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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Baseball seeks 1st Pac-10 sweep

    Washington State at Arizona

    Riding a seven-game winning streak into this weekend, the
    Arizona baseball team recently rediscovered its stride – quite similar to its early-season 12-game winning streak.

    But the Wildcats return home looking to prove something they haven’t conquered all season – success against the Pacific 10 Conference.

    In a three-game weekend series, Washington State (19-15, 3-6 Pac-10) travels to Tucson for tonight’s 7 p.m. game with Arizona (22-11, 3-6), with the teams tied for last place in the conference.

    Since their March 18 loss to ASU wasn’t counted toward Pac-10 play, the Wildcats have lost two of three games in each of their three conference series – UCLA, USC and Washington.

    Asked how much the team changed since the last time Sancet Stadium hosted its last Pac-10 team, UCLA, UA head coach Andy Lopez said, “”quite a bit.””

    “”We’re playing better baseball game,”” Lopez said. “”Now they’re back to pretty good shape, so hopefully that will continue into
    Pac-10 play.

    “”We’re playing more confidently and doing the things we were
    doing earlier in the year,”” Lopez added.

    But as Lopez always stresses, the lengthy and forgivable college baseball season allows time for errors and losses over the course of a 54-game schedule.

    Yet to prove dominance within the Pac-10, outfielder Jon Gaston keeps the same mental approach day-by-day, despite early-season struggles with conference foes.

    “”We just want to continue taking things one game at a time and not rush anything,”” Gaston said after Tuesday’s 10-6 win over New Mexico. “”If we just keep the confidence in each other and in ourselves then we should be alright.

    “”I didn’t even know it was (seven wins) straight, it doesn’t even feel like it,”” Gaston added. “”We’re just taking it one game at a time and looking at our past experiences and what we need to do in the future.””

    UA ace Preston Guilmet (4-2) takes the mound with a 2.47 ERA in eight appearances. In 54.2 innings pitched, Guilmet leads the Wildcats with 54 strikeouts.

    “”After a little bit of a drought we went through, we’re playing good baseball now and getting some key hits every now and then,”” Lopez said.

    Extra bases

    It’s a 90-foot diamond everywhere all the time, but the Wildcats find the most success in Tucson during the afternoon.

    At home, Arizona’s 11-3 record propels a .332 team batting average, compared to its 9-8 road record where the bats hit just
    .241, collectively.

    During the afternoon, the Wildcats are 12-3, compared to just 10-8 under the lights at night.

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