Coming into the third inning against Stanford, Arizona pitcher Tyger Talley had retired six straight batters. On the back end of it, he retired 14 of 15.
In between all that came the inning from hell — the one in which the Cardinal scored all their runs in a 5-3 win.
“Wow, one inning,” UA coach Andy Lopez said. “That’s happened to us a lot. Tough one inning; wind was a factor. It cost us, cost us dearly.”
It started with a Zach Hoffpauir triple, and just snowballed from there.
On the next play, Cats left fielder Tyler Krause dropped Wayne Taylor’s routine fly ball. Krause then threw wildly to shortstop Kevin Newman. He was charged with two errors on the play as Taylor reached third. 1-0.
Brett Michael Doran followed up with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Talley then recorded an out before walking a batter. A stolen base later, Stanford’s Alex Blandino launched a home run to left. 4-0.
After a single and a run-scoring double — the Cardinal hit for a team cycle in the inning — the Wildcats had fallen behind 5-0.
“You know what, they’re mistakes of commission, not omission,” Lopez said of Krause’s misplays. “Throwing the ball away is a little bit of a kick in the ... you know. But he plays hard, which is all we ask. Obviously that was a rough inning, but he’s done a good job here the last three to four weeks.”
Talley was only charged with one earned run in the inning, and bounced back nicely the rest of the way, surrendering just six hits on the afternoon.
As with most of the season, though, it wasn’t enough, as a three-run eighth couldn’t save Arizona (19-30, 8-19 Pac-12).
Talley (1-3) went 7⅓ innings, striking out three and walking one. The right-hander put the errors in perspective after the game.
“You know, I can’t let that affect me,” he said. “So I just went out there and did my job. And that’s all I can do, not let a couple errors get to my head. So I just settled in, calmed down, and tried to finish the game out.”
The solid performance lowered his ERA from 3.75 to 3.43.
“He did a great job,” Lopez said. “He’s been very consistent for us; he’s done a good job on Sundays. I’m happy with Tyger. He’s really grown into a starting pitcher.”
For the second straight game, Arizona’s late-inning fireworks made it interesting down the stretch.
In the eighth, Zach Gibbons led off with a single. Stanford starter Logan James and reliever Brett Hanewich then combined to walk the next three batters, forcing in the Wildcats’ first run.
Krause followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Willie Calhoun’s sac fly pushed Arizona’s final run across the plate before Riley Moore flew out to left-center to end the inning.
Stanford retired the side in the ninth to claim the series win. The Wildcats have lost seven of their nine conference series this season. Their final one will be at California, starting Friday.
Scott Kingery said the Cats could use a more complete performance.
“It’s really frustrating,” he said. “I think we’re just taking better approaches later in the game right now, trying to get their pitches we can hit, and that’s worked better in later innings.
“We should probably start the game like that so we don’t have to start so late to come back.”