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Arizona offense struggles, Wildcats drop Game 2 and series to Utah

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Jay Johnson falls to 0-8 vs. Utah as Arizona’s head coach

Jason Bartel

The Utah Utes defeated the Arizona Wildcats on a windy Saturday afternoon in Salt Lake City by the score of 3-2 to clinch a series victory over UA. Arizona has dropped the last two series, and its offense has stalled over that time.

The Wildcats found themselves down 1-0 after the first inning on Saturday. RHP Michael Flynn (L, 5-3) walked leadoff batter and junior centerfielder DaShawn Keirsey Jr. Flynn then allowed two more hits, allowing Keirsey to score the game’s first run.

Flynn allowed his second of three runs the following inning after Blake Paugh misread a deep triple hit by Keirsey.

Arizona’s pitcher then settled down after that second run until the seventh inning. He finished with 6 1/3 innings, five hits, three earned runs, and four strikeouts. Second baseman Oliver Dunn doubled in the seventh off relief pitcher Avery Weems in the seventh inning. The run was charged to Flynn.

The Arizona offense struggled on Saturday too. Seve Romo, the designated hitter, singled in the second inning, but the Wildcats did not record another hit until Matt Fraizer bunted his way on in the sixth.

Arizona did finally score in the top of the seventh when Romo scored from a Paugh single. A second run was added in the eighth on a home run from second baseman Cameron Cannon, his sixth of the season.

Romo led the Arizona offense with two hits and he reached base three times.

Utah’s offensive leaders were second baseman Oliver Dunn and left fielder Chandler Anderson. Anderson also reached base three times.

Ute starter Josh Tedeschi pitched spectacularly through his 7 2/3 innings of work. He only threw 95 pitches while allowing six hits and two earned runs and struck out four. Trenton Stoltz recorded his sixth save of the season and second in two nights. Tedeschi earned his first win of the season.

Of note, Arizona is still missing centerfielder Cal Stevenson, who suffered a hand injury when he was hit by a pitch a couple of weeks ago.

After Satuday’s loss, the Wildcats fell to 23-17 overall and a damaging 6-11 in the Pac-12. After having an RPI around 30 at one point, the Wildcats have dropped five in-conference games in a row, putting Arizona at risk of missing the post-season.

The Wildcats play one more in Salt Lake Sunday at noon before one game at Utah Valley on Monday.