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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the Week: C.J. Ziegler

    C.J. Ziegler
    C.J. Ziegler

    The designated hitter and first baseman for the No. 1 Arizona baseball team, C.J. Ziegler, is hitting .370 with 14 RBIs in seven games and hit his sixth home run of the young season last night to give the Wildcats a 6-5 win. The Arizona Daily Wildcat caught up with Ziegler after the game to discus his hot bat, dating UA softball ace Taryne Mowatt and meeting Lebron James.

    Wildcat: You’re off to a heck of a start. How comfortable are you feeling at the plate at this point?
    Ziegler: I can’t really explain it. It helps having those batters one through nine behind me. They’re doing their job putting pressure on the defense. By the time I come up (the defense) is trying to focus on everyone else and I come up do what I’m prepared to do.

    W: It’s only seven games into the season and you’re almost halfway to your home run total of last year (13). How much better are you this season?
    Z: I think the experience has helped me a lot, just knowing what guys are gonna throw me in certain counts, when runners are on and when nobody’s on. I feel good up at the plate and confidence is a big thing and having a plan also.

    W: Now your fielding percentage isn’t bad either so far. Feeling pretty comfortable out there?
    Z: Yeah I am. I had kind of a shaky start at the beginning, but you can’t always be perfect all the time and defense is looking better every day. We’re all just working to improve every day.

    W: Now for some off-the-field questions. I’ve heard you’re dating (softball pitcher) Taryne Mowatt. How long have you been together?
    Z: I’d say about a year and a half.

    W: You ever stepped into the (batters) box against her?
    Z: (laughs) No, I think that is a lose-lose situation for me.

    W: Don’t think you’d do well in that matchup?
    Z: You know I’m not sure how I’d do. But if I don’t get a hit I get made fun of, but if I do get a hit then I’m in the doghouse with her. That’s basically a lose-lose situation so I try to stay away from that (laughs). But I try to talk a little smack when I can.

    W: She has to have the upper hand right now with those two national championships, right?
    Z: Oh very much. I give her props for everything she’s done; the championships, the ESPY’s. You can’t do much better than that. She’s done really well and I’m proud of her.

    W: Did you get to go to the ESPY’s?
    Z: I did. It was an awesome, awesome experience.

    W: Who was the coolest person you met there?
    Z: Oh geez. Probably Payton Manning or Lebron James, just a lot of guys.

    W: You were drafted last year by the St. Louis Cardinals but chose not to go. If you could choose a team to go to who would
    it be?
    Z: I’m a huge Atlanta Braves fan, but it doesn’t matter to me. Whoever will take me I’ll go. I just want to play professional baseball and continue my career in baseball.

    W: Last question. If you could face any pitcher, active or not, who would it be?
    Z: Nolan Ryan. I want to see what that’s like; facing 100 mph, a guy throwing at somebody’s head. That’s kinda scary, but I would like to see what that’s like.

    – Interview by Bobby Stover

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