All streaks must come to an end.
Arizona lost 2-0 at Nevada on Saturday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field, ending a run of 216 consecutive games in which it had scored. The Wildcats were shut out for the first time since March 17, 2018, when they fell 1-0 at Washington.
The UA (31-14) managed just three hits against Nevada right-hander Cam Walty, who became the first pitcher to throw a complete game against the Wildcats since May 2018. Walty needed only 107 pitches to get through a lineup that had 23 hits in the previous two games of the series and which had produced at least 11 in six straight games.
Walty threw 76 strikes, only 15 that weren’t swung at. Of Arizona’s 33 plate appearances, 17 lasted two or fewer pitches and nine batters put the first pitch into play.
“He threw a lot of strikes, and so I think guys are gonna be aggressive, you don’t want to be passive,” said Tanner O’Tremba, who had a first-inning double but was stranded on third. “You try not to change anything, if you get your pitch you swing. I think later in the game, you tryand see some pitches if we’re having quick innings and stuff, which we did today. I think guys were just getting their pitches and getting their hacks off, and that’s baseball. It’s gonna happen.”
Nevada (22-19) got all the scoring it needed in the top of the first, scoring twice off UA lefty Garrett Irvin via two walks and two hits. He ended up going eight innings, allowing only two more hits.
“You gotta come out ready with your good stuff because obviously he had good stuff today, just the first inning wasn’t there,” UA coach Chip Hale said. “After that it was great, he did a great job. Sometimes you’re gonna lose 1-0, 2-0. Doesn’t happen a whole lot in college, but it’s a good lesson to be learned.”
It was the third straight game at Hi Corbett in which Arizona has fallen behind early. It rallied from 3-0 deficits to beat Nevada on Thursday and Friday night but with the loss Saturday dropped to 17-9 on its home field.
“We’ve fallen behind numerous games here,” Hale said. “It’s an issue that we have to try to address and get better at. We just have not played very well in this ballpark.”
Arizona only struck out five times, but 15 of its outs were in the air. That included the game-ending out, a low liner by Tommy Splaine that Nevada right fielder Pat Caulfield dove to preserve the shutout.
“I think, on the offensive side, we’re gonna get more than two runs for (Irvin) most of the time,” O’Tremba said. “So I think we’ll take a little bit of the blame for that. (Walty) pitched a good game. He threw strikes, he spotted it up. And he had good defense behind them, too. They made plays as well. It’s nothing to take away from us, we also put the ball in play. That’s gonna be baseball sometimes.”
Arizona and Nevada complete the 4-game series at 12 p.m. PT Sunday. The Wildcats have not named a starting pitcher, which could mean the plan is to go with several arms, but if a standard starter is used the top candidate is freshman lefty Eric Orloff (1-1, 4.21).