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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA offense lifts off vs. Rebels

    The Arizona baseball team found its home away from home at UNLV’s Earl E. Wilson Stadium. For the second straight day the Wildcats (4-1) used double-digit scoring to edge out the Running Rebels (3-3).

    In a 16-12 win on the road, Arizona found its strength at the plate as seven hitters found holes in UNLV’s defense and managed to knock in at least one run each.

    The effort came less than 24 hours after the Wildcats used 14 runs made by 19 hits to silence the Rebels in the team’s first game away from Tucson.

    “”We played some pretty good ball today,”” catcher Daniel Butler said. “”We know the importance of winning away from home. A bunch of us were talking about how if we can go undefeated on the road it’s going to be a damn good year.

    “”This is definitely a good start.””

    While Arizona’s offense was electric for the second day in a row, the defense once again encountered its difficulties in the later innings as UNLV mounted a furious comeback to cut Arizona’s 13-run lead to three.

    After falling behind 14-1 through four and a half innings, the Rebels jumped on Arizona freshman pitcher Bryce Bandilla in the bottom of the fifth.

    UNLV chased the freshman from the game after four straight hits to start the inning en route to a five spot before the inning ended.

    The Rebels again struck in the seventh inning, this time taking advantage of Arizona miscues, including a wild pitch by Corey Burns and an error by shortstop Bryce Ortega leading to a 6-run inning.

    “”I don’t like to think (we relaxed), but it’s possible,”” Butler said. “”But their hitters are out there swinging too and eventually they’re going to get something started and that’s kind of what happened (yesterday).””

    Despite the single error, Ortega accounted for one of the biggest bats for Arizona Wednesday afternoon. The sophomore finished the day five-for-five and collected a trio of RBIs. Ortega has started the year much like he did last year – with a hot bat. Coming into Wednesday’s game, Ortega was already hitting .429 with an on-base percentage over .500. Yesterday’s RBI total doubled that of the year so far for the middle-infielder.

    “”I’m just trying to keep with the line drive approach,”” Ortega said. “”I go up (to the plate) not trying to be too big or hit a home run or anything, just going for singles and stuff and so far it’s been working out.””

    The other Wildcat to shine yesterday was Butler, who went two-for-three with four RBIs. Wednesday’s performance continued the junior’s streak as one of Arizona’s hottest sluggers. Butler entered yesterday’s contest with five hits in eight at bats in the two games he had played thus far.

    On the hill, sophomore Matt Chaffee (1-0) picked up the win for the Wildcats on a day which saw head coach Andy Lopez use a total of six different arms.

    Freshman Donn Roach (1-0) got the start and went 2 1/3 innings, allowing only one earned run with a strike out – his second solid effort in four days.

    “”(Roach) has got a lot of confidence,”” Butler said. “”He’s got good stuff, some of the best stuff on the staff and he’s just been doing a great job so far in throwing everything and showing everyone what he’s got.””

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