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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Home runs lift baseball to series opening win

    From a fan’s perspective the Arizona baseball team’s 10-4 win over Utah Valley State was a thriller.

    Despite a disappointing outing for Arizona’s starter Preston Guilmet (6-3), the Wildcats’ (32-15, 8-10 Pacific 10 Conference) offense put on a show, slamming five home runs, including a trio by first baseman C.J. Ziegler to take the first game of the weekend series over the Wolverines (14-32-1).

    “”It was good to see us swing the bat,”” said head coach Andy Lopez. “”When you get a few home runs, some RBI’s and some key hits you always feel good about those things.””

    After a dormant opening two frames, Arizona’s offense exploded in the third inning with five runs coming from three home runs and a double.

    Right fielder Jon Gaston began the inning with a leadoff homer over the left-center field wall. Zielger followed with his first bomb of the night down the left-field line. Then after center fielder T.J. Steele reached on an error, designated hitter Mike Weldon continued the long-ball trend with a two-run shot to left field.

    Though Arizona’s five-run third inning was all the Wildcats needed, Zielger added to his team’s lead with a solo shot the following inning then a two-run blast to center field in the bottom of the eighth giving him four RBI’s on the night.

    Ziegler became the seventh Arizona player to hit three home runs in a game and the second this season. Teammate Dillon Baird also accomplished the feat this season March 21st against USC.

    With the three long balls, Zielger moved himself into 10th all time in Wildcats history for the single season mark with 15.

    “”It felt really good tonight,”” Zielger said of his three home runs. “”The biggest adjustment I made (at the plate) was staying back and not getting out on my front foot and it worked out for me tonight.””

    Second baseman Colt Sedbrook was also impressive on the night. Despite not contributing to the home run derby atmosphere of Friday night’s contest, the senior went 3-3 with an RBI double as part of Arizona five-run third inning. The only time Sedbrook failed to reach base came in the eighth when he laid a sacrifice bunt down the first base line setting up the Wildcats eight run of the game.

    With the three-hit night, Sedbrook made it eight hits in his last nine plate appearances.

    “”I’m just trying to be more aggressive with the fastball,”” Sedbrook said. “”I finally started getting it going and I might as well start getting hot at the end of the year.””

    The only inconsistency in Arizona’s night came from Wildcats’ starter Preston Guilmet who struggled for his second-straight outing.

    The Wolverines got to the right-hander early with three hits in the first inning to give the Wildcats an early one-run deficit.

    For the next three innings, Guilmet appeared to settle in by retiring nine of the next 10 batters he faced while tallying four of his game-total six strikeouts.

    But in the fifth, the Wolverines again got to Guilmet using a fielding error by first baseman C.J. Ziegler and a trio of hits to add a pair of runs.

    One inning later, the Wolverines slapped another three hits – including two doubles – putting an end to Guilmet’s night. The junior finished the night with two earned runs on 10 hits through five innings while striking out six.

    “”Guilmet’s been sick and fighting some stuff lately,”” Lopez said. “”It was a gutsy performance from him I was pleased with him. Even though he didn’t go nine, he kept us where we need to be.””

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