The Arizona Wildcats not only completed a sweep on the road against ASU for the first time since 1989, they continued to show they may be a threat again this postseason.
Arizona’s 9-5 victory Saturday night at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium improved the Wildcats’ record to 36-17 overall and 15-12 in the Pac-12.
Jay Johnson’s team has won nine of its last 11 games. Arizona’s last five losses, starting with Stanford sweeping the Wildcats in Palo Alto, Calif., from April 27-29, includes setbacks by only one or two runs.
Jay Johnson mood status: pleased pic.twitter.com/FHTKCRWBJL
With the way Arizona is competing, even in its narrow defeats, the Wildcats are playing well enough to put themselves in position to achieve their second consecutive 40-win season for only the second time since 1986.
Andy Lopez’s team won 42 games in 2007 and 2008. Before that, the Wildcats won 47 and 49 games under Jerry Kindall in 1985 and 1986.
Arizona hosts Cal (23-28, 13-14) for a three-game series next week. The Wildcats can finish no worse than .500 in the Pac-12, which should be good enough to reach the postseason. A sweep of the Golden Bears could signal to the selection committee that Arizona is one of the hottest teams in the nation, meriting the opportunity to host a regional.
The Wildcats held off a ninth-inning surge by ASU, which scored four runs in the inning, to beat the Sun Devils 9-5.
Cody Deason (5-2) got the victory, allowing only one run in six innings. He struck out four and walked two. He has won three of his last four starts with an ERA less than 3.00 in that span.
J.J. Matijevic, who is batting .400, went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI. He is second nationally with 26 doubles. His 56 career doubles ties Chip Hale for sixth on the Arizona record chart.
Alfonso Rivas went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.