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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Make it 14 in a row: Cats sweep Cal

    No team in Arizona baseball history has ever started 6-0 in Pacific 10 Conference play. With a 5-3 win Saturday to complete its sweep of California, the 2007 team became the first.

    “”It’s huge,”” catcher Dwight Childs said of the conference start. “”Now you’re hoping when you show up at a place on the road, you get off that bus, people are like, ‘Oh, we got to play Arizona?’

    “”We’re trying to send a message that we’re a good team, and as long as we don’t get complacent, we’re going to keep getting wins.””

    Coupled with a 15-12 win over the Golden Bears (17-17, 2-4 Pac-10) Friday night, the Wildcats (28-6, 6-0) have now won 14 consecutive games, their longest winning streak since Arizona won 16 straight in 1998.

    “”Pitchers are throwing strikes, defense isn’t making errors, we’re getting hits when we need hits,”” said Childs, who tied a career high with three hits Saturday. “”It’s as simple as that.””

    But perhaps most impressive about the conference start is that Arizona has done it all without closer Daniel Schlereth, who’s missed the past two weekends with an abdominal strain and is likely due back next week.

    “”That’s the real kicker for me,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”We just ran off two weekends in Pac-10 play, and we didn’t have our closer at the end. That bodes pretty well if we can just stay where we’re at.””

    On Saturday, first baseman C.J. Ziegler singled back up the middle to knot the game at 3 in the fifth, then gave the Wildcats the lead two innings later with a two-run double off the wall in right that put Arizona up 5-3.

    “”I was working on some new things in the cages, just trying to stay inside the ball, go out the middle more,”” Ziegler said. “”The ball wasn’t really flying for me, so I just said, ‘Why not go up the middle and go the opposite way?'””

    Ziegler finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

    After a rocky start, UA starter Ryan Perry would eventually settle down, throwing 82 pitches in five innings, his longest outing of the year. The sophomore missed the first five weeks of the season with a broken left elbow and has been struggling to build his arm strength back up ever since.

    He was replaced by lefty David Coulon – the player whose spot he took in the rotation this weekend – to start the sixth, and Coulon responded with one of his best outings of the year.

    “”I haven’t been really doing my job lately, so I had to make a few adjustments and then go out there and help my team out the best I could,”” the junior said.

    Coulon (3-1) picked up the win after not giving up a hit in his three innings of work and striking out two against two walks, but Lopez said Perry will keep his spot in the rotation.

    “”(Perry’s outing) wasn’t stellar, stellar, but it was very good for where he’s been,”” he said.

    Still, the head coach said he was impressed by Coulon.

    “”I’m sure he wasn’t happy about getting taken out of the rotation, but we don’t make decisions based off of individuals, we make decisions based on the program,”” Lopez said. “”I like David Coulon, I really do, and if he’s going to be upset and pitch (well) like that, I hope he’s upset … every weekend from here on for the next couple months.””

    Extra bases
    Arizona is on the road for the next three weekends in a row. Its next home game is May 4 against Liberty. … Freshman Jason Stoffel picked up his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. … Cal closer Matt Gorgen (1-3) was charged with his second loss of the series.

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