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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Gaston, baseball move into second place in Pac-10”

    What struggling offense?

    The No. 14 Arizona baseball team consistently found its stroke for the second straight night and UA spot starter David Coulon turned in six solid innings as the Wildcats beat Washington 13-4 at Sancet Stadium Saturday night.

    “”We had a good game. No ifs, ands or buts. We just played good baseball tonight,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez, who kept his team for an hour and 45 minutes after Arizona dropped a 4-2 decision to USC last Monday and then closed practice Tuesday to refocus his hitters.

    The suddenly potent Wildcat offense – led by right fielder Bill Rhinehart’s 3-for-5 night and designated hitter Jon Gaston’s four RBIs – scored more than 10 runs in a Pacific 10 Conference game for the first time in more than a month. Every Wildcat starter scored a run; seven had a hit, and six had an RBI.

    UA second baseman Colt Sedbrook added a 2-for-4 night with two runs scored and three RBIs.

    “”We stuttered a little bit (offensively), but the only way you get things back is hard work, and that’s what we’ve been doing all week,”” Gaston said. “”(Lopez), he’s been on us, and we came up to the challenge. We’re hitting right now.””

    Coupled with UCLA’s loss to Washington State earlier in the day, Arizona (38-13, 13-7 Pac-10) vaulted over the Bruins (28-24, 12-8) for second place in the conference. The Wildcats’ 38 wins are also the most ever in a regular season under Lopez.

    “”We went through that stretch where we just weren’t playing good baseball,”” Lopez said of his team’s recent slide in the Pac-10, which saw Arizona drop three straight conference series up until this weekend. “”If you play good baseball, it always ends up how it’s supposed to end up, and in reality, we didn’t play good baseball for three weeks in the Pac-10. It may have cost us, we’ll see.””

    Arizona pushed six runs across when it batted around in the third on three Husky wild pitches and five hits, including Gaston’s two-run triple. Gaston, who wore glasses for the first time in his life Saturday night, also hit his third home run of the year, a two-run shot, in the eighth.

    “”We had some big at-bats out of Jon Gaston, which is a real, real plus offensively,”” Lopez said. “”We need that badly.””

    For the second straight week, Coulon (4-3) started in place of an injured Brad Mills, who was out with a strained back. Coulon gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk in picking up the win.

    “”Coulon did a great job for us,”” Lopez said. “”He’s worked hard and he deserves his last couple of outings.””

    UA righties Ryan Perry and Jason Stoffel then combined to give the Wildcats three one-hit innings of relief.

    Lopez said Mills, who threw in the bullpen Saturday night, may be available in relief in Sunday’s series finale.

    Husky starter Elliott Cribby (1-2) gave up seven runs, six earned, in the loss.

    Extra bases
    Arizona honored former coach Jerry Kindall’s induction to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. Kindall won 860 games and three national championships in his 24 years as head coach. … Arizona has now turned 48 double plays in 51 games. … Sedbrook was hit by two pitches in the game, bringing his career total to 38, which ties the school record held by former shortstop Jason Donald. … Mike Colla (2-2) will start the final home game of the season for the Wildcats Sunday at noon.

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