The Arizona Wildcats could not keep up offensively with the Arizona State Sun Devils in an 8-3 loss on Saturday night in Phoenix, extending their losing streak to six games.
Arizona’s struggles started right away. Pitcher Quinn Flannigan picked up where he left off last week at UCLA, as he failed to make it out of the first inning. Flannigan allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning.
ASU’s damage began via a 2-run home run from centerfielder Hunter Bishop, who at .423 is the Sun Devils’ best hitter. Flannigan then loaded the bases before allowing a groundout to add a third run. A wild pitch and RBI single gave ASU a 5-0 lead and ended Flannigan’s night.
Sophomore Gil Luna replaced Flannigan and pitched well for the first time this season, allowing no runs through 3 1/3 innings.
Arizona’s other relievers were not as successful. Zach Sherman and Avery Weems struggled, as they both have recently. Sherman allowed one run and Weems allowed two.
Vance Vannelle finished the game for the Wildcats. Arizona’s best relief pitcher this season pitched well and threw 2 1/3 shutout innings.
Arizona now sits at 13-13 overall and 2-6 in Pac-12 play heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. To make matters worse for the Wildcats, their once-potent offense has managed just five runs in the first two games after averaging nearly 10 per game entering the weekend.
The bright spot for Arizona’s offense came in the fourth when first baseman Dayton Dooney hit his second home run in as many nights. Saturday night’s homer was a three-run shot to right, scoring third baseman Nick Quintana and second baseman Cameron Cannon, who both reached base via singles. The Wildcats loaded the bases again in the ninth but were unable to score.
Austin Wells, Donta Williams and Matthew Dyer each had two hits for Arizona. Dyer had a scare in the first inning when the catcher was hit in the neck by a ball that ricocheted off the bat of an ASU hitter.