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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball gets weekend sweep

    Arizona shortstop Bryce Ortega swings at a pitch in yesterdays 7-6 win over Indiana State at Sancet Stadium. Yesterdays win wrapped up the Wildcats first weekend sweep in five weeks.
    Arizona shortstop Bryce Ortega swings at a pitch in yesterday’s 7-6 win over Indiana State at Sancet Stadium. Yesterday’s win wrapped up the Wildcats’ first weekend sweep in five weeks.

    Five weeks had passed since the Arizona baseball team’s last weekend sweep. Then on a Colt Sedbrook double off the right field wall, pinch runner Hunter Pace crossed home plate to give the Wildcats their first weekend sweep since early March.

    After taking the first two games of the series against Indiana State (10-20) by a combined score of 15-2, Arizona (20-11, 3-6 Pacific 10 Conference) needed some ninth-inning magic to down the Sycamores 7-6 yesterday.

    With two outs, left fielder Diallo Fon drilled a grounder up the middle and stretched it into a double.

    Then, as second baseman Colt Sedbrook stepped to the plate, Arizona head coach Andy Lopez brought in pinch runner Hunter Pace. But speed wasn’t needed as Sedbrook blasted a double over Sycamore right fielder Nick Ciolli’s head to give Arizona the sweep in walk-off fashion.

    “”All day I was trying to hit it in the gap, get a double and just get runners in scoring position,”” Sedbrook said. “”The wind was blowing pretty hard all day but the wind finally stopped (in the ninth) and I was able to get (the ball) over (Ciolli’s) head.””

    The thrilling finish put a cap on what was overall an uneven day for the Wildcats. Through the early innings in yesterday’s contest, a positive outcome became hard
    to imagine.

    Starting pitcher Eric Berger (3-2) struggled through 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while issuing three walks in addition to plunking his final batter.

    Reliever Mike Colla (2-2) did not fare much better as the right-hander lasted only one-third of an inning where he gave up one run on three hits.

    But the Wildcats found their answer when right hander Ryan Perry (2-2) entered in the top of the fourth. After taking the ball from Colla, Perry silenced the Sycamore lineup for the rest of the game, sitting down all 16 batters he faced to nail down his second win of the year.

    “”I don’t think I’ve ever (retired) that many in an actual game before,”” Perry said of his 5 1/3 inning, no-hit effort. “”Your confidence just builds as you keep going one after the other. It makes you feel on top of the world and the other team’s getting down so that helps.””

    Perry’s pitching came at the right time for Arizona, whose offense had yet to get going. Indiana State jumped out to a 6-1 lead through the first four innings. Up to that point, the Wildcats appeared to have slipped back into the slump they have often found themselves in lately.

    But Arizona’s bats finally awoke in the fifth inning as the first five batters reached base.

    First baseman C.J. Ziegler began the Wildcats’ rally with a double on a misplayed ball by Sycamore right fielder Nick Ciolli.

    Third baseman Dillon Baird followed with a single and the bases became filled when center fielder T.J. Steele took a pitch in the back.

    Ziegler and Baird scored on a single up the middle by right fielder Jon Gaston to bring Arizona within three.

    The Wildcats didn’t wait long to make up the difference as the next batter, third baseman Brad Glenn, stepped up to the plate and tied the game.

    With wind gusting inward from center field, Glenn turned on a Micah Spencer slider, sending it high over the left field wall to complete Arizona’s comeback.

    “”I thought he was going to go slider away and I was gonna take it to the right-center gap,”” Glenn said. “”But he made a mistake and luckily I took control of that.

    “”It’s about time I start hitting,”” he added. “”I’ve been struggling early on in the season but I’m starting to roll a little bit and hopefully that continues.””

    If this weekend’s series was any indicator, the Wildcats’ offense may be coming out of its recent hibernation.

    Arizona’s offense rewarded starting pitcher Preston Guilmet’s (4-2) solid two-run effort Friday by scoring 10 runs on eight hits en route to a 10-2 victory.

    The next day, the Wildcats put up five runs on eight hits on a night in which left-handed pitcher David Coulon (6-2) only needed one. The southpaw extended his scoreless-innings streak to 14 2/3 with an additional 5 2/3 innings Saturday, when he allowed only four hits while striking out nine. Arizona went on to a five-run shutout win to clinch the series.

    “”This (series) was a good win for us,”” Lopez said. “”I think we showed we have some pitching depth and its good to see some of these guys like Brad (Glenn) starting to hit again.

    “”If we continue to pitch well – we’re playing better defense,”” Lopez added. “”We just need to shorten up our strokes and we’ll be right where we want to be.””

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