Arizona Baseball

Arizona drops opening game of Oregon State series

Arizona’s second largest crowd of 4,600 (second largest of the year)watching the Wildcats in their 9-2 loss to Oregon State. (Arizona Athletics photo)

No. 14 Arizona (32-19, 19-9) opened their three game series at Hi Corbett Field against No. 6 Oregon State a game and a half ahead of the Beavers in the race for the final Pac-12 regular season championship.

By the end of Thursday night, that lead dwindled to a half-game as the Beavers(40-12, 18-9) used a five-run third inning to defeat the Wildcats 9-2 in the series opener.

“There was not a facet of the game I thought we did very well at all,” Arizona coach Chip Hale said. 

Aiden May, Oregon States starting pitcher, happens to be a familiar face for Arizona. The right hander transferred to Oregon State after spending the previous year with the Wildcats.

May pitched 7 innings, had 7 strikes, allowing 6 hits and 2 runs (1 earned) to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Jackson Kent, Arizona’s starting pitcher, opened the game with a strike out of Oregon States lead-off batter and No.2 draft prospect Travis Bazzana on a 96-mph fastball.

Kent pitched two solid innings before the Beavers opened the dam in the third inning including two 2 RBI homers one by designated hitter Gavin Turley and the other by right fielder Brady Kasper.

“First inning he looked dynamite, 95.. his breaking ball was snapping, just ran into a buzz saw there, they did a great job. Haven’t had many of those starts obviously all year he’s been great.” Said Hale.

Arizona, already skinny in the outfield position, with Easton Breyfogle (hamstring) day-to-day and TJ Adams (shoulder) out indefinitely, lost another one when right fielder Emilio Corona was hit in the hand while up to bat in the second inning.

Corona, in obvious pain, took the field in the third and fourth inning before getting pulled.

“The way it got so swollen so quick, it’s not good,” Hale said about Corona’s hand.

With Corona out, pitcher Casey Hintz may see some time in the outfield in Friday’s game.

Arizona’s first run came in the third inning when Brandon Rogers hit a single to the right side. A fielding error by Oregon State’s right fielder Brady allowed Rogers to show his speed, ending up safe at third base.

Richie Morales’ ground out brought Rogers across the plate.

The Wildcats’ second and final score of the night came in the eight inning. Freshman first baseman Andrew Cain doubled down the first base line and Morales hit into a double play, advanced Cain home.

Arizona, needing one win against Oregon State to secure the Pac-12 regular season championship, will start Clark Candiotti on the mound Friday night.

Game two in the series will start at 6:00 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field.

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