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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Heyer survives scare; ‘Cats fall to Cal

Through the first three innings of its first road trip of the season, against the California Golden Bears, the Arizona baseball team played like a squad that recently won 15 consecutive games should.

UA pitching ace Kurt Heyer, who posted a 4-0 record and a 2.01 ERA coming into the contest, coasted through the first three innings of work Thursday and a home run by right fielder Steve Selsky — his third in the last three games — gave the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.

But a 110 mph line drive off the side of Heyer’s head took the Wildcats (20-6, 2-2 Pacific 10 Conference) out of the game mentally, resulting in a 7-2 Golden Bears (13-11, 1-3 Pac-10) victory.

“”It was a 2-0 fastball and (Cal’s Mark Canha) hit a line drive and it hit (Heyer) right above the eye on the right side of his head,”” said head coach Andy Lopez. “”It’s one of those things where I don’t care if you’re an old team or a young team, it’s a scary moment when one of your teammates gets hit in the head.

“”To be real honest, I think it took us out of our game for that one inning,”” he added. “”We just kind of unraveled — made an error or two.””

When Heyer wanted to continue pitching, Lopez insisted he be replaced. Heyer left the game for the emergency room with no out in the fourth inning

The Golden Bears exploded for five runs in the fourth inning off of freshman relief pitcher Stephen Manthei, and the Arizona offense, which averaged 10.9 runs per contest in the 15 games prior, failed to mount a comeback.

Cal and starting pitcher Erik Johnson, who allowed one run in six innings, held the Wildcats to under 10 hits for only the third time in 25 games.

Although the Wildcats dropped their second consecutive game, the real concern was the health of Heyer, who had “”no major issues”” after his stint in the hospital, according to Lopez.

“”Nobody likes losing, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty happy that Kurt’s OK,”” Lopez said. “”I’ve only had a couple of situations like that in the past and those are pretty dire situations, so I’m pretty happy he’s OK and we’ll bounce back.””

The Wildcats will get their chance today at 2:30 p.m. in the second of three games against Cal.

 

Ortega out again

After missing the series finale loss against the Oregon Ducks on March 28, Arizona second baseman Bryce Ortega missed Thursday’s game against Cal due to soreness in his lower back.

Ortega, who has a .281 batting average and no errors in 24 games at second base, only missed one game in his first two years at Arizona.

“”His back was not as loose as we thought it would be,”” Lopez said. “”Obviously we’ve got to get Bryce back. He’s an important factor.””

Sophomore Ethan Chavez filled in for Ortega and committed a big error in the Golden Bears’ five-run fourth inning. With Ortega out again today, Lopez expects to go with freshman and regular left fielder Robert Refsnyder at second.

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