error in center field. Oliva also had a couple of interesting plays throughout the game.

Of note, Matt Fraizer made just his fourth start of the year, taking over left field duties from Mitchell Morimoto. Morimoto did pinch hit in the 9th for Kyle Lewis, striking out in that lone plate appearance.

Five different Arizona pitchers were used to record the final four outs of the game.

With this loss, Arizona drops to 31-17 overall, and are just 6-11 in true road games. C of C now has a record of 24-25. These two teams meet again on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 11:30 AM PT but some inclement weather is expected in the area. You can stream it here. Cameron Ming is the probable pitcher for Arizona, and LHP Evan Sisk is scheduled to go for C of C. Sisk is 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA this season.