Baseball: Washington 2, Arizona 1: Night after blowout, 1-run loss hurts, too

2013-05-05T00:00:00Z Baseball: Washington 2, Arizona 1: Night after blowout, 1-run loss hurts, tooDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Following a 22-run loss to Washington on Friday, members of the Arizona Wildcats said the setback counted the same as a one-run defeat.

On Saturday, they learned that lesson the hard way.

The Huskies scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and topped the Wildcats 2-1 in the second game of a three-game set at Hi Corbett Field.

"They're both very tough," said Riley Moore, who served as the designated hitter Saturday. "That's baseball. It's a blowout one night and a one-run game the next. In the end, they are both equally as sour and hurt a lot."

The win clinched the series for Washington and marked the second straight conference series loss for Arizona.

Counting Tuesday's 7-5 nonconference loss to Arizona State, the Wildcats have dropped five of their last six against Pac-12 teams.

With 11 games to play in the regular season, the defending national champions find themselves on the bubble for the NCAA tournament and need to finish strong to get an invite into the 64-team field.

In order to get hot, UA coach Andy Lopez said he needs to see better execution from his team.

It wasn't there Saturday.

Starting pitcher James Farris, who tossed a gem, giving up one earned run over seven innings on 127 pitches, made a crucial mistake in the eighth to put the Huskies in great shape.

With runners on first and second and no one out in a 1-1 game, Lopez called for Farris to throw to second base. The head coach said the only point of the play is to check the hands of the batter and see if a bunt is coming.

"If we rolled the ball to second base, that would be OK," Lopez said. "We're only doing it to see if they're bunting."

Instead, Farris turned and threw the ball into center field, advancing both runners.

He then exited the game in favor of closer Mat Troupe. The sophomore reliever retired the first three batters he faced but gave up a sacrifice fly to give the Huskies the lead for good.

"There's no reason to throw that ball into center field," Lopez said. "Farris pitched great until that play."

The junior right-hander said, "I know I pitched well, but I feel like I handed them the game with that throw."

Lopez said had Troupe been stronger on Tuesday against the Sun Devils - he threw nine pitches, eight for balls - he would have brought in his closer to start the eighth. Instead, Farris started the inning with a pitch count of 121.

"That's the hard reality," Lopez said. "Consistency is all we're looking for."

The coach said Farris will likely move into the Friday night starter role starting next weekend at UCLA.

Konner Wade, the team's ace to this point, would move to either Saturday or Sunday.

"I came to the stadium tonight thinking if he pitched well, he would start Friday at UCLA," Lopez said.

Farris' error in the eighth was hardly the Wildcats' only miscue in the loss. Moore was called on to bunt in the sixth with a runner on first and couldn't get it down and struck out.

The Huskies scored their first run in the third following a passed ball by catcher David Real, and the Wildcats made three errors total in the loss. The team was also 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

"We played better, but we were not clean," Lopez said. "If you're in a close game and make mistakes like that, it's going to catch up to you."

The Wildcats will send sophomore lefty Tyler Crawford to the mound today to try to avoid a sweep. First pitch is set for noon.

today

• Who: Washington at Arizona

• When: noon

• Radio: 1290-AM

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