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Arizona Repeats Winning Formula Against Oregon State

Luke Heimlich pitched well against Arizona, but not well enough.
Luke Heimlich pitched well against Arizona, but not well enough.
(Image by Andy Wooldridge)

Last night, Oregon State's Travis Eckert pitched well, but Arizona won 6-1 because their pitching was better. The 'Cats did the necessary damage after getting a look at Eckert, who fought through a tough stretch, but eventually yielded some insurance.

The formula worked so well against soon to not be 13th ranked Oregon State that Arizona used the same formula again, and they got a 4-1 win, and a series win, as a result.

It wasn't an exact replay of the game, but it was very close, even if it did take a full hour longer to complete the process.

It took until the 4th inning before Arizona got to Eckert, when Ryan Aguilar tripled to drive in 2 runs, and then scored himself to provide the decisive scoring last night. Tonight, it was only the 3rd inning when the 'Cats bats came alive, and Zach Gibbons made Beaver starter Luke Heimlich pay for a pair of walks with a 2 RBI triple. JJ Matigevi's double then drove in Gibbons, and it was 3-0 Arizona.

Eckert recovered, but ultimately gave up some insurance, with a phantom balk setting the plate for an errant throw by Eckert that produced an insurance run.

Tonight, it was a hard to see balk by Heimlich that ultimately led to Arizona's insurance run, on a wild pitch by Heimlich.

The 'Cats got a complete game win from Nathan Bannister last night, but while tonight's Arizona starter and game wiiner, JC Cloney, didn't go the distance, he did allow only 5 hits in 6 2/3 innings, and he got good support from Kevin Ginkel, the reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, who was at one point expected to get the start tomorrow.

But Arizona Coach Jay Johnson sensed the opportunity for the game and series win though, and turned to Ginkel to get the job done. And though he issued a walk to load the bases after taking over for Cloney, he got Logan Ice to strike out, and preserve what at the time was a 3-0 lead.

Oregon State, who began the weekend the conference's leading offense, did finally get to Ginkel, and break a streak of 16 scoreless innings, since getting a single run in the top of the first yesterday. Cadyn Grenier led off with a double, and scored on an infield out by Nick Madrigal.

But the Beaver threat ended there, and the game ended on a double play ball.

Cloney and Ginkel had the Beaver batters off balance most of the night, and as a result, another familiar foible of Oregon State was repeated, as the Beavers stranded an excruciating 11 runners.

Coney improved to 4-3 for the season, while Heimlich fell to 5-3.

The win improved Arizona to 30-16, making the 'Cats the first Pac-12 team to reach 30 wins. Arizona is also now 13-10 in the Pac-12, and their 13 wins are the most in the conference. The 'Cats are now withing 1/2 game of Washington, and the conference lead.

Oregon State stayed at 29 wins, and is 29-14 overall, and dropped to .500 in conference, at 10-10, 2 games back. The Beavers will try to salvage a win in the desert, and resuscitate their offense, tomorrow at noon, when they wrap up their weekend in Tucson.