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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rhinehart’s cycle helps baseball sweep Washington

    Sloppy or not, the Arizona baseball team kept pace in the conference race – and Bill Rhinehart led the way.

    The No. 14 Wildcats’ 17-8 win over Washington Sunday completed a sweep of the Huskies and allowed second-place Arizona (39-13, 14-7 Pacific 10 Conference) to remain three games behind conference-leading ASU (41-12, 17-4), which finished off a sweep of Oregon State.

    “”We couldn’t let (Washington) get a step ahead of us, so we had to keep jumping on them with the runs and getting hits,”” first baseman C.J. Ziegler said.

    Arizona can clinch a share of the Pac-10 title with a sweep of the Sun Devils next Wednesday through Friday.

    “”We’re excited that it’s on (ASU),”” Ziegler said, “”and we’re going to come out and race for the Pac-10 championship and hopefully host a regional.””

    In his last at-bat on the final home game of his career, the senior right fielder Rhinehart doubled in the eighth inning to become the first Arizona player to hit for the cycle in more than six years, and just the 12th all-time.

    After hitting his tenth home run of the year in the first, Rhinehart singled in the fourth and tripled in the seventh.

    “”I didn’t think I was going to get my sixth at-bat, but (Ziegler) came through and I got up again and (the ball) just happened to get in the hole, and I ended up at second,”” said Rhinehart, who finished 4-for-6 with four RBIs.

    “”It’s something to remember.””

    Ziegler also went 4-for-6, adding six RBIs and two runs scored.

    The 17 runs were the most for the Wildcats since Arizona beat then-No. 4 Oregon State 17-14 April 1, and Arizona’s 37 runs in the series with the Huskies were one more than it had scored in its previous 10 Pac-10 games combined.

    “”We needed to come out with some intensity,”” Ziegler said. “”We needed to show that we can hit.””

    But Arizona also tied a season high with five errors.

    “”We got away with one tonight,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”We won with five errors – that’s pretty much like Halley’s Comet coming around twice in a week.””

    Arizona had six runs by the time the third inning was all said and done, including Rhinehart’s two-run home run in the first that hit his picture on the scoreboard in right field.

    Even when Washington brought in its closer, Nick Hagadone, in the fourth, Arizona continued to hit – and score.

    The Husky lefty entered 5-1 with 11 saves and a 1.81 ERA, but third baseman Brad Glenn turned on a pitch for his ninth homer of the year, a two-run shot to left center that put Arizona up 8-3. It was just the second home run Hagadone had given up all season in 232 at-bats.

    Hagadone’s ERA would climb steadily after that, rising to 2.83 after he gave up a season-high eight earned runs.

    Arizona’s Mike Colla (3-2) got the win after giving up just three runs, two earned, in five innings of work.

    Husky starter Jorden Merry (6-8) lasted just two innings, giving up four runs on four hits in the loss.

    Extra bases
    Saturday starter Brad Mills, who has missed his past two starts with a strained back, faced three batters in the sixth. He gave up two runs on two hits and an error. Said Lopez: “”Off of his performance, you would probably say he didn’t look very healthy. I think he just got out of his rhythm for not pitching for a couple of weeks.”” … UA catcher Dwight Childs tied a career high with three hits.

    Regional tickets on sale
    Last week, Arizona put in a bid to host both a regional and a super regional. Tickets to both events can now be preordered through at www.arizonaathletics.com or by calling 621-CATS.

    All session tickets include six guaranteed games over three days and are $50 for reserved seats and $40 for general admission seating.

    Regionals will be held June 1-4. If Arizona advances, Super Regionals would be June 8-10.

    Regional sites are announced Sunday, May 27, on ESPNews and at NCAASports.com. Should Arizona not be selected to host, there is no obligation to pay for the tickets.

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