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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball wins first series in Pac-10 play

    The Arizona baseball team made it interesting, but Jason Stoffel rebounded from a one-run eighth inning to retire three Stanford batters, securing a 7-6 UA victory.

    In addition to winning the game on Sunday, Arizona (19-20, 5-13 Pacific-10 Conference) took its first conference series of the year as the Wildcats beat the Cardinal in two of the three games in Palo Alto, Calif., during the weekend.

    “”It feels really, really good,”” said sophomore shortstop Bryce Ortega. “”This is one of the better feelings I’ve had in a while. I was really excited when we pulled it out.””

    Senior pitcher Preston Guilmet set the tone on Friday, allowing just five hits over seven innings to lead the Wildcats to an 11-1 victory.

    The pitching was there again on Saturday, but a lack of offense spoiled freshman Kyle Simon’s seven-inning gem and handed Arizona a 3-1 loss.

    Redshirt sophomore Daniel Workman took the mound on Sunday and allowed just one earned run through four innings of work against Stanford (18-18, 8-10).

    “”I was pleased,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”Guilmet was great on Friday, Simon was good on Saturday and I liked what Workman did today.””

    But then the game started to follow suit with past Pac-10 games Arizona has played this season.

    With the Wildcats comfortably sitting on a 6-3 lead, freshman Donn Roach surrendered two runs in the sixth before recording an out.

    The score stayed at 6-5 until the eighth inning, when regular freshman catcher Jett Bandy stepped in as third baseman, and drove in Ortega on an RBI double.

    “”Whenever you get something late in a ball game, it’s never meaningless and it actually turned out to be very meaningful,”” Lopez said of the score, which proved to be the winning margin for his team.

    Lopez then turned the game over to Stoffel, Arizona’s closer, for a two-inning save. Rather than shut the door, the All-American gave up a single, hit a batter and walked another batter to load the bases with just one out.

    Stanford first baseman Brent Milleville then flew out to center, but second baseman Colin Walsh tagged from third to make the game a 7-6 contest. With two outs and two Cardinal runners on, Stoffel plunked his second batter of the inning to load the bases again. But Stanford catcher Zach Jones’ liner was gloved by Wildcat infielder Dillon Baird.

    Stoffel returned to the mound in the ninth inning as a totally different pitcher, shutting down the Cardinal to seal the deal.

    “”We’re always confident with Stoffel on the mound,”” Ortega said. We know we can work out of anything. He had some rough at-bats in the eighth, but he mowed ’em down in the ninth.””

    The weekend as a whole was one of the most complete weekends the Wildcats have had all season – a trend they plan on continuing.

    “”We really played some good baseball this weekend,”” Ortega said. “”We had good fundamentals, we pitched really well and we were able to hit their pitching. We’re all pretty happy.””

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