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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Guilmet’s gem pushes baseball past USC

    It was just another outing for Preston Guilmet. But “”another outing”” for the Wildcat ace has come to be synonymous with “”gem.””

    The right-hander struck out nine batters in his fourth complete-game win of the year, surrendering just two runs on nine hits as the No. 14 Wildcats (36-11, 11-5 Pacific 10 Conference) won their 15th-straight game at home, downing USC (23-23, 6-10) at Sancet Stadium, 5-2.

    “”That’s just what he does,”” catcher Dwight Childs said of Guilmet, who threw 131 pitches. “”I expect it from him, I know that. I know every time I come out on Friday night, I know it’s not going to be an easy night behind the plate for me blocking the ball, but I know I expect him to get outs.””

    Added UA head coach Andy Lopez: “”Preston obviously carried us on his back, he really did.””

    Guilmet (10-1) continues to lead the Pac-10 in ERA (1.70) and his conference-best 119 strikeouts on the season have come in 111 innings. The nine-inning outing was his fifth on the year, having gone nine in a win over California that went 11 innings.

    “”It’s almost to the point where you don’t want to threaten the guys in the bullpen by saying ‘Go get warmed up,'”” said second baseman Colt Sedbrook, “”because you know deep down inside, Guilmet’s going to get it done, because he’s a tough guy, he makes good pitches and he’s going to keep going out and he’s going to keep giving you nine solid innings.””

    As a freshman last season, Guilmet went 3-7 with a 4.80 ERA with a total of nine strikeouts. The three-time national pitcher of the week has now hit or surpassed that mark eight times this season, something he attributes to the freshman-to-sophomore-year transition.

    “”I just know hitters better, not individual hitters better,”” Guilmet said, “”but knowing how to pitch to just a general hitter, knowing when to throw balls in the dirt, knowing when not to throw balls in the dirt, when you can slip a couple of fastball’s by them with two strikes. Last year, I really didn’t have that knowledge yet, and I was just kind of going out there and getting a feel for things.””

    A three-run second inning looked to be all Guilmet would need for awhile, when the Wildcats sandwiched two run-scoring singles around a strikeout and an RBI double.

    Two innings later in the fourth, Guilmet – already rolling to that point with just one hit allowed – said he got a little “”fired up”” when USC’s Nick Buss appeared to swing at a pitch that hit him. Guilmet exchanged words with home plate umpire Ken Eldridge and then stared down Buss at first.

    “”That inning, it definitely got me going,”” Guilmet said. “”I tried to stay poised out there, but even though that fired me up, I was still poised.””

    With USC threatening with runners on second and third and one out in the seventh, Guilmet nearly got out of the jam, but allowed a two-out single up the middle plated Lucas Duda to make it 3-1 before UA center fielder T.J. Steele threw Robert Stock out at home to end the inning.

    Designated hitter Bill Rhinehart’s insurance triple in the eighth scored Sedbrook, and he scored a batter later on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.

    Sedbrook finished the game 2-for-4 and now has 12 hits in his last 20 at bats.

    “”I’m working on my approaches,”” Sedbrook said. “”I’m not trying to swing at everything, I’m not trying to pull everything. Guys are pitching me away and I’m just kind of working with that.””

    Trojan starter Brad Boxberger (3-4) gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in the loss. He finished the game with eight punchouts over seven innings.

    Extra bases
    Of Wildcat starters, only Steele and Childs didn’t record a hit. Steele walked twice. … USC third base coach Bill Mosiello was thrown out of the game in the top of the ninth for arguing balls and strikes.

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