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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Beavers win weekend series, end UA baseball’s 13-game win streak”

    There was a recurring theme in the Arizona baseball team’s 3-2 series-clinching loss to Oregon State yesterday: failure to produce in clutch situations.

    In four innings, the Wildcats (28-13, 7-8 Pacific 10 Conference) put their leadoff hitter on base, but only once were they able to capitalize on the situation. The Wildcats finished the game stranding nine runners with six of them standing in scoring position.

    “”We’re really lacking right now in RBIs and productivity the last couple days,”” right fielder Jon Gaston said. “”When you get a runner in scoring position you have to get him in one way or the other and we just can’t seem to do that lately.””

    The game began with a different tone as Arizona used a pair of two-out doubles from first baseman C.J. Ziegler and third baseman Brad Glenn to put the game’s first run on the board.

    But until the sixth inning, Arizona’s offense remained dormant when given chances.

    In the fifth, with the Wildcats down 3-1, right fielder Jon Gaston reached base with no outs. After a balk call and sacrifice bunt by catcher Dwight Childs, Gaston found himself on third with only one out.

    After a groundout by shortstop Bryce Ortega and five-pitch strikeout by center fielder T.J. Steele, Gaston found himself returning to right field without ever touching home plate.

    A similar situation occurred in the seventh, then again in the ninth. With Arizona down to its final three outs and down by one run, Gaston again came through with a one-out single to right field. One out later, Ortega and Steele walked bringing up Coyle with the bases loaded.

    The freshman battled OSU closer Kevin Rhoderick but eventually went down swinging to end the ball game and give the Beavers (20-14, 8-7) a 2-1 series win.

    “”We just need to relax and trust ourselves,”” said Gaston, who finished the day 3-4. “”I think we’re confident with each other. When one guy is struggling, like I’ve been, I know another guy can pick me up in a big situation. We just need to pick each other up right now and keep our heads up.””

    Despite picking up the loss, Arizona starter Eric Berger (4-3) had a strong outing, giving up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings of work.

    Also looking impressive was right-hander Jason Stoffel (2-1) out of the bullpen. Usually limited to closer duties, the sophomore entered in the seventh with Arizona down one and held the Beavers hitless while recording four strikeouts.

    “”He’s really something special,”” said starting pitcher Preston Guilmet. “”Anytime I hear we got Stoffel coming in out of the pen, there’s not a doubt in my mind he’s gonna come in and hold (opponents) scoreless.””

    Pitching was the name of the game in Saturday’s contest in which Arizona’s David Coulon (6-3) and OSU’s Tanner Robles dueled in what ended as a 4-3 win for the Beavers.

    Throughout the game, Robles kept the Wildcat hitters off balance through 7 2/3 innings of work in which the freshman allowed only two runs on two hits with seven strikeouts. To top off his day, the southpaw retired the final 12 Wildcats he faced.

    “”He was definitely locating his fastball and getting ahead in the count early,”” Gaston said. “”As a starting pitcher, that’s what you have to do and he was doing that well and kind of shut us down.””

    Coulon suffered a fate similar to Berger’s Saturday despite going five innings and allowing only three runs on six hits.

    Friday’s starter Preston Guilmet (5-2) had no part of the tough luck for Arizona pitchers throughout the series as the junior went the distance allowing only five Beaver hits in his third career complete-game shutout which the Wildcats won by a score of 7-0, extending Arizona’s win streak to 13.

    “”I was just making pitches and keeping guys off balance like I always try to do,”” Guilmet said of Friday’s performance. “”I just happened to do that a little better Friday than I usually do.””

    The right-hander’s 10 strikeouts in the effort moved him up in the Arizona record books to seventh all time in recorded strikeouts with 301.

    “”I just try to come in and get my guys wins,”” Guilmet added in reference to his rise in the record books, “”and in the end that’s all that matters.””

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