The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

61° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No ‘wiggle room’ for baseball team bound for UW

    The Arizona baseball team is well aware that it is in a do-or-die situation when the Wildcats travel to Seattle to take on Washington in a three-game set starting today at 6:30 p.m.

    The Wildcats (19-20, 5-7 Pacific 10 Conference) are currently tied for sixth place with Washington State in the nine-team conference race. If the Wildcats hope to make the postseason, they will at least have to take two out of the three games against the Huskies.

    “”We have no wiggle room whatsoever,”” said Arizona head coach Andy Lopez. “”We’ve got to go up there and win two out of three. I really think that we have to win two out of three pretty consistently for the next four weekends if we’re going to play in the postseason.””

    That will be no easy task if Washington (28-15, 6-6) ace and today’s starter Tim Lincecum has anything to do with it. The junior right-hander is a projected first-round draft pick and has been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week four times so far this season. The 2004 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year boasts a 9-2 record with a 1.52 ERA and has struck out a conference-high 140 batters in 85 innings pitched.

    “”Lincecum has had phenomenal numbers,”” Lopez said. “”He’s got almost comical numbers right now as the Friday-night starter for them.””

    Freshman righty Preston Guilmet (2-5, 3.98) will try to go toe-to-toe with Lincecum and the Huskies, who lead the league in home runs with 69. Junior lefty Brad Mills (4-3, 3.98) gets the nod tomorrow at 2 p.m. and sophomore southpaw David Coulon (2-3, 6.55) will start on Sunday at 1 p.m. Washington’s starters for the final two games are to be determined.

    Left-handed redshirt freshman Daniel Schlereth will continue to act as the team’s closer while junior Mark Melancon will be out for three to four weeks with tightness in his throwing arm. However, Melancon will travel with the team this weekend as will freshman outfielder Jon Gaston who is listed as day-to-day but has missed six straight games due to wrist and ankle injuries. Lopez thought Gaston would be ready for Wednesday’s game against Southern Utah and could play this weekend.

    “”I like his makeup,”” said Lopez of why he is taking Melancon to Seattle.

    “”I just need someone I can yell at,”” he joked.

    After taking two of three from Stanford last weekend and sweeping Southern Utah during a two-game series, Arizona is riding a four-game win streak that supply the Wildcats with some momentum.

    “”We should have some confidence,”” Lopez said. “”We should have some intensity. We should have all the things going for us that we need going for us into a tough weekend.””

    Said freshman pitcher Ryan Perry: “”Knowing that we’re on a four-game winning streak and we have a chance in the Pac-10, we’re going to keep on each other.””

    Washington and Arizona have the shortest history compared to the Wildcat’s other Pac-10 opponents. The two teams have met up 22 times since 1992, and each team posted 11 wins over that period. Last year, Arizona took two out of three from the Huskies at Sancet Stadium.

    “”It’s not the same group, but the last two years we’ve handled them pretty well,”” Lopez said. “”Hopefully there is a little psychological advantage for Arizona facing them (tonight).””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search