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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Baseball hoping for sweet weekend

    JAKE LACEY / Arizona Daily Wildcat

baseball vs. La Salle (W) 15-1
    Jake Lacey
    JAKE LACEY / Arizona Daily Wildcat baseball vs. La Salle (W) 15-1

    The Arizona baseball team will get a taste of what life is like in the major leagues this weekend as the Wildcats travel to Minneapolis to play in the Metrodome, home of MLB’s Twins.

    Arizona (8-4) will face arguably its toughest competition so far this season. The Wildcats play the likes of Minnesota (0-3) today at 5:35 p.m., No. 23 Nebraska (5-2) tomorrow at 11 a.m. and Notre Dame (2-2) Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Dairy Queen Classic.

    Arizona will face two left-handed starters this weekend in Golden Gophers senior Brian Bull (0-1, 0.00 ERA) and Cornhuskers sophomore Tony Watson (2-0, 2.77).

    “”We have had a tough time in hitting left-handed pitchers,”” said Arizona head baseball coach Andy Lopez. “”If I had the answer for that, I’d correct it already. You’re probably going to see a couple right-handed bats in the lineup more than we have up to this weekend.

    “”We’ve got to find an answer for that,”” he continued. “”I don’t want to be weak against a left-handed arm because that word would get out, and before you know it they’ll be throwing every left-hander they have on the staff.””

    The Wildcats will have to combat more than left-handed hurlers. The Metrodome provides enough challenges on its own with the Astroturf and the white ceiling.

    “”I think everybody’s pretty excited just because it is a major league (ballpark). That’s fun,”” junior catcher Konrad Schmidt said. “”Turf, I don’t know (what to expect). I’ve played on it a couple times but not indoors. That will be an experience.””

    “”(The turf) is going to be a lot quicker,”” senior second baseman Brad Boyer said. “”It might help us out because our whole starting lineup is pretty fast, and that could go to our advantage with hitting some hard shots through the infield.””

    Lopez seems to be settling in to a steady starting pitching staff, as this weekend’s rotation mirrors that of last weekend.

    Sophomore lefty Eric Berger (2-2, 4.03) will throw today, followed by freshman right-hander Preston Guilmet (1-0, 3.85) and junior southpaw Brad Mills (2-0, 4.85) tomorrow and Sunday, respectively.

    “”Guilmet pitched well,”” Lopez said. “”I think Eric (Berger) is on the right track, I really do. Brad (Mills) didn’t pitch that poorly. I think Brad would tell you he could be better in certain areas of his performance. But when it’s all said and done, I think Brad’s doing a pretty good job right now.””

    Guilmet will be tested as he faces the Cornhuskers, who advanced to the College World Series last season. Nebraska brings a potent offense, boasting a .330 batting average while holding opponents to a .222 average.

    “”Preston is just a guy that showed up here from day one and knew that he could do it,”” Schmidt said. “”He just trusts his stuff. It’s going to be great against Nebraska.

    “”I’m excited about that matchup,”” he said. “”He’ll probably be nervous, I’m going to be nervous. We’re just going to trust our skills and get out there and play.””

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