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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Baseball holds on, ends losing skid”

    Arizona 8, Gonzaga 7

    After losing three straight games by one run on the weekend, the Wildcats found their own way to squeak out a 8-7 victory against Gonzaga on Monday in Spokane, Wash.

    Don’t give them all the credit, though.

    The Arizona baseball team (17-19) seemingly did all that it could to give the game away, but Gonzaga failed to overcome sloppy pitching and careless defense.

    “”We tried to give the game away again, but they didn’t want it so we ended up winning,”” UA head coach Andy Lopez said after the game.

    Given the recent struggles that the Wildcats have had, they’ll take a win any way they can.

    “”We didn’t play all that great, but it’s always better to win than to lose,”” Lopez said.

    The driving force behind the victory was a three-headed monster of freshman sluggers – Jett Bandy, Shaun Cooper and Steve Selsky. The three combined to go 7-for-12 with five RBI.

    The confidence these three have displayed has helped the Wildcats form a promising nucleus for the future, which has proven to be a stark contrast to the core of young pitchers on the roster.

    “”We lose so many games by a run that it feels good to win one,”” Bandy said. “”Teams look at us and they see freshmen in the lineup so they try to challenge us, but more often than not we step into the box and win the challenge.””

    Added Cooper: “”Coach Lopez pulled us aside and told us that (this) is going to be our program. We took that to heart and just tried to step up as much as we can.””

    The recognition that the program is theirs for the taking is a sign that the program is in good hands. But there are still plenty of baseball games to be played this season – baseball games that the team needs to win if they have any hopes at a postseason appearance.

    “”We have the talent and we’re playing good baseball, but toward the end of the game, we make one or two mistakes that end up being a deciding factor,”” Cooper said. “”It was nice to get a win after losing three in a row, I just wish we could do it in the Pac-10.””

    Lopez shares the same thoughts as his freshman designated hitter, but his years of coaching knowledge tells him that wishing for conference success is a lot different from having conference success.

    “”I tell these guys everyday that we need to start playing more successfully, there is no N.I.T. in college baseball,”” he said.

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