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Defensive woes cost Arizona in loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Photo by Jason Bartel

Saturday was the first day of spring break, and the Arizona’s normal attention to detail seemed to leave town with the rest of the student body.

The Wildcats committed four errors in a 10-4 loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Arizona’s errors on defense, while costly, became problematic when Arizona’s pitchers couldn’t limit the damage after the error was committed.

The errors, and subsequent run(s), began in the top of the first and did not slow down as the game went on.

Freshman starting pitcher Bryce Collins began the game with two quick outs and an infield single. Then, just when it looked like Arizona might get out the inning with no damage when a routine grounder skipped to shortstop Cameron Cannon, his throw to first baseman Austin Wells tipped off the end of Wells’ glove, extending the inning.

Colin Kreiter then doubled home a run to give Wisconsin-Milwaukee an early lead.

Cannon made up for it by launching a solo homer.

After a second-inning run from UWM, Arizona scored three runs of their own from a Dayton Dooney double, a Matt Fraizer single to score Dooney, and a wild pitch later in the inning.

Collins settled down for two innings, holding Wisconsin-Milwaukee scoreless, though one runner reached after Cannon threw wide on another routine play.

Then the fifth inning happened. Collins got two quick outs before redshirt junior Joe Vyskocil singled. He then moved to second and third on a balk and wild pitch. A walk and a double sent Arizona coach Jay Johnson to his bullpen with the game tied at 4-all.

He turned to hometown kid George Arias Jr., who walked the first batter he faced. The next batter, first baseman Oakland Sanlan, hit a grounder to Cannon that should have ended the inning, Cannon’s throw bounced off Wells’ glove. A run scored and inning stayed alive.

Arias walked the next batter before exiting, meaning he walked two of the three batters he faced. Andrew Nardi replaced him, only to throw a passed ball, giving UWM a 6-4 lead.

Three runs would score with Nardi on the mound and twice the ball found the backstop. Junior Vince Vannelle got Arizona out of the inning.

Arizona allowed one more run in the seventh and failed to score themselves.

Collins was tagged with his first loss of the season after going 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits.

Neither Arias nor Nardi recorded an out. Arias walked two and gave up three unearned runs. Nardi gave up two hits and allowed one earned run. Vannelle logged three innings, allowing six hits, but only one run. Sophomore Gil Luna recorded the final four outs.

Arizona’s offense finished with 14 hits. Wells had three of those hits and a walk. Catcher Matt Dyer, outfielder Matt Fraizer, and Cannon had two hits, with Fraizer and Cannon getting RBIs.

The Wildcats will look to regroup Sunday when they play UWM for the series at 11 a.m. and Hi Corbett.