Stanford’s Mark Appe

Stanford’s Mark Appel contributed to Arizona’s fruitless trip.
Photo by Crystal Ochoa/The Arizona Republic

When they say baseball is a funny game they’re talking about series like this past weekend for the Arizona Wildcats.

Kurt Heyer threw nine shutout innings on Friday night, and his team lost.

The UA outscored a Pac-10 opponent over the three games but lost twice. And it’s the second time that’s happened this year.

That’s baseball.

The Cats weren’t favored to win at Stanford so it wasn’t a shock they lost two of three. But it’s frustrating to leave town knowing you were just a couple hits away from sweeping the series.

Kurt Heyer was absolutely dominant in the series opener but his teammates couldn’t push anything across against two Stanford pitchers in a very rare 1-0, 11-inning game.

Kyle Simon wasn’t quite as good but he got the run support and the 7-3 victory, his team-leading 10th win of the year.

Konner Wade had the best performance of his young career with 6.1 shutout innings only to face the same fate as Heyer in a 2-1 loss.

All told K Cubed combined for a 1.19 ERA over 22.2 innings with 16 strikeouts and a single base on balls. You don’t get much better than that. Except for the winning part.

Arizona’s last four losses have come by one run. Is that good news or bad news?

It leaves the BatCats somewhere between good and bad, 12-12 in conference play, stuck in a three-way tie for 5th place. You don’t get much more mediocre than that.

Elsewhere…

USC won two of three at OSU.
Scores: 2-7, 8-3, 4-3
Didn’t see that one coming. The Trojans have now won five of their last six series. They will argue with Georgia about who is the best team not in the NCAA tournament. The Beavers picked a bad time to drop their first Pac-10 series of the year. But it didn’t cost them everything because…

ASU won two of three at Washington.
Scores: 6-0, 12-0, 0-3
The one loss on Sunday kept the Sun Devils out of 1st place. They have company because…

UCLA won two of three vs. Cal.
Scores: 0-4, 2-1, 5-2.
The Bruins couldn’t get all three either. It sets up a huge battle in Tempe this upcoming weekend with the winner hoping for Beaver defeats.

WSU won two of three vs. Oregon.
Scores: 12-6, 3-6, 8-7
Don’t look now but the Cougars have won three of their last four. Actually, go ahead and look because the Ducks and Portland Pilots aren’t very good.

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What did the pollsters think of OSU losing and UCLA winning?

Team BAS COL NAT PER USA Average
OSU 6 6 13 7 10 8.4
ASU 8 11 6 13 9 9.4
UCLA 23 17 19 24 19 20.4
Stanford 26 20 24 26.4
Cal 23 29 26 28.0
ARIZONA 26 28 29.4

BAS = Baseball America
COL = Collegiate Baseball
NAT = National Collegiate Baseball Writers
PER = Perfect Game
USA = USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll

ASU closed the poll gap on Oregon State and everybody likes the Bruins again. Stanford took Arizona’s place in one poll and the Cats slid down into 6th place in the Pac average rankings.

Joey Rickard and Cole Frenzel lost a lot of ground in the Pac-10 batting race and it’s not a coincidence the team struggled to score runs. Add in Bryce Ortega and the top three hitters in the UA lineup went a combined 4-for-34 (.117) against the Cardinal.

The good news on the stat front is Josh Garcia got a couple starts and hit his team-leading 7th home run of the year, just one behind the Pac-10 co-leaders, Taylor Ard and Derek Jones of WSU. What makes it even more impressive is Ard and Jones have each started 50 games while Garcia has only started 32.

Extra batting practice for everybody!

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Scott Terrell thinks it’s hard to win when you don’t score. Look for more complex math on Twitter and Facebook.