The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Offense bails out unstable pitching in 1st series sweep

    Arizona designated hitter C.J. Ziegler awaits a pitch in Saturdays 15-7 win over Sacramento State at Sancet Stadium. Ziegler hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double, three home runs, eight RBIs and scored five runs in the three-game weekend sweep.
    Arizona designated hitter C.J. Ziegler awaits a pitch in Saturday’s 15-7 win over Sacramento State at Sancet Stadium. Ziegler hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double, three home runs, eight RBIs and scored five runs in the three-game weekend sweep.

    With the No. 1 Arizona baseball team down three runs early in yesterday’s contest, second baseman Colt Sedbrook shouted out to starting pitcher Ryan Perry “”three runs can’t beat you.””

    Turns out he was right as Arizona (5-1) went on to pick up a narrow 10-9 win to sweep the weekend series over Sacramento State (1-5).

    With the way the Wildcats were hitting throughout the weekend series, it was easy to see why the senior exuded so much confidence.

    In the sweep, the Wildcats knocked in 34 runs on 38 hits with eight home runs.

    “”I was very happy with our hitting,”” said head coach Andy Lopez. “”Our hitters bailed out our pitching (yesterday).””

    Finishing with arguably the strongest weekend performance was first baseman C.J. Ziegler.

    Though picking up only one hit in the series opener, Ziegler heated up on Saturday, going 2-for-4 on the day while picking up a double and his third home run of the year, a three-run shot in the seventh inning of Arizona’s 15-7 series-clinching win.

    Ziegler continued the long ball trend yesterday, hitting back-to-back bombs accounting for half of the Wildcats’ RBIs. In both occurrences, Ziegler’s deep ball efforts made a significant impact to the game as each homer tied the game in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.

    “”I can’t really explain it. I just go up there with confidence,”” Ziegler said. “”The guys getting on (base) in front of me and behind me helps with (confidence) too, with the pitches they’re bringing me.””

    The strong offensive performance from Ziegler and the rest of Arizona’s offense became increasingly important in the final two games of the series as Arizona’s starting pitching struggled, especially yesterday.

    Perry, a Baseball America preseason All-American, struggled through 2 2/3 innings. The junior allowed five runs on seven hits with four going for extra bases.

    Perry’s day mercifully came to an end after he plunked the Hornets’ Blake Crosby in the back resulting in Lopez making the switch to left-hander Eric Berger, who gave up two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

    “”Ryan may bounce back, but he may not be our Sunday starter,”” Lopez said. “”It’s in his hands.””

    After a fielding error by shortstop Robert Abel kept the Hornets in the game, center fielder T.J. Steele hit a home run over the center field fence to give Arizona the lead for good.

    Closer Jason Stoffel entered in the eighth inning and kept Sacramento State off the board to pick up his third save of the year as relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth (1-0) picked up the win.

    While the Wildcats battled pitching struggles yesterday from Perry and Saturday from left-hander David Coulon, who allowed six earned runs in a five inning effort, Friday starter Preston Guilmet did not falter.

    Guilmet allowed only two earned runs through seven innings while recording a season high 11 strikeouts.

    But just like it was all weekend, the offense stole the show. Third baseman Dillon Baird blasted a grand slam over the right field wall breaking a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning that helped lift Arizona to its first home victory of the season.

    “”It felt pretty good to hit the ball like that,”” Baird said. “”I had missed a couple pitches from him early in the game and I told myself this guy isn’t going to beat me this time.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search