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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Offense ‘picks up’ pitching as baseball holds on for 13th-straight

    The Wildcat bats started hot and never cooled off, and, boy, would their arms need it.

    No. 17 Arizona (27-6, 5-0 Pacific 10 Conference) set a season high for runs in an inning with six in the first, broke it four innings later with seven in the fifth, and then held on for its 13th-straight win, beating the Golden Bears (17-16, 2-3) Friday night at Sancet Stadium, 15-12.

    “”We’ve said it for a long time, our little motto we got going is ‘Pick each other up,'”” said right fielder Jon Gaston, who finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. “”If someone gets out, we pick each other up with a big hit, or if a pitcher’s struggling, we’ll give them some more runs so they feel more comfortable.””

    Added third baseman Brad Glenn: “”We’re getting consistent wins, and that’s all that matters to me. We’ll just keep picking each other up, that’s all that counts.””

    Glenn finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs, upping his team-leading total to 42.

    The Wildcats hit double-digits for the second time in three games, but they’d need nearly all of it, as Arizona’s arms couldn’t seem to get anyone out after they were spotted a 14-2 lead heading into the sixth inning.

    Cal scored a combined 10 runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to Arizona’s one as the Bears cut the Wildcat advantage to 15-12.

    “”We hung a lot of zeroes in the first four (innings), and then we started to get a little – we wanted to be perfect, we wanted to keep hanging those zeroes like we did (Thursday) night (in Arizona’s 1-0 win in 11 innings),”” said catcher Dwight Childs. “”Sometimes, you don’t need to do that. Sometimes you just need to get ground balls, get pop outs.””

    Glenn hit a bases-clearing double down the left field line in the bottom of the first to spot the Wildcats a 3-0 lead early – a stark contrast from Thursday’s game, when neither team scored for the first 10 2/3 innings before Glenn won it with a walk-off single in the 11th.

    “”I told (the team) tonight, I said, ‘Hey, last night, we were sitting around, wondering if we’re going to score a run in two days,'”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”Tonight, there were some times where I was wondering if we were going to hang a zero in the middle part of the game.””

    Arizona went on to add three more runs, and its six hits in the inning topped the five from all of Thursday.

    Cal starter Alex Rollin (6-2) was rocked, giving up a total of 10 runs on 11 hits and two walks in just 4 2/3 innings as he shouldered the loss. The right-hander entered the game with a 3.88 ERA, but it ballooned to 5.29 after the outing.

    Dane Ferguson, who replaced Rollin in the fifth, was worse. The righty hit three batters and walked another, forcing in two runs before he left with the bases loaded without retiring a batter.

    Arizona scored seven runs on four hits in the inning to take the 14-2 lead, but then the floodgates opened for Cal the next three innings.

    UA righty Brett Lorin surrendered four runs in just 2/3 of an inning – outs that he got in the sixth, preceding Cal’s five-run seventh – before he was replaced by another righty, Paul Bargas, who was charged with yet another run.

    Cal loaded the bases an inning later against Bargas, forcing Lopez to turn to set-up man Cory Burns, who then gave up a two-run double as the Bears made a game of it, 15-12.

    Arizona starter Brad Mills (7-2) finished with four walks in 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits as he picked up his team-leading seventh win.

    “”I was breezing through the first four (innings), but then we got (14) runs by then, and I kind of got caught up in trying to throw a great game, looking at the results, ‘Down the line, I want to throw eight or nine shutout (innings),'”” Mills said. “”That leads you to try to make great pitches, instead of what I’ve been doing, which is just trying to make good ones.””

    Extra bases
    Abel stole his Pac-10-best 21st base in the first inning. He’s now 21-of-22 on the season. … Burns picked up his second save of the season. … Closer Daniel Schlereth, out for the series with an oblique strain, had an MRI Friday that came up clear, Lopez said. … Arizona’s never started Pac-10 play 6-0.

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