Since moving to Hi Corbett Field in 2012, Arizona has won more than 70 percent of its games and has dropped fewer than 10 home contests in eight of the previous 10 seasons.
But after falling 7-3 to Texas State on Sunday, the Wildcats (9-3) did something at Hi Corbett they hadn’t done in nearly three years: lose a series.
The Bobcats took the final two games of the 3-game set, improving to 10-2 with five of its last six wins coming against power-conference teams after sweeping Ohio State at home last weekend.
“People would ask (me) ‘who’s Texas State?’ Well, they just showed you who Texas State was,” Arizona coach Chip Hale said. “You hate to not defend your own turf. This is Arizona, we’re very proud of our home field, and they just came in here the last few days and took it to us. They pretty much outpitched us, outdefended us, outhit us and outcoached. So that’s that’s the most disappointing thing for me is we just didn’t prepare the guys well enough. So I take the blame.”
Arizona scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-1 lead, with the first two scoring on RBI groundouts by Daniel Susac and Tanner O’Tremba before Tommy Splaine hit a 2-out RBI double. Splaine, a freshman was 2 for 3 in his second career start, making a case for more playing time whether it be at DH (where he was Sunday), catcher or first base.
“He’s definitely put himself in a spot to get more at-bats, yeah, for sure,” Hale said.
Texas State tied the game in the fifth on a 2-run home run by John Wuthrich, which knocked UA starter Dawson Netz out of the game. The Bobcats added three more runs that inning off reliever Quinn Flanagan, all unearned after first baseman Noah Turley couldn’t field a soft liner to his glove side up the baseline.
“Those are tough plays,” Hale said. “Noah is new to the position and it’s been rough for him lately. He’s trying his best to not let it affect them, both on the offensive side, and then when he goes back out on defense, but it’s hard not to.”
After striking out a season-high 16 times in Saturday’s 6-2 loss, the Wildcats fanned eight times Sunday. It was 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position, while their five hits tied a season low.
The last time the UA lost a home series was April 12-14, 2019 against Cal.
Arizona, which only lost consecutive games four times in 2021, will try to avoid a 3-game skid when it hosts New Mexico on Tuesday night to wrap up a 10-game homestand before visting Cal next weekend to open Pac-12 play.
“Baseball is a game where you can win a lot of games and then all of a sudden you just lose a couple,” O’Tremba said. “I think there’s no panic there. Get ready for New Mexico on Tuesday, and then start conference (play) on Friday.”