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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Notes: Bullpen still an issue

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats took on the Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pacific 10 Conference baseball game Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at Frank Sancet Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona State won 10-5.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats took on the Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pacific 10 Conference baseball game Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at Frank Sancet Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona State won 10-5.

• Head coach Andy Lopez was really beating himself up over his decision to bring in junior Bryce Bandilla after one out was recorded in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s loss to ASU. Bandilla came in with runners on first and second, but couldn’t stop the bleeding. The left-hander allowed both inherited runs to score as well as two more of his own in the inning. He then gave up two more runs in the top of the fifth before being replaced by Nick Cunningham.

“”He throws hard, but he doesn’t throw a lot of strikes and that cost us,”” Lopez said about Bandilla, who has a 15.43 ERA in his last four appearances. “”I’ve got to make a better decision in the fourth inning. This is my fault completely. I cost us this ballgame.””

• Cunningham’s effort against ASU was one of the most impressive outings coming from the bullpen in 2011, throwing four innings of relief and allowing only one unearned run on Tuesday. After allowing only three hits and no earned runs during his last six innings, look for Cunningham to start getting more meaningful innings either in middle-relief or at the back of the bullpen.

“”I thought Nick (Cunningham) did a great job,”” Lopez said. “”It’s good to have him back and healthy. He’s going to be pitching an awful lot now. It was good to see him get out of a jam. I left him in for the eighth inning just to see if he could do it, and he did it.””

• Lopez credited the umpires for not letting Tuesday’s fourth-inning fracas with ASU get out of hand. Third baseman Cole Frenzel took exception to being hit by a pitch from ASU starter Kyle Ottoson for the second time in the game — the first was a breaking ball that hit Frenzel in the head — and had words with Ottoson on his way to first base. Sun Devil second baseman Zack MacPhee took exception to that and the benches cleared, but the umpires took control before any punches were thrown.

Arizona bullpen catcher TC Mark was the only ejection, and Lopez said it was well deserved.

“”The umpires did a marvelous job,”” Lopez said. “”Those guys did an A-plus job of not letting guys get thrown out with the exception of Hulk (Mark), but he deserved to get thrown out. I told them that I was pretty impressed by how they kept everything under control and let the game continue on.””

• Frenzel got the start at third base on Tuesday after usual third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean had a wrist injury flare up on him. He injured the wrist about five weeks ago, but the pain was getting so bad that Mejias-Brean couldn’t swing a bat without grimacing, according to Lopez.

Mejias-Brean got the wrist X-rayed Wednesday, but the results weren’t immediately available.

“”He was lifting (weights) four or five weeks ago, and he felt something,”” Lopez said. “”He’s been chiefing it out the whole time, but these last 10 games he’s not doing too well. He’s a big part of our success in terms of playing third base and swinging the bat, so we lose two aspects with him. It’s not like we lose a defensive guy without offense, but we lose both. The best news I can get is that he’ll be OK.””

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