With the end of the regular season drawing near for Arizona Baseball, the Wildcats guarantee ASU’s first losing season in over 30 years.
Already two games into their three-game series versus rival ASU, the Arizona Baseball team will go for the sweep today. The Cats have already ensured the Devils will have a losing season in 2017, the first since 1985.
Man, how fortunate are we to have found a great coach in head coach Jay Johnson? Arizona and ASU have had strong baseball programs for some time, but it seems as of recent the Wildcats have had a bit of the edge.
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We’ve been to two championships since 2012, and being within a botched out call to winning both times. The Sun Devils haven’t played in the College World Series final since 1998, with their last World Series win coming in 1981. Arizona has won two since then (1986, 2012).
The first two games have been well played in this weekends’ series, with both teams putting together solid pitching performances, but luckily for us, it is the Wildcats who have come out victorious both times.
Wildcats ace JC Cloney took the mound in the first game, but wouldn’t last too long, pitching five-and-a-third innings. Cloney would give up three runs to the Sun Devils on six hits, while striking out seven, before being replaced by reliever Michael Flynn.
Arizona was the first to strike in this one, taking a 3-1 lead in the fifth, after JJ Matijevic would double to right field, scoring both Cal Stevenson and Jared Oliva. However, ASU would respond in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at 3-3.
The tie wouldn’t last long though, as Alfonso Rivas would put down a perfect bunt that would score the runner from third on this remarkable squeeze play in the seventh inning.
The Wildcats would bring home two more runs in that inning, giving them the lead for good and the victory, despite ASU scoring two more runs.
Arizona would win game one, 6-5!
Flynn would ultimately pick up the victory, improving his record to 4-0 on the year. Tylor Megill would also get the save, his third of the season.
In game two, Cameron Ming would take to the mound, continuing on his strong pitching performances already this season. For the second time, Ming would once again throw another complete game, pitching all nine innings, surrendering just one run on six hits.
Plays like this also helped keep the Devils’ offense at bay:
Offensively, the Wildcats were led by Matijevic (perhaps not surprising at this point and now our deemed Arizona’s “JJ Bae”) and Jared Oliva, despite the few hits, they came timely, as each drove in a run.
Arizona would go on to win game two by 3-1, guaranteeing a series win versus ASU, and also guaranteeing that the Sun Devils would have their first losing season in over 30 years.
If that also isn’t enough, regardless of the outcome of today’s game, the Wildcats ensured they would win the head-to-head versus the Sun Devils this year.
First pitch for game three is slated for 7 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Tempe, AZ.
At Zona Zealots, we are proud of this team and hope they continue to play well, and perhaps more importantly, sweep the Sun Devils! Bear Down, Arizona!