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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the Week – Preston Guilmet

    Arizona righty Preston Guilmet retired 17 straight batters in the Wildcats 14-0 win over Gonzaga Friday night at Sancet Stadium.
    Arizona righty Preston Guilmet retired 17 straight batters in the Wildcat’s 14-0 win over Gonzaga Friday night at Sancet Stadium.

    Editor’s note: Preston Guilmet narrowly missed throwing the seventh no-hitter in Arizona baseball history in the Wildcats’ 14-0 win over Gonzaga Friday, giving up only a lead-off single in the top of the ninth inning. The Wildcat caught up with Guilmet, who for his efforts was named the National Pitcher of the Week Monday by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, to discuss the award, his No. 11 and a Preston Guilmet bobblehead doll.

    Casey: National Pitcher of the Week. Have you ever been given an award like this, even in high school or anything like that?
    Guilmet: Not that I’m aware of.

    C: What’s that mean to you?
    G: Obviously, I threw a good game, and I didn’t think it was going to get anything like this, any national award of the week or any recognition or anything, but it’s cool that they noticed and that my performance went to something other than a win for my team.

    C: (Former Wildcat pitcher) John Meloan started off the 2005 season in kind of the same way – he threw 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. Is that kind of a strange coincidence?
    G: Yeah, it’s weird that he started off like that, too.

    C: Is there a special reason that you picked No. 11?
    G: I’ve been that number since I was a kid. I’ve always gotten it. I guess it gained a value or some kind of significance to me over the years, but other than just having it all my life, that’s the only reason I wear it.

    C: Did you get that in Little League?
    G: Yeah, I don’t even know how I got started on it. I was just No. 11 year after year, and high school came around, and I got No. 11 there. And I asked (UA head coach Andy Lopez) if I could be No. 11 here, and he said yeah. I like wearing it.

    C: Would you rather throw a no-hitter or get a chance to hit your first-career home run?
    G: No-hitter.

    C: What kind of hitter are you?
    G: I’d probably be an average hitter. I’d hit for base hits.

    C: Last year you went 3-7. What is it going to take to improve upon that this year?
    G: Hard work. I don’t know. Our offense is looking pretty good this year, so they’ll be able to provide some support for us. You know, keep the ball down and throw strikes and get ground balls. That equals wins right there.

    C: (UA pitcher) Brad Mills said on Sunday that as a pitcher, it’s easier to stay mentally focused on the game if it’s closer. Do you feel that way, too?
    G: Yeah, definitely. I guess the human nature tendencies is just to relax and – not necessarily give in, but ease up on an opponent, especially when you’re really hammering on them. As a pitcher, when a close game rolls around, you want to get out there, you want to compete and you’ve got something to compete for. When our lead gets big … you’ve got to really keep your focus and make sure you just go out and get outs and do it as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

    C: Who would you say has had the biggest impact on your baseball career?
    G: Definitely my father. He’s brought me up. He played baseball. And when I got into baseball, he was always there, and he’s always been willing to go out and throw with me or do anything. He’s had to push me a few times when I didn’t really want to. But over the years, I’ve loved the game, and he was there for support my whole life.

    C: What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?
    G: Umm, I’m a good guy. I don’t know. That’s a tough one. Everybody knows everything.

    C: If there was to be a Preston Guilmet bobblehead, what would that look like?
    G: (Laughs) Goofy. Uh, you got me.

    C: If you were to choose one cartoon character that would represent you, who would that be and why?
    G: Man, these are hard questions. Hmm, one cartoon character. Gosh, I don’t know. How about Goofy?

    – Interview by Ryan Casey

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