After game two of Arizona’s series at Oregon State was postponed due to heavy rainfall on Friday night, the Wildcats and the No. 2 Beavers were forced to play a doubleheader on Saturday in Corvallis.
OSU had claimed a come from behind 8-4 victory in Thursday’s series opener after Arizona’s bullpen failed to hang on to a two-run lead in the seventh inning, and the first game of Saturday’s back-to-back featured more of the same incompetence from Arizona’s pitching staff.
The Wildcats were blown out by the Beavers, 15-3.
The loss dropped the ‘Cats back to .500 on the season, at 18-18 overall, and to just 6-11 in conference play. It also sealed yet another conference series loss for Arizona, who are now 1-4 in their last five games.
Receiving an invitation to the NCAA Tournament is looking incredibly unlikely at this point.
The highly-ranked Beavers were in a groove throughout Saturday’s early feature, finishing with 13 hits and 12 drawn walks in the route.
The Wildcats starting pitcher, freshman Quinn Flanagan, didn’t even last four innings in a losing effort, allowing eight runs (all earned), seven hits, four walks and just two strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
By the time he was removed from the game, with one out in the fourth, Oregon State had a 6-1 lead.
The Wildcats’ relief pitching wasn’t much better either, as Randy Abshier and George Arias Jr. allowed a combined nine runs in 4.2 innings. Two of those runs were charged to Flanagan.
It was another all-around disappointing performance on the mound for the ‘Cats whose struggles in that area this season have been well documented.
The normally potent Arizona offense also struggled, and at one point in the game went 15 straight batters without reaching base.
In fact, it was the second straight game that the Wildcats struggled against the Oregon State pitchers. Thursday, Arizona didn’t record a hit after the fourth inning and at one point went 20 batters in a row without a hit.
In a series billed as a matchup of Arizona’s explosive offense and Oregon State’s lights out pitching, the Beavers’ arms have dominated.
Only Matt Dyer and Tyler Casagrande could get anything going offensively in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Wildcats finished with just six hits.
Dyer, who is leading the team with a batting average of .410, continued his stellar play of late with two RBIs and a solo home run in the top of the first while Casagrande added a run in the ninth.
At that point though, the score was 15-3 and the game had long been over.
The second of Saturday’s doubleheader and the series finale between Arizona and Oregon State is set for 7 p.m. MST on ESPNU.