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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Infield carousel continues as baseball hosts Eagles

    Arizonas Colt Sedbrook fires to first during his teams 22-8 loss to ASU Feb. 27. UA head coach Andy Lopez moved the junior to third base in an effort to shore up his teams defense.
    Arizona’s Colt Sedbrook fires to first during his team’s 22-8 loss to ASU Feb. 27. UA head coach Andy Lopez moved the junior to third base in an effort to shore up his team’s defense.

    Wanted: Infielder. Solid defense a must, offense a plus.

    Since the start of the season, the Arizona baseball team has been searching for the right combination at second and third bases, respectively.

    “”If you make some errors, and you’re not hitting, then we need to look at a different alternative,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez.

    The game of musical chairs that is quickly becoming Lopez’s infield will continue when Arizona hosts

    Morehead State tonight at 7.

    With junior Colt Sedbrook sidelined for the first 11 games of the season because of personal issues, Lopez had freshmen Kevin Rodland at second and Erik Castro at third.

    But the duo soon began to struggle – both were hitting below .220 and had made at least two errors to that point – and Sedbrook’s return gave Lopez another option.

    So the 25th-year head coach started to juggle the lineup, at first inserting sophomore Travis Peep at third and Sedbrook at second against UNLV Feb. 23-25.

    Peep went 4-for-10 in the series with three runs scored, but left five men on base in the team’s 6-5 win in 10 innings in the Friday game.

    Lopez used the same combination in the team’s 22-8 loss to ASU Feb. 27, but reinserted Castro at third starting March 2 against Eastern Michigan.

    Castro went 2-for-3 that day, but just 1-for-6 over the next two games, re-losing his starting job in the process.

    Lopez shifted Sedbrook to third – “”It’s really more of a trying to solidify the infield from a defensive standpoint,”” he said – and put Rodland back at second, where he went 1-for-4 against Hawaii March 9.

    Rodland also started the next day, going 0-for-2, but was lifted for Castro in the eighth. After Castro walked, he was then removed for a pinch runner. The following inning, a new face emerged – freshman Mike Weldon, who finished the game’s final two innings at second.

    It was Castro who manned third for the final game of the Hawaii series, with Sedbrook moving back to second, but Lopez started Weldon at second and Sedbrook at third in Arizona’s 19-3 win over Hawaii-Hilo March 15.

    Weldon, who missed the first month-and-a-half of the season with an arm injury, went 0-for-4, but Lopez intends to stick with him this week – at least against Morehead State.

    “”Mike Weldon practices just like everybody else, and hopefully he’ll get a chance to show his consistency here in the next week or two,”” Lopez said.

    Though he said Castro’s still an option, Lopez said Rodland and his .190 average will have to wait for now.

    “”I think it’s probably a little bit of time to give (Rodland) a little bit of rest and just get his stroke in line,”” Lopez said. “”When you’re young, you have a tendency to take (offensive struggles) into another part of your game.

    “”I think in many ways, Kevin is probably wearing a little too much of it on his defense now.””

    Still, Lopez added, “”Kevin’s not in the dog house in any way, shape or form.

    “”I’m just giving him a chance to rest a little bit, relax, regroup, and hopefully get back in the swing of things.””

    By shifting Sedbrook – who hasn’t made an error all season in 46 chances – over to third, Lopez hopes to have at least found half a solution to his problem.

    For now, it’ll be up to Weldon to supply the second half.

    “”Really what we’re looking for right now is solid defense at second base right now,”” Lopez said. “”If we get that, I’m not

    really concerned about the offense.””

    Extra bases

    Right-hander Ryan Perry (0-0) will make his second start of the season tonight. The sophomore, whom Lopez called his best arm in fall ball, was sidelined with a broken left elbow up until he threw two innings against Hilo last week. … The Eagles have yet to name a starter.

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