Arizona headed into its final series of the regular season with its longest errorless streak in at least 25 years. But after a sloppy game in the field, the Wildcats enter the last day before the postseason trying to avoid being swept for the first time in more than three years.
Three UA errors led to a pair of unearned runs, including one in the bottom of the eighth inning that scored the game-winning run in a 4-3 loss at Oregon on Friday afternoon. Arizona (35-20, 16-13 Pac-12) has dropped the first two games of the series in Eugene and are guaranteed to be the No. 5 seed—opening against the Ducks—in the Pac-12 tourney next week in Scottsdale.
Oregon’s Gavin Grant singled up the middle with two out in the eighth, plating a pinch-runner who was on base after third baseman Tony Bullard threw wide of first base on a ground ball that should have ended the inning. Reliever Trevor Long walked the next batter, then Quinn Flanagan came on and allowed the game-deciding hit.
Oregon (34-21, 17-12 Pac-12) got its first run in the bottom of the first thanks to an dropped fly ball right fielder Tanner O’Tremba with two out, resulting in a 3-base error, followed by a single from Drew Cowley.
The Ducks went up 3-0 on a 2-run home run by catcher Bennett Thompson in the second, but after that UA starter Garrett Irvin buckled down and ended up going seven innings. He allowed eight hits and one walk, striking out three in his third outing of seven or more innings in his last four starts.
Arizona got on the board in the fourth on a solo homer from Chase Davis, an opposite-field shot that was his 16th of the season and 10th in Pac-12 play, tying the school conference record. The Wildcats tied it in the fifth on an RBI double from Daniel Susac and an O’Tremba run-scoring groundout.
But after that the UA could do nothing against Oregon right-hander Isaac Ayon, who ended up tossing a complete game. Following a 2-out intentional walk to Davis in the fifth, Ayon faced the minimum with just one walk allowed over the final 4.2 innings.
Ayon struck out 10, including the final five UA batters. He struck out the side in the ninth on 11 pitches.
Arizona has not announced a starting pitcher for Saturday’s finale. A loss would mark the first time the Wildcats have been swept since losing all three at Oregon State in April 2019.