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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona at San Diego State

    Arizona pitcher Preston Guilmet rocks back in a 4-3 extra-inning loss to No. 23 UCLA on March 28 at Sancet Stadium. The Wildcats have lost 10 of their last 13 games and are unranked after starting the season ranked No. 1.
    Arizona pitcher Preston Guilmet rocks back in a 4-3 extra-inning loss to No. 23 UCLA on March 28 at Sancet Stadium. The Wildcats have lost 10 of their last 13 games and are unranked after starting the season ranked No. 1.

    Traveling on the road since last Thursday, the Arizona baseball team will conclude 11 of 14 road games after its two-game series at San Diego State beginning today at 6 p.m.

    UA head coach Andy Lopez and the team arrived in San Diego directly from Seattle around 1 a.m. yesterday morning, aching for the desert.

    “”I’m just going to say this – I really miss Tucson right now,””
    Lopez said with a chuckle. “”I’m only laughing because I forgot what Tucson looks like. (But) that’s not an excuse for our performance.””

    After dropping two of three games against Washington in a chilly Seattle, the Wildcats (15-11, 3-6 Pacific 10 Conference) find themselves losers of three consecutive series – UCLA, Oklahoma State and Washington – with hopes to reheat a slumping offense.

    Over the past five games, Arizona only managed six runs against Washington, in part to mental mistakes on the base path. Those crucial momentum-kills took an insurmountable toll, where Arizona could not capitalize as losers in three of its last seven games by one run.

    Although pitching remains stellar – three combined earned runs in a three-game Washington series – the Wildcats’ lack of offense puts Lopez in a unique situation.

    “”That’s a little out of whack. If you told me we were going to give up three earned runs on a weekend in conference play, I would say, ‘Wow we’re going to sweep that thing,'”” Lopez said.

    “”We’ve gotta get these guys on track at the plate and give guys chance for wiggle room,”” Lopez added. “”That’s a little bit of a challenge right now.””

    Despite starting the season on a white-hot tear at the plate – with a combined .329 team batting average through March 16 – the Wildcats find themselves at the polar opposite in terms of plate production after registering just 13 hits in three games against Washington.

    Lopez held a team meeting yesterday, reminding the sluggers to stay loose at the plate, yet aggressive, and focus on each at-bat rather than catching up for mid-season slump.

    “”The fact that we can just get on track and start hitting a bit, I think everything will fall into place,”” Lopez said.

    In the midst of a nine-game home stand, San Diego State (18-13) hopes to float atop the Mountain West Conference after dropping two of three to New Mexico. Arizona wraps up the series tomorrow at 7 p.m. before heading back to Tucson for a weekend series with Indiana State.

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