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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball looking for momentum against Irvine

    JAKE LACEY

Baseball vs Cal State Fullerton. Sunday.
    Jake Lacey
    JAKE LACEY Baseball vs Cal State Fullerton. Sunday.

    arizona baseball vs. UC IRVINE

    Over the past two weeks, the Arizona baseball team has played some of the best teams in the nation and has had little to show for it.

    The Wildcats (10-11) never got blown out – save a 9-2 loss to Mississippi State March 11 – but are riding a six-game losing streak, the team’s longest drought since 2003. The Wildcats look to get things back on track this weekend as they host UC-Irvine (17-9) in a two-game set tomorrow and Sunday at 6 p.m. and noon, respectively, at Sancet Stadium.

    “”I haven’t been frustrated with them at all,”” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said of his team. “”In fact, I’ve been pretty pleased … with the exception of putting wins in the win column.

    “”The facts are that we’ve played very good teams the last 10 games.””

    The Wildcats were swept by both No. 1 Mississippi State (16-0) and No. 4 Cal State Fullerton (17-7) over spring break.

    “”One positive thing to come off of (the losing streak) is we’re playing these teams and we’re losing by one or two runs a game,”” senior second baseman Brad Boyer said. “”We’re not getting blown out and that’s without any offense. We’ll pitch well and then we’ll have one or two bad innings that’s just really taken us out of the game.””

    Arizona lost five of the last six games by two runs or less.

    “”It’s kind of like a click,”” said sophomore third baseman Colt Sedbrook, who leads the team with a .333 batting average. “”Either the hitting’s going right and pitching’s off or the pitching’s on and hitting’s off. We just need to come out together and get both of them on the same page.””

    While Arizona went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs and Titans in doubles, triples and home runs, the Wildcats had trouble getting base hits. Those opponents collected a combined 47 singles and 31 walks compared to Arizona’s 23 and 10, respectively.

    “”The problem is we’re not getting that clutch hit,”” Lopez said. “”We’re not getting the base hit, we’re not putting a lot of people on base so we’re not even getting a chance to leave runners in scoring position.””

    With Pacific 10 Conference play just a week away, Lopez hopes to rectify these problems this weekend against the Anteaters.

    Arizona will start sophomore left-hander Eric Berger (3-4, 4.42 ERA) tomorrow and junior lefty Brad Mills (2-0, 3.74) will toe the mound on Sunday. Freshman right-hander Preston Guilmet, who is the usual Saturday starter, will be used out of the bullpen this weekend because it is only a two-game series.

    Because of Arizona’s recent woes, Lopez said he is looking forward to playing two games this weekend.

    “”The timing is kind of nice that we don’t have a three-game series,”” he said. “”I’m really anxious to practice with these guys. We have found out a lot of information over the last 10 games.””

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