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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cats trek up I-10 to ASU

    Sophomore southpaw Matt Baugh unleashes a pitch during an 8-5 loss to UCLA April 15. Baugh and the rest of Arizonas pitchers may be throwing to a new catcher when the Wildcats take on ASU today at 7 p.m.
    Sophomore southpaw Matt Baugh unleashes a pitch during an 8-5 loss to UCLA April 15. Baugh and the rest of Arizona’s pitchers may be throwing to a new catcher when the Wildcats take on ASU today at 7 p.m.

    baseball: Arizona at Asu

    With three weekends left of conference play, the Arizona baseball team is still ironing out some of its mechanics – most notably aspects of its defense.

    The Wildcats (20-22, 6-9 Pacific 10 Conference) have struggled defensively for much of the year, as they lead the Pac-10 in errors with 76.

    After defensive woes contributed to Arizona’s loss to Washington on

    Sunday, the Wildcats hope to perform more sharply tonight as they take on in-state rival No. 16 ASU in a nonconference game in Tempe at 7 p.m.

    Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said sophomore catcher Matt Denker might see some time behind the plate tonight, relieving junior Konrad Schmidt of his catching duties. Schmidt has struggled at times this season, as he has allowed 16 passed balls and has six errors on the year.

    “”We need to be a little bit more consistent defensively right now,”” Lopez said. “”That seems to be a bit of a problem, so we’ll make a couple of adjustments. I’ll probably start catching (sophomore) Matt Denker here pretty soon. Hopefully that will solve one of the issues.

    “”I’m not sure that this group needs confidence. It just needs to play better defense.””

    Freshman right-hander Ryan Perry (2-0, 6.10) is scheduled to take the hill for Arizona for his second start of his career. The rookie last saw playing time on April 26 in Arizona’s 7-5 win over Southern Utah. He earned the win and put in three innings of work, allowing two runs, no walks and striking out four.

    Perry also started against ASU at the Challenge at Chase on April 2 when he went 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits, striking out two and walking one. Arizona went on to win that game 12-8.

    The Sun Devils (29-16, 8-7) are coming off a series loss to Stanford, a team that dwells in the Pac-10 basement, dropping ASU to fourth place in the conference race. Arizona is currently eighth in the Pac-10 standings.

    “”They seem to get better as the year goes on and I believe that we are better than when we played them last time,”” said junior shortstop Jason Donald. “”These next couple weeks are huge for us, and we’ve got to get over the hump.””

    Arizona has defeated ASU six out of seven times over the course of this season and last season, but according to Donald, those numbers don’t really have any bearing on tonight’s game.

    “”I think when our teams get together, I think past records get thrown out the window,”” he said. “”It doesn’t matter how many we’ve won against them. It always comes down to that particular game.

    “”But I think we do have a good amount of confidence against them because they know we’ve beaten them six out of seven.””

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