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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A swing of momentum

    Only one thing arrived quicker than UA pitcher Ryan Perry’s 98 mph fastballs yesterday: The drastic turnaround of momentum on the Arizona baseball team. Entering a two-game series with a 3-10 record since March 16, Arizona (17-11) completed the sweep over San Diego State (18-15) with a 5-2 win yesterday. Back-to-back wins at Tony Gwynn Stadium now puts the Wildcats – unranked for the first time this season – winners in four of their last six games.

    “”We swung the bats pretty good the last couple nights – a real optimistic sign,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez.

    First baseman C.J. Ziegler registered his team-high 11th home run as part of a five-run third inning, finishing the game 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and one run. A combined 24-hit series furthermore relieved Arizona’s offensive drought with 16 runs during its two-game stretch.

    But the most impressive outing yesterday came from the bullpen, which threw a spotless six innings. Perry recorded the four-inning save while starter Eric Berger (3-2) went three innings and allowed two runs.

    To bridge the gap, freshman left-handed reliever Matt Chaffee impressed Lopez with 1 1/3 innings of shutout baseball in tough situations. SDSU stranded seven runners on base in the game.

    Berger and Perry tallied similar pitch counts (56 and 49), giving Lopez three potential starting pitchers to choose from along with Mike Colla during a mid-week two-game series.

    “”We can put those guys in those roles anywhere we want,”” Lopez said. “”Right now that looks like the setup it’ll be. A lot of it has to do what happens on the weekends.””

    Arizona’s defense also rebounded. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, right fielder Jon Gaston threw out SDSU’s Brandon Decker at the plate, then Perry retired SDSU’s Garrett Green to secure the Wildcats’ three-run lead.

    The Wildcats’ bullpen put up six consecutive scoreless innings to end the game, while Berger and Perry registered a combined eight strikeouts.

    “”Ryan (Perry) was pretty special,”” Lopez said. “”He was really effective – 98 mph four or five times.””

    Extra innings

    Arizona finished its longest road stretch of the season with 11 of its last 14 games being played away from Tucson. Seven of the next 10 games will be at home, after only playing 11 home games up until this point.

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