Arizona’s woes against Utah continue.
The Utes scored three runs in the sixth to beat the Wildcats 5-4 in Friday’s series-opener in Salt Lake City.
Arizona (23-16, 6-10 Pac-12) is now 0-7 against Utah in the Jay Johnson Era.
The Wildcats led 4-2 in the sixth, before Cody Deason walked in a run and Erick Migueles hit a go-ahead two-run single up the middle.
Arizona put the tying run on base in each of the last three innings, but couldn’t string together enough offense to make a comeback.
The Wildcats outhit the Utes 9-8, and led 4-0 lead in the third. Matt Fraizer hit a two-run triple in the second, then Alfonso Rivas singled through the left side to bring him in.
Both those hits came with two outs.
Catcher Cesar Salazar, who returned to the lineup after missing a game with a concussion, singled through the right side to score Cameron Cannon in the fourth.
But Arizona’s offense would quiet from there, and Utah scored two in the fourth then three in the fifth to continue its dominance over the Wildcats.
Deason went six innings and gave up the five runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out five.
Gil Luna and Juan Aguilera pitched scoreless innings in relief.
Fraizer, Rivas, Cannon, Salazar, and Donte Williams each had two hits. Williams and Jacob Blas, who was hit by a pitch, scored on Fraizer’s triple.
Rivas also had two stolen bases, including one in the ninth that put him on second with two outs. Salazar struck out to end the ballgame.
Losing to Utah (11-28, 5-11) hurts Arizona considerably since the Utes’ RPI is 200. The Wildcats’ RPI dropped eight spots from 42 to 50 because of Friday’s defeat. One projection pegged Arizona as a No. 3 seed in the Lubbock Regional, so its margin for error is shrinking.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 12 p.m. PT. It will be live streamed here.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire