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Arizona baseball falls at Stanford, drops first Pac-12 series since March

arizona-wildcats-college-baseball-stanford-cardinal-pac12-series-recap-streak-bullpen-2021 Arizona Athletics

Arizona’s win streak was halted on Friday, and two days later the Wildcats’ run of Pac-12 series victories came to an end.

The UA lost 8-2 at Stanford on Sunday afternoon, marking the end to its run of six consecutive conference series wins. Arizona (32-13, 16-8) hadn’t dropped a Pac-12 series since losing two of three at UCLA March 19-21.

The loss also dropped the Wildcats into a 3-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 in terms of win percentage with Stanford (12-6) and Oregon (14-7), while Oregon State (13-8) is right behind that trio. Arizona visits OSU in two weeks, the same weekend Stanford goes to Oregon, while OSU plays at Stanford the final weekend of the regular season.

Arizona, which tied a season high with 20 runs in Saturday’s win at Stanford, didn’t score until the seventh inning and finished with just eight hits. The Wildcats also saw their bullpen, which has been such a strength most of the season, have one of their worst collective performances in quite some time.

Stanford went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first off Austin Smith but it could have been worse had Smith not induced an inning-ending double play. The righty went the first 3.1 innings, then was followed by TJ Nichols, who gave up a 2-run home run to Tommy Troy in the fifth.

Chandler Murphy yielded two more in the sixth, the second coming home after UA shortstop Nik McClaughry caught a line drive but then lost control of the ball trying to throw to third base to double off a runner.

Arizona, which managed only three hits and a walk off Stanford starter Alex Williams over the first six innings, finally got on the board in the seventh against the Cardinal bullpen. Kobe Kato drove in Ryan Holgate, who led off the seventh with a single, on a sacrifice fly, then Donta’ Williams drove in Daniel Susac with a 2-out single.

But Williams, who extended his on-base streak to 31 games, was thrown out at second base to end the rally. His hand came off the bag at second, preventing Arizona from being able to bring the potential tying run to the plate.

Stanford then scored on a passed ball in the seventh and added two more in the eighth as the Wildcats used four pitchers in that inning. Arizona’s six relievers combined to allow seven runs and seven hits in 5.2 innings.

The UA returns home to face Washington on Friday for its final Pac-12 homestand.