Wildcats play waiting game

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona suffered its eighth loss in the last ten games after squandering a five-run lead en route to an 8-7 defeat against Grand Canyon University late Tuesday night.

As for the Wildcats' pitching staff, the situation may get darker before it gets lighter.

Junior right-hander Clay Crossan was diagnosed yesterday with tendinitis in his elbow and will not be allowed to throw until Tuesday at the earliest. He had been scheduled to pitch Saturday against No. 10 Southern Cal.

Crossan has been the starting rotation's most reliable performer with a 3-1 record and 5.02 ERA. He earned the UA's only victory over spring break a 6-5 decision over UCLA.

Senior right-hander Ryan Frace has been hampered by ankle problems in recent weeks. He is the workhorse of the squad, having pitched over 60 innings this season. Frace, who is 3-5 with a 4.75 ERA, was scheduled to get the start on Friday but his health is still questionable.

The Wildcats are also still hurting from the absence of shortstop Erik Mattern. Mattern separated his shoulder March 3 in the 9-8 victory over Arizona State. He was expected to miss at least three weeks which would make him available for this weekend's series.

"I think it's noticeable, we miss Erik," Arizona head coach Jerry Kindall said. "Things started to be coming together, the infield was looking pretty settled and then we lost him."

A settled infield would be a welcome addition for the Wildcats, but the outfield has experienced its share of bad games as well.

In Tuesday's loss, an outfield error allowed two runs to score runs that later proved to be the dif

ference in the game.

But Kindall said he was pleased with the pitching performance of Shawn Barrington. The junior left-hander pitched five innings, allowed just three earned runs and struck out four.

"Shawn was pitching very well, but then he tired," Kindall said. "In the sixth he started to walk some and then they hit him."

For many involved with Arizona baseball, these last few weeks have gone from a baseball game to the waiting game.

The waiting game involves Kindall's pursuit of Frank Sancet's all-time victory mark of 831 games. He entered the season needing just 15 victories. The Wildcats earned 13 victories three months faster than the '94 team, but since March 4 they have won just one game Crossan's victory over the Bruins.

So Kindall must wait. His next chance will come Friday afternoon at Dedeaux Field against the Trojans. But as always, Kindall is more concerned with the success of his team rather than his personal success.

"It's the farthest thing from my mind right now," he said. "We need to win games for the team, not for me."

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