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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Baseball opens home stretch with No. 23 Cal State-Fullerton

Emily Gauci
Arizona infielder Bobby Dalbec (3) hits a ground ball in Tucson playing against Rice University on Feb. 22, 2015. Dalbec is off to a slow start, batting 1.38 through seven games.

After playing its first seven games of the season on the road, Arizona (4-3) will have its first homestand of the season, beginning with No. 23 California State University, Fullerton on Wednesday, followed by Northwestern State on Friday, California State University, Bakersfield on Saturday, and St. Mary’s and Northwestern State on Sunday.

Fullerton began the season losing two out of three to Stanford, but is coming off a weekend sweep of Indiana. Arizona returns home from the Tony Gwynn Classic in San Diego, defeating San Diego State University 7-3 thanks to a five-run rally in the eighth inning. The Wildcats defeated Nebraska 11-10 in extra innings, but fell one run short against Tulane, 11-10, in their weekend opener.

Freshman Alfonso Rivas III had a standout series playing in his hometown of San Diego. He was named to the Tony Gwynn Classic All-Tournament Team, going 9-15 with seven RBIs. His biggest game came in the slug-fest against Nebraska on Saturday, where he went 5-6 in the extra inning win.

Rivas III was also named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Arizona looks sharp offensively coming into its opening homestand of the season, but the team’s starting pitchers have shown some inconsistency. Going forward, it will be important for Arizona head baseball coach Jay Johnson and pitching coach Dave Lawn to establish a set starting rotation.

JC Cloney, Cameron Ming and Nathan Bannister all turned in quality starts against Rice, but things got shaky against Lamar and in San Diego.

Michael Flynn only lasted 1.2 innings against Lamar, giving up five hits and four earned runs. Cloney and Ming both struggled in their second starts. Against Tulane, Cloney did not even make it a full inning, giving up four earned runs in 0.2 innings pitched. Ming made it into the fifth inning, but he was pulled after giving up two more runs.

Cloney did return to form against San Diego State though, throwing six innings and giving up just two runs. Johnson still has not decided who will start against Fullerton.

Playing at the monstrous Hi Corbett Field should help the Arizona pitchers out though, where it is 349 feet down the right field line, 366 feet down the left field line, 405 feet to right center field and 410 feet to left center field.

Before Wednesday night’s home opener, the Wildcats were in Scottsdale, Arizona and played an exhibition game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks won by a score of 12-5.

Opening pitch for Arizona’s matchup against Cal State Fullerton is slated for 6 p.m.

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