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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball flies out of chance to sweep series

    UA designated hitter C.J. Ziegler takes a hack during Arizonas 7-5 win over Eastern Michigan yesterday at Sancet Stadium. Ziegler went 0-for-5 with four flyouts in the contest for an Arizona squad that flew out 17 times in the loss but helped the Wildcats win two of three by going 4-for-5 with two home runs Friday.
    UA designated hitter C.J. Ziegler takes a hack during Arizona’s 7-5 win over Eastern Michigan yesterday at Sancet Stadium. Ziegler went 0-for-5 with four flyouts in the contest for an Arizona squad that flew out 17 times in the loss but helped the Wildcats win two of three by going 4-for-5 with two home runs Friday.

    The Arizona baseball team’s chances at a sweep were blown away with the wind yesterday.

    With gusts up to 20 mph, the Wildcats hit 17 fly-ball outs, many of them killing chances to get anything going offensively, as Arizona dropped a 7-5 decision to Eastern Michigan at Sancet Stadium.

    There were “”a lot of balls in the air,”” UA head coach Andy Lopez said. “”It was probably the wrong day to hit the ball in the air. It cost us, and I sure hope we learn from it. That’s ridiculous.””

    Arizona (13-5) took the first two games of the series, 8-7 Saturday and 9-2 Friday.

    But yesterday, Eastern Michigan (2-8) used a four-run third inning to jump out to a 4-1 lead and then added two more an inning later to take a 6-2 lead .

    Sean Hoffman (1-0) kept Arizona’s bats in check for most of the day, limiting the Wildcats to two runs, one earned, on seven hits over seven innings to pick up the win.

    The right-hander entered the game with a 4.76 ERA, having pitched only 5 2/3 innings this season in five relief appearances.

    “”Their guy pitched a great game, obviously, for seven innings,”” Lopez said. “”He was a lot better than my eyes could see.””

    Arizona starter David Coulon (2-1), meanwhile, lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one.

    “”David had a rough outing, but it’s Sunday – you ought to be able to recover from a rough outing on a Sunday,”” Lopez said. “”Everybody’s usually down to their ‘pen, and there’s a reason a (pitcher starts) on a Sunday instead of a Friday or Saturday.””

    But it was the fly outs that did the Wildcats in.

    Their best chance at a comeback came in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and two outs, designated hitter C.J. Ziegler hit a lazy fly ball to left fielder Mike Boyd to end the threat.

    Then in the eighth, with two runs already pushed across and runners on first and second, center fielder T.J. Steele flied out to center to strand Arizona’s eighth and ninth runners on base.

    Arizona cut the lead to 7-5 on left fielder Brad Glenn’s groundout in the bottom of the ninth and had one final shot at redemption with first baseman Bill Rhinehart standing on third, but right fielder Jon Gaston struck out a batter later.

    “”We need to realize what we’re going up against with the wind blowing directly in,”” said Ziegler, who finished 0-for-5 with four fly outs. “”Left field, you’re not even going to get it to the warning track.””

    Eastern Michigan used a little base-running magic to spark the four-run third. It began when center fielder Jeff Davis stole second and third on consecutive pitches and was singled home by shortstop Jeff Hehr to knot the game at one.

    The Eagles took the lead two batters later when second baseman Josh Ivan singled past a diving Rhinehart at first to score right fielder Aaron Powell. Eastern Michigan added two more runs later in the inning off a wild pitch and a groundout.

    “”They just found the holes, and I left a couple pitches up and gave up some hits,”” Coulon said. “”I just got hit. It wasn’t like walking anyone or throwing bad pitches, I was just getting hit.””

    Gaston was 4-for-5 in the game, but his teammates struggled to drive him in all day.

    “”Four hits, they’re always good, but when they’re with no one on base and no one drives you in, it’s pretty pointless,”” he said.

    Arizona starter Brad Mills (4-1) pitched 6 1/3 solid innings Saturday, surrendering only one run on five hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters.

    But after righties Cory Burns and Jason Stoffel worked the next two innings without a hitch, things got interesting in the ninth. Eastern Michigan scored six runs on six hits and a costly throwing error from freshman Kevin Rodland at third.

    The tying run was on third when Lopez brought in closer Daniel Schlereth to finish things off. He responded in kind, striking out Powell on three straight pitches for his fourth save of the year.

    Ziegler’s big day led the Wildcats to Friday’s series-opening win. He went 4-for-5 with two deep home runs to left-center field and finished with three RBIs and three runs scored.

    Right-hander Preston Guilmet (3-0) didn’t walk a batter over 7 1/3 innings, scattering 12 hits.

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