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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Backed by offense, baseball aces Friday night”

    All week in practice, the focus was on the offense – or lack thereof it. But Friday night, Wildcat ace Preston Guilmet was once again in the spotlight.

    The sophomore pitched his fifth complete game and third shutout of the season as the No. 14 Arizona baseball team blanked Washington 7-0 in front of 1,254 fans at Sancet Stadium.

    “”That’s what Preston does, it’s what he’s been doing,”” said catcher Dwight Childs. “”It’s just Preston.””

    Guilmet, who lowered his Pacific 10 Conference-best ERA to 1.58 and increased his lead in strikeouts to 126 on the season, padding his already impressive 2007 resume in helping Arizona (37-13, 12-7 Pac-10) climb into a tie for second place in the conference.

    The Huskies (27-24, 9-10 Pacific 10 Conference) hadn’t been shut out since late in the 2005 season, a stretch of 120 games – “”Really? Wow. Hey, I didn’t even know,”” Guilmet said – and his 11 wins on the season are the most for an Arizona pitcher since Scott Erickson won a school-record 18 in 1989.

    “”I don’t know my stats, man, to tell you the truth,”” Guilmet said. “”I’m just going out there, and I’ve said it from the beginning: I’ve got the mindset of nine innings, and I’m going to go out there and if I get in trouble, get the pitch count up, I won’t make it (to the ninth). But other than that, I’m just going out and doing what I did tonight, getting a lot of outs early and getting them to swing at some pitches I want them too.””

    Guilmet (11-1) gave up just three hits and walked two against seven strikeouts. He threw 122 pitches.

    “”Starting off in the season, it was almost just like testing the waters,”” Guilmet said, “”and now I know what the waters feel like and I’m ready to dive in every game and just go get ’em.””

    The righty also became the first Arizona pitcher in more than a month to get a boost from a struggling offense when the Wildcats plated four in the first inning.

    After loading the bases, third baseman Brad Glenn walked to push a run across before center fielder T.J. Steele’s bases-clearing triple put the Wildcats ahead 4-0.

    “”We hadn’t had a big hit in a while, about three or four weeks,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez.

    After Arizona tacked another one on in the third, and then another in the fifth, it marked the first time since April 14 that the Wildcats had scored more than five in a Pac-10 game.

    Shortstop Colt Sedbrook’s single up the middle in the sixth capped the suddenly rejuvenated offense.

    “”We knew coming in here that Preston was going to throw a great game,”” Steele said, “”so we just needed to put some runs on the board and just get him the lead early and he’s going to do what he’s been doing.””

    Extra bases
    UA seniors Brad Mills and Bill Rhinehart were each presented with framed jerseys before the game. … Second baseman Mike Weldon got his first career hit on a single to center in the sixth, then stole his first career base four pitches later. … The Saturday starter Mills, who missed his last start with a strained back, had a cortisone shot and will try to throw tomorrow.

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