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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Daily Wildcat’s team and player of the week: April 28

Giacomo Cain
Jackson Kent pitches against UCLA at Hi-Corbett Field on March 28. Kent struck out seven batter in 5.2 innings.

This past week, the Arizona men’s tennis team won it’s first Pac-12 Tournament Title in Ojai, California. The Wildcats shut out Stanford University 4-0 in the championship round, earning them Team of the Week honors. Arizona baseball starting pitcher Jackson Kent pitched six scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the University of Washington, earning him Player of the Week honors.

Team of the Week:

Men’s Tennis

The week started out with Arizona facing off against USC in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Coming into the tournament, USC had won the last four Pac-12 Tournament Titles. Despite USC’s dominance over the past few years, the Wildcats took care of business in the quarterfinal round, beating USC 4-2. After the win, they advanced to the semifinals where they matched up against the University of Oregon. The Wildcats were able to breeze past the Ducks, winning the match 4-1 and set themselves up for a Pac-12 Tournament final match against Stanford.

Entering the doubles competition, the Wildcats sought redemption against Stanford, who had previously taken the doubles point in its regular-season encounter. The doubles matches were tightly contested, mirroring their previous meeting. While Stanford secured the first victory, Arizona responded strongly with Gustaf Strom and Sasha Rozin defeating Stanford’s Aryan Chaudhary and Harsh Hemang Parikh with a score of 6-3. The spotlight shifted to court one where Colton Smith and Jay Friend faced off against Max Basing and Nico Godsick. Despite trailing 3-5 in the set, the Wildcats staged an impressive comeback, forcing a tiebreaker. The two teams battled fiercely, but Arizona clinched the win with a score of 7-6(8), securing the crucial team point.

In singles play, Arizona managed to claim two victories while dropping four first sets, setting the stage for intense matchups. Strom, ranked No. 71, easily defeated Basing with a score of 6-2, 6-3 on court three. Shortly after, No. 34 Friend secured a hard-fought three-set win over Samir Banerjee, winning 6-2, 0-6, 6-1. Friend, the sophomore from Tokyo, Japan, played a huge role for the Wildcats, winning in both singles and doubles.

It all came down to Nick Lagaev who showed resilience in his singles match when he fell down early 3-6. Lagaev was able to regain his footing, ultimately winning the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Godsick. This win secured the Pac-12 Championship title for Arizona. Lagaev’s victory marked his 93rd win in singles play for the Wildcats.

Player of the Week:

Jackson Kent – Pitcher, Baseball

Kent, the sophomore from Hanover Park, Ill., recorded six shutout innings against the Huskies in their 3-2 series opening win on Friday, April 26. The left-hander struck out four while issuing zero walks. This zero run performance was only the second time this year Kent allowed zero runs in an appearance.

Kent earned Player of the Week Honors for allowing zero earned runs, and being the catalyst for the 3-2 win, although that did not factor into the decision. What was most impressive about Kent’s performance was his resilience throughout the games. Kent was always able to get the important out, leaving seven runners stranded throughout the game.

Kent pitched his best in the second and sixth inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Kent retired three straight batters in only six pitches. In the bottom of the sixth, Kent’s final inning, he recorded three straight outs for the second time in the game. This inning took only 12 pitches and ended with Kent’s 4th strikeout of the game.

Kent has been Arizona’s best pitcher this year, which is exciting for Wildcat fans considering his sophomore status. He leads all starting pitchers in ERA and opponents batting average.

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