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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Baseball goes to Vegas

    Colt Sedbrook
    Colt Sedbrook

    Throwing low strikes. It’s worked for Preston Guilmet all season, and he’s not about to change.

    Baseball’s right-handed ace, the reigning Pacific 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, will look for his third-straight win tonight at 7:30 when Arizona (9-2) travels to Las Vegas to take on UNLV (7-6) in the first of a three-game set.

    After opening the season with eight hitless innings against Gonzaga, the sophomore most recently out-dueled Cal State Fullerton ace Wes Roemer in Arizona’s 2-1 win over the Titans last Friday, giving up just five hits over 7 2/3 innings. The lone run he surrendered was unearned as he lowered his ERA to 1.23.

    “”Needless to say, he’s really stepped up and done a marvelous job,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez.

    “”The thing I think that sets him apart from the rest of the staff right now is he not only has great command of his fastball on a consistent basis four weeks into it, but he also has a tremendous second and third pitch. His out pitches are very, very, very effective right now.””

    Guilmet (2-0) has allowed just three earned runs to cross the plate in his three starts, and has struck out 17 batters, second best on the team. Opponents are hitting a mere .151 against the Citrus Heights, Calif. native.

    He said his approach has remained the same since that opening-night dominance.

    “”Every weekend, it’s just throw low strikes and get ground balls and get outs,”” Guilmet said.

    Lefty Brad Mills (2-1) will get the nod again this Saturday despite a rocky outing in last week’s 9-0 loss to Fullerton that saw him give up eight runs (five earned) in just 2 1/3 innings.

    “”He obviously didn’t have the performance he wanted to have, but everyone’s going to have a bad performance,”” Lopez said of Mills. “”That’s just one and we’ll move on.””

    The Sunday starting role against UNLV was still up for grabs mid-week, with usual Sunday starter Mike Colla and relievers David Coulon and Paul Bargas vying for the spot.

    Bargas (1-0), a freshman, has a team-low 1.12 ERA in two appearances this season, including a start against Utah Valley State Feb. 7, when he struck out five in six innings of work and gave up a lone run.

    “”I’m not unhappy with Mike Colla in any way, shape or form. I think Mike’s going to be very good for us,”” Lopez said. “”But he needs to work on his out pitch a little more right now, and some of the other guys need to get a shot before we start Pac-10 play, and see where we all fit in right now.””

    The pitching staff could receive a boost from the return of last season’s leading hitter, second baseman Colt Sedbrook, who hasn’t played at all this season because of personal issues. Sedbrook, who traveled with the team to Las Vegas, said earlier this week that he was expecting to play against the Rebels.

    “”Watching my team play was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with,”” Sedbrook said Wednesday. “”Sitting there and watching games, I never did that when I was growing up. That was the first time I actually had to do it and kinda had to respect the game.””

    Freshman Kevin Rodland has filled in for Sedbrook while he’s been out of the lineup, hitting .200 with three triples and seven RBIs, tops among freshmen.

    “”He did real well,”” Sedbrook said of Rodland. “”And that’s the thing. As a selfish individual, you’d say I want him to make as many errors as possible and strike out every time he gets up to the plate … (but) I wanted those guys to do just as good as I would do.

    “”I want this team to be successful, I want this team to be in Omaha,”” he added. “”I want to win a National Championship. That’s the goal. And if I’m not in that lineup, if we still get to Omaha and I’m still a part of that, I’m going to feel a big part of that.

    “”But now I have a chance to actually get on the field, I’m really happy about it and I’m really looking forward to it.””

    Extra bases

    Lopez said he expects right-hander Ryan Perry, who was challenging for a spot in the rotation before breaking his non-pitching arm in a motor cycle accident earlier this month, back within three-to-four weeks.

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