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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball takes two of three in Minnesota

    Baseball Recap

    Starting pitching has been the biggest question mark for much of the early season for the Arizona baseball team, but it seems to have righted itself over the weekend in the friendly confines of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

    Juniors Brad Mills and Mark Melancon combined to throw a 10-hit shutout as the Wildcats (10-5) defeated Notre Dame (2-5) 2-0 in 10 innings yesterday in the final game of the Dairy Queen Classic in Minneapolis.

    “”I felt a lot better (today than I did a week ago),”” Mills said. “”I also felt a lot better with my breaking ball too, which is really my second pitch. Last week I was more of a fastball, changeup guy, and this weekend I had the breaking ball going.””

    A day earlier, freshman Preston Guilmet (1-1) put in seven innings of work against No. 23 Nebraska (8-2) while giving up two runs and six hits. He also recorded seven strikeouts but suffered the loss.

    Despite only giving up a pair of runs, Guilmet said he wasn’t thrilled with his performance.

    “”I felt OK,”” he said. “”I struggled throughout most of the game. I didn’t have my good stuff. My command was here and there, but I got through it.

    “”They were an aggressive team, and they have a lot of good hitters on their team. Every batter was a challenge.””

    But the Wildcat bats remained idle, as they fell 3-1. The only run Arizona scored was on a bases-loaded balk in second inning.

    “”A lot of that has a lot to do with the people we faced, too,”” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said. “”Nebraska and Notre Dame both have very good pitching staffs. Good pitching will always beat hitting.

    “”For me quite candidly, this is kind of what I thought we would look like this year,”” he added. “”I think we would be pitching strong. I didn’t anticipate us scoring 15, 14, 19 runs. I thought we’d score three to five runs a game.””

    The Wildcats struck out a season-high 12 times, were limited to only four hits and left eight runners on base, including five in scoring position.

    Hitting didn’t prove to be a problem on Friday as the Wildcats defeated Minnesota (1-5) 7-2.

    Sophomore southpaw Eric Berger threw five innings of two-run ball, giving up three walks and recording six strikeouts.

    Melancon came in for the final 3 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a run while giving up two hits and two walks.

    Melancon also saw some time at the plate, striking out twice, after senior left fielder Derek Decater injured his shoulder in the sixth inning after colliding with the outfield wall. Junior Bill Rhinehart and freshman Hunter Pace played left field for the remainder of the series.

    “”The only thing I know is that he felt a little bit better (Sunday) than he did yesterday,”” Lopez said. “”We’re just crossing our fingers and hoping that there’s not a lot of damage ligament-wise. We’re hoping he gets back in the lineup as soon as possible.””

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