The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball falls to Titans

    Arizona freshman Bryce Bandilla prepares to fire a pitch toward home plate during an 8-4 UA win against California on Saturday at Sancet Stadium. The Wildcats lost to Cal-State Fullerton 5-2 Tuesday night but will face the Titans again tonight at 6 in Fullerton, Calif.
    Arizona freshman Bryce Bandilla prepares to fire a pitch toward home plate during an 8-4 UA win against California on Saturday at Sancet Stadium. The Wildcats lost to Cal-State Fullerton 5-2 Tuesday night but will face the Titans again tonight at 6 in Fullerton, Calif.

    In a series sweep of California last weekend, the Arizona baseball team looked like the Pacific 10 Conference’s offensive leader.

    But against No. 6 Cal-State Fullerton (33-12) Tuesday night, two runs on seven hits were all the Wildcats could muster in a 5-2 loss in Fullerton, Calif.

    “”Our effort offensively was pretty poor,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”It’s midweek, so we weren’t facing any of their big starters. We just needed to be a lot more productive at the plate.””

    Through much of the season, Arizona (22-22, 8-13 Pac-10) has been able to rely on its offensive production despite shaky pitching and spotty defense. Its efforts have given the team the highest batting average (.321), slugging percentage (.494) and the most hits in the conference with 494.

    During the past four weeks, however, the Wildcats’ bats have shown their inconsistencies, and their struggles continued Tuesday night.

    Arizona got off to a fast start after the first four Wildcat batters reached base on a walk, two hits and a hit batsman.

    Right fielder Brad Glenn drove an RBI single through the left side to give Arizona the early 1-0 lead.

    Two innings later, the Wildcats started the inning with two runners on base eventually leading to an RBI sacrifice fly by left fielder Steve Selsky.

    But the two runs were all the offense Arizona could rally as the Wildcats only had four base runners through the rest of the game.

    “”We had first inning bases loaded, none out and only got one in and that pretty much set the tempo for the night for our offense,”” Lopez said. “”We had our chances. So did they, but they were able to capitalize on theirs and that made the difference.””

    Defensively, Arizona was solid, recording no errors in the game for the first time in six contests.

    The Wildcats got a strong start by right-hander Joe Allison, who went four innings while allowing just five hits and three earned runs.

    The sophomore’s effort got off to a shaky start with Titan’s shortstop Christian Colon opening Fullerton’s half of the first inning with a solo home run over the left field wall.

    Allison’s next mistakes came in the second inning, when he allowed an infield single turn into a base runner at third due to a pair of balks. The Titans took advantage of the young pitcher’s mistake and used an RBI single to take the early 2-1 lead.

    The sophomore was relieved in the fifth as normal Friday night starter Preston Guilmet got a rare bullpen call due to the absence of reliever Bryce Bandilla, who was sick with the flu.

    The senior didn’t appear too comfortable in relief as he allowed two hits, including a two-run bomb to right field.

    “”Preston left the ball up in the zone a little bit and that led to a pretty big hit (for Fullerton),”” Lopez said. “”But overall, I was pretty happy with our pitching. I thought Joe (Allison) pitched pretty well tonight. It was really just that one big hit that ended up hurting us.””

    Final conference series crucial for Wildcats

    With two conference series remaining, Arizona still has a slim chance of finding a back door into an NCAA regional. But the Wildcats will likely need to reach a .500 record in the Pac-10, which means only one loss through the final six games is possible.

    Throughout the season the Wildcats’ weakness has centered around its pitching staff and, while there are still several questions surrounding Arizona’s young arms, the starting pitchers have shown signs of improvement as the staff has kept an ERA under three through the last 13 Pac-10 games.

    “”We’ve been pitching well enough to win,”” Lopez said. “”I’ve been very pleased with the way (the young pitchers) have rebounded and kind of gotten themselves in order. We’re not quite where we need to be but (the pitchers) have just gotten older and matured. Hopefully they can keep on getting better.””

    After the Wildcats finish the two-game series against the Titans today, the team will return to Tucson for its final two series at home against Loyola Marymount this weekend followed by Washington the next week.

    Arizona will look to build off the momentum it collected during last weekend’s sweep of the Golden Bears – capping a second-straight conference series win.

    But as Lopez has said throughout the season, the results will only come through hard work – something he has not seen consistently throughout the season.

    “”Everybody has a will to win but not everybody has a will to work,”” Lopez said. “”I’ve been trying to make the young guys understand that.

    “”We need to win every ball game,”” Lopez said, “”but it’ll come down to what we do in the next four to five weeks. Hopefully we can get this thing going in the right direction.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search