Arizona finally got a strong starting pitching performance in a Pac-12 series opener, but it still wasn’t enough.
Oregon State freshman Tyce Peterson singled through the left side with one out in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs to give the Beavers a 2-1 win on Friday night in Corvallis, Ore.
The loss snapped a 6-game win streak for the Wildcats (23-16, 9-13 Pac-12) and dropped them to 2-6 in the first game of conference series. Both wins have come at home, including last week against Utah, as Arizona fell to 2-9 on the road this season.
OSU (28-13, 12-10) got three of its eight hits in the ninth of relievers Chris Barraza and Dawson Netz, with Barraza allowing a leadoff single and then walking the next batter on four pitches. Netz came in and yielded an infield single on a sacrifice bunt attempt and then, with 1 out, the game-deciding single on an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded.
UA starter Cam Walty, the fourth different Friday night starter, was masterful over the first seven innings. He allowed five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts, the last with runners on second and third.
Walty has thrown 21.2 consecutive scoreless innings, the last 20 as a starter over four appearances.
But Arizona’s conference-best offense didn’t support him like usual. The Wildcats had a season-low three hits, one each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and their only run came in the top of the fifth when Nik McClaughry stole home with two out.
STIXX!! Straight steal of home from @NikMcclaughry to get the Cats on the board!! ♂️— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) April 29, 2023
McClaughry had reached on a walk, one of five the Wildcats drew, and they also got four men on via hit by pitch, yet stranded 10 runners. Two of Arizona’s three hits were by Chase Davis and Mason White, allowing each to extend their hit streaks to 15 games, but twice Arizona had the bases loaded and one out and couldn’t score.
The UA had scored 87 runs during the 6-game win streak, recording at least 10 hits in 14 straight games.
Arizona and Oregon State will play again Saturday at 3 p.m. PT, with left-hander Bradon Zastrow starting for the Wildcats.