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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Guilmet one-hits Gonzaga in baseball’s season-opening romp

    It was almost a flawless start to Arizona’s baseball season.

    Right-hander Preston Guilmet threw eight innings of no-hit ball, and his offense exploded for 14 runs on 20 hits, including 12 for extra bases – which tied a school record – in the Wildcats’ 14-0 season-opening win over Gonzaga Friday night.

    “”I was just out there throwing, I wasn’t really thinking about (the no-hitter),”” Guilmet said.

    “”Guys were hitting tonight, so it made it nice and relaxing for me.””

    After Gonzaga’s Evan Wells lined a shot that landed in front of right fielder Brad Glenn to open the ninth, Guilmet retired one more batter before being replaced by righty Cory Burns.

    Guilmet finished with 105 pitches — 65 for strikes — in 8 1/3 innings of work, striking out four and walking two.

    “”Everything had great bite, his fastball was locating very well,”” said catcher Dwight Childs, who finished 3-for-5. “”We knew the hitters, we knew what they could do, we knew what Preston could do, and we took advantage of their weaknesses.””

    At one point, the sophomore Guilmet retired 17 Bulldogs in a row.

    “”He got stronger tonight,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”He pitched better in the fifth, sixth, seventh innings than he did earlier in the game.

    “”I thought earlier in the game … he wasn’t as consistent as we’d seen him in the last couple of weeks. As the game went on, he did a much better job.””

    The Wildcat hitters terrorized Gonzaga starter Brandon Harmon from the opening frame, scoring twice on back-to-back extra-base hits from designated hitter C.J. Ziegler and left fielder Brad Glenn.

    Arizona added another run on right fielder Jon Gaston’s double in the bottom of the second, and then broke things open an inning later with four runs on five hits, including three doubles, to take a 7-0 lead.

    Center fielder T.J. Steele hit his first-career home run on a shot to left in the bottom of the fifth, and the Wildcats tacked on three more an inning later to go up 11-0.

    Ziegler knocked home his third run of the day on a double off the wall, scoring shortstop Robert Abel.

    “”They said that (Harmon) had a pretty good offspeed (pitch), and a pretty live fastball, but we came out ready and prepared,”” said Ziegler, who finished 4-for-5 with four runs scored and three doubles, which tied a school record.

    Said Lopez of the transfer from Pima Community College: “”That’s kind of why we have him here, to swing the bat. He had a good debut, that’s for sure.””

    The next batters, Glenn and Steele, lined shots of their own off the wall to score two more and round out the Wildcat scoring.

    Sophomore lefty Daniel Schlereth will toe the rubber for Arizona in Game 2 tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.

    Extra bases
    Infielder Colt Sedbrook, who’s been trying to resolve personal issues early this season, wasn’t in the starting lineup at the first pitch, meaning he likely won’t be available all series … 925 people took in the opening-day win.

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