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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Georgia sweeps ‘Cats with powerful offense

    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Wildcats took on the Georgia Bulldogs for the last of a 3 game series at Sancet Stadium.
    Mike Christy
    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Wildcats took on the Georgia Bulldogs for the last of a 3 game series at Sancet Stadium.

    After opening the season with five games against mediocre opponents, the Arizona baseball team was put to the test over the weekend as it hosted the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs.

    Let’s just say the weekend didn’t go as the Wildcats planned.

    Georgiaÿ- last year’s national runner-upÿ- outplayed Arizona (4-4) in every facet of the game. The Bulldogs scored double-digit runs in all three contests, outscoring the Wildcats 33-15 overall.

    “”It was just a bad weekend,”” junior third baseman Dillon Baird said after Sunday’s 10-5 loss. “”They hit the ball really well, and there was nothing we could really do about it. The blame is on nobody, it was just a bad weekend.””

    To say that Georgia (8-0) hit the ball well is an understatement. The Bulldogs torched UA pitchers for a remarkable 49 hits in three games.

    Such dominance wasn’t necessarily because Arizona played poorly, but because Georgia was just so talented.

    “”I haven’t seen (an offense) like that in a long, long time,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”I didn’t think (Sunday starter) Donn Roach pitched that poorly, but they were able to drive balls off of their shoe tops.””

    Roach, just a week removed from his six-inning shutout against Sacramento State, was the most recent victim of Georgia’s bats. He lasted just two innings and gave up six earned runs on seven hits.

    The Bulldogs’ solid play didn’t stop in the batter’s box, either.

    “”They played very well,”” Lopez said. “”They pitched well, they played clean defense, and boy, they got a lot of hits.””

    UA pitchers had a particularly difficult time containing freshman outfielder Johnathan Taylor. The speedy leadoff hitter went a combined 6-for-13 from the dish and scored seven runs.

    “”I would give the Golden Spikes award to (Johnathan) Taylor right now if I could,”” Lopez said.

    While awarding the freshman as College Baseball’s Most Valuable Player just eight games into the season is a bit premature, his production was baffling.

    “”I’ve never seen anything like that before,”” Lopez said. “”I’ve coached against a lot of good players before, but he was something else.””

    A sweep at the hands of one of the nation’s elite teams was a humbling experience for the Wildcats, but the seasoned veteran in Lopez knows that it is far too early to panic.

    “”It was a rough weekend, and it wasn’t something you ever want to experience, but sometimes things like that make you get a little bit better,”” Lopez said. “”We’re looking to get tougher, and this could help us do that.””

    Injury Update

    As if the weekend couldn’t get any worse, the Wildcats suffered injuries to three key players.

    Saturday starter Matt Veltmann has tried to fight through the pain of a bulging disc in his back that he suffered in an off-field injury in December, but the soreness has limited him enough that the coaches and trainers decided to take action.

    He will undergo an epidural shot today and Lopez is hopeful that he will just be day-to-day.

    Second baseman Rafael Valenzuela tweaked his hamstring in Saturday’s game and first baseman Dillon Baird suffered a shoulder injury when he dove for a foul ball. Both were too sore to play Sunday and are currently listed as day-to-day.

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