That’s how you introduce yourself to a rivalry.

The Arizona Wildcats baseball team beat #1 ASU Tuesday night by a score of 4-2 to snap the Sun Devils’ 28-game home winning streak, and get the UA’s week of top-10 action off to an impressive start.

Surprise!

Surprise!
Photo by Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic

It was a night of surprises for the Cats. Freshman Cory Bernard (who had a key pinch-hit single in the WSU comeback) was scheduled to make his first career start on the mound but injured his arm during warm-ups. Andy Lopez was forced to dust off Daniel Workman for his first appearance in a month.

How do you think that turned out? How about 6 1/3 strong innings, holding the top-ranked team in the land to two runs and five hits without issuing a walk?

Then you turn the game over to Bryce Bandilla, a guy who just lost his spot in the starting rotation due to his near-5 ERA. What do you think happened? An inning-and-two-thirds of shutout ball, naturally.

But you’ve got to finish the game, and we know all about this team’s lack of a reliable closer. The result? Freshmen Augey Bill and Nick Cunningham combine to pitch a hitless ninth to seal the deal.

When you haven’t won on a particular field in three years you don’t have high expectations. When you’re facing a team that is 22-0 on said field, and you’re starting six guys who have never played said team on said field, you don’t have any expectations.

Surprise! The New Cats are undefeated against ASU.

– – – – –

On to the Pac-10 results from last weekend!

ARIZONA won all three vs. WSU. Scores: 5-3, 13-6, 12-11
Blow a three-run lead in the 9th against the Ducks; overcome a three-run deficit in the 9th against the Cougars. Leaving a UA game early is not advised.

Refsnyder

I've got this hunch...
Photo by Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic

ASU won all three vs. USC.
Scores: 5-4, 5-3, 14-6
The Devils took care of business at home, but for some reason I think they’re going to be in trouble against Arizona on Tuesday.

Cal won two of three vs. Washington. Scores: 3-7, 3-2, 9-7
The Bears did what they had to do to stay in the championship discussion. Now we’ll find out what they’ve really got.

Stanford won all three at OSU. Scores: 14-6, 5-3 (10 inn.), 10-7
Wow. The Cardinal got the statement it was looking for. The Beavers got crossed off the list of contenders.

Oregon won two of three at UCLA. Scores: 5-4, 8-4, 1-5
Wow, part 2. The Bruins were 21-0 heading into Pac-10 play. They’re 6-5 since.

Three sweeps in the five series and all three of the sweepers look good in the standings:

Place School Wins Loses Games Back
1 ASU 9 3
2 Cal 8 4 1
3-T ARIZONA 7 5 2
3-T Stanford 7 5 2
5 UCLA 5 4 2.5
6 Oregon 6 6 3
7 Washington 4 5 3.5
8-T OSU 3 6 4.5
8-T WSU 3 6 4.5
10 USC 2 10 7

The top two teams and the last team stayed put but everyone else moved. Will the deck get shuffled again this week?

Time for the rankings, plus a new-new stat!

School BAS COL NAT USA RIV Avg Points Previous CBCRDI
ASU 1 1 1 1 1 1.0 150 145 +5
UCLA 5 8 7 6 5 6.2 124 145 -21
ARIZONA 17 18 16 17 15 16.6 72 38 +34
Cal 15 15 25 23 17 19.0 60 41 +19
Oregon 18 23 25 18 23.0 40 0 +40
OSU 25 22 22 26.2 24 72 -48
Stanford 22 22 30 27.2 19 0 +19
WSU 0 3 -3

BAS = Baseball America
COL = Collegiate Baseball
NAT = National Collegiate Baseball Writers
USA = USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll
RIV = Rivals.com
CBCRDI = College Baseball Cumulative Rankings Directional Indicator

The new stat is called the “average ranking” (sometimes it’s OK to go with the obvious). You get a 31 if you’re not ranked in a particular poll and then you take the average of the five rankings. Now instead of saying Arizona is ranked #17/18/16/17/15 you can say the Cats are ranked #16.6. I am here to serve.

Oregon tied the CBCRDI record with a 40-point jump. Their cross-state rivals set the plummet mark with their 48-point freefall. ASU posted a perfect score for the second time in three weeks.

But on Tuesday the perfect score was 4-2.