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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cats claim first series since Feb.

    Arizonas Derek Decater tries to stay on second base while Stanfords Chris Lewis tries to tag him out during the eighth inning of Arizonas 12-3 win over Stanford, Sunday, April 23, 2006 at Kindall/Sancet Stadium. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona DAily Wildcat)
    Arizona’s Derek Decater tries to stay on second base while Stanford’s Chris Lewis tries to tag him out during the eighth inning of Arizona’s 12-3 win over Stanford, Sunday, April 23, 2006 at Kindall/Sancet Stadium. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona DAily Wildcat)

    Senior second baseman Brad Boyer went 2-for-4 and scored three runs, and sophomore infielder Colt Sedbrook added three RBIs during a 3-for-4 day as the Arizona baseball team cruised to a 12-3 win over the Stanford Cardinal yesterday afternoon at Sancet Stadium.

    With the win, the Wildcats (17-20, 5-7 Pacific 10 Conference) claimed their first series win in Pac-10 play after beating Stanford (17-7, 3-9) two of three times. It was also Arizona’s first series win since Feb. 24-25 against La Salle.

    “”We needed it badly,”” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said. “”We need to figure out that when you put yourself in a tough jam, you got to get yourself out of that jam.

    “”We have put ourselves in this position.””

    After dropping the Friday night game 10-6, Arizona rebounded to take the last two games of the series, including a 14-4 win Saturday put away by a seven-run eighth inning.

    “”I think this whole weekend we played with a lot more energy,”” said Boyer, whose straight steal of home in Friday’s game put his team up 6-5 before the Wildcats blew the lead late. “”I think this is a big one this weekend for us.””

    Said junior shortstop Jason Donald: “”It was a big weekend all around for us.

    “”I think the goal for us now is we’ve got to win pretty much every Pac-10 series from here on out,”” he added, “”or we don’t have a chance.””

    Sophomore left-handed starter David Coulon (2-3) scattered five hits over six innings yesterday, while allowing three runs and striking out four for the win.

    “”Going into the sixth … inning, only giving up two runs, the guy competed today,”” Boyer said. “”He did his job. That’s all we can ask of him.””

    Freshman righty Ryan Perry pitched the game’s final three innings, striking out two against one hit for his first career save.

    Stanford right-handed senior Matt Manship (1-5) went 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs – four of which were earned – in the loss.

    It was a stark contrast to Coulon’s outing just a week earlier that saw him surrender six runs in only two innings against UCLA.

    “”I had a lot better movement on my fastball,”” Coulon said. “”My changeup wasn’t very good, but when I needed it, I threw it.

    “”I kind of just went back and talked with some of the coaches. I … worked on some mechanics so I could throw better strikes and have better movement on my pitches.””

    The Cardinal’s pitching and defense unraveled in the later innings as Stanford dipped into its bullpen, with the Wildcats plating five runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh to take an 11-3 lead.

    In that inning, Arizona capitalized on two errors, including a misplay by Cardinal junior left fielder Jim Rapoport that allowed junior catcher Konrad Schmidt to score on Boyer’s single, which also plated senior designated hitter Derek Decater, to give Arizona a 9-3 lead.

    The next batter, Sedbrook, knocked freshman center fielder T.J. Steele in with a single, and then freshman left fielder David Plante capped the inning’s scoring with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Boyer.

    Boyer said the offensive spark came from a changed approach at the plate.

    “”Just going up there and having quality at bats,”” he said. “”Having a fight in you, even if you have two strikes to still go up there and fight and try and get a hit or get on base.

    “”A lot of the guys had quality at bats today.””

    Freshman infielder Travis Peep added to the Wildcat lead an inning later, pinch hitting for Decater with a single that scored Bill Rhinehart.

    After Stanford had cut the lead to one run at 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning, the Wildcats broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the frame, including a two-run triple off the bat of Sedbrook that scored Boyer and Steele. A batter earlier, Boyer singled home Schmidt from second to extend the lead to 4-2.

    Locked in a pitching duel early on, Arizona got runs in three straight innings to take a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth inning.

    Coulon worked his way out of a jam in the top of the fourth inning with Arizona up 1-0, striking out Cardinal sophomore designated hitter Brian Juhl swinging on a 3-2 pitch with runners on first and third to end the inning and the threat.

    The two big offensive outbursts were something relatively unseen by the Wildcats this season.

    “”Big innings, we’ve had a lack of those this year,”” said Donald, who finished 2-for-5 with an RBI. “”It’s nice to get those – especially against Stanford.

    “”The key is to take two out of three, and we did that.””

    Injury update

    Junior closer Mark Melancon is out for three to four weeks after an MRI last week revealed a strained ligament. … Sophomore ace Eric Berger is out for the year with a strained throwing elbow. … Freshman outfielder Jon Gaston missed the series with ankle and wrist injuries.

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