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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Late rally aids baseball sweep

    Arizona sophomore Diallo Fon sneaks toward home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning during yesterdays 16-6 win over Nevada-Las Vegas at Sancet Stadium. Fon went 3-for-5 in the game, notching one triple, two runs scored and one RBI.
    Arizona sophomore Diallo Fon sneaks toward home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning during yesterday’s 16-6 win over Nevada-Las Vegas at Sancet Stadium. Fon went 3-for-5 in the game, notching one triple, two runs scored and one RBI.

    No.1 Arizona 16, Nevada-Las Vegas 6

    For the second game in a row the No. 1 Arizona baseball team entered the seventh inning tied to a pesky Nevada-Las Vegas team.

    But unlike Tuesday’s narrow one-run win, the Wildcats (7-1) made sure yesterday’s game was not as close.

    Arizona used a seven-run seventh and five-run eighth inning to run away with a 16-6 victory to complete the two-game sweep of the Runnin’ Rebels (5-5).

    “”This was a good midweek win for us,”” said head coach Andy Lopez. “”I thought we played well. We got some good pitching and it was just a good overall effort.””

    UA center fielder T.J. Steele kept the game tied at 4 in the top of the seventh inning when he reached over the fence to bring back a potential two-run home run. After six innings of being suppressed by UNLV, Arizona exploded offensively in the bottom of the inning when left fielder Diallo Fon came up to bat.

    With the teams knotted at four, UA shortstop Bryce Ortega walked to lead off the inning. Then catcher Dwight Childs laid a bunt down the first base line moving Ortega to second.

    Fon followed and laced a line drive down the right field line which he stretched into a triple, his third of the season.

    In addition to pushing the go-ahead run across the plate, Fon’s triple sparked a seven-run rally that saw 11 Wildcats reach the plate.

    “”(Fon)’s been tearing it up right now,”” Steele said. “”He’s carrying our offense right now, he’s always starting something.””

    Arizona’s huge rally came as a much-welcomed interruption to what had been a solid defensive performance by both teams up to that point.

    Through 3 1/3 innings, UNLV pitcher Stephen Singer had the Wildcats fooled. The right-hander entered the game with a 23.63 ERA, but breezed through the first three innings allowing only one hit with four strikeouts and no walks.

    Arizona found its stroke in the fourth, using eight batters to put up four runs.

    But UNLV’s offense struck back, touching up Wildcat pitchers Grayson Adams and Cory Burns for three home runs over the next two innings, tying the game at four.

    “”I know someone is thinking when we were at 4-4 in the sixth, ‘Man oh man, what is going on with this offense?'”” Lopez said. “”But then we’ll explode on you. That’s been our tendency. We’ll hang a few crooked numbers up there to give us some space.””

    Arizona’s starting pitching looked improved as well, as right-hander Ryan Perry made his second start in four days.

    After a disastrous outing Sunday in which he allowed five runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings, Perry found his control yesterday in a one-run, three-inning effort.

    “”It was good to see Ryan Perry bounce back,”” Lopez said. “”That was probably one of the most important things we needed to do (was) getting him to bounce back after the tough outing on Sunday, and I thought he pitched very well today.””

    Also making a significant impact for the Wildcats was second baseman Mike Weldon. The sophomore made his first start of the season in place of starter Colt Sedbrook.

    Weldon had an impressive debut, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and a triple and five RBIs.

    “”Mike’s had good numbers all through the year in terms of fall baseball and spring baseball,”” Lopez said. “”He’s really earned the chance to play. He is just a really a solid player.””

    While Sedbrook remains the regular starting second baseman, Weldon proved with his effort yesterday that he is a legitimate option in the middle infield.

    “”If somebody goes down, you have to be able to come in and fill the role,”” Weldon said. “”You’ve got to be as good as the other guy. Sedbrook has been really supportive and is a good guy to be behind.””

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