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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball sweeps Lobos

    UA relief pitcher Matt Veltmann threw two innings of work in Wednesdays 13-5 win over New Mexico. The Wildcats used a bevy of pitchers in the game after they jumped out to a large lead early on.
    UA relief pitcher Matt Veltmann threw two innings of work in Wednesday’s 13-5 win over New Mexico. The Wildcats used a bevy of pitchers in the game after they jumped out to a large lead early on.

    Life was good for the Arizona baseball team Wednesday afternoon. The Wildcats got their second-straight impressive performance from a pitcher making his first career start.

    For two innings the Arizona offense found nearly every way to get on base against New Mexico’s struggling pitching staff.

    In what was their first non-conference series in four weeks, the Wildcats (16-16, 3-9 Pacific 10 Conference) dominated the Mountain West Conference-leading Lobos (28-10) by a score of 13-5.

    Starting pitcher Daniel Workman (0-0) cruised through four innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while sitting down two Lobos batters on strikes.

    A limit on his pitch count was all that held the freshman back from picking up his first career win despite a performance that earned him praise from UA head coach Andy Lopez.

    “”I was really happy with Workman,”” Lopez said. “”Workman pitched really well and did what we needed him to do in throwing strikes. After today I believe him and (Joe) Allison are definitely going to start competing for that Sunday (starting) spot (after the next series).””

    Arizona’s offense aided the redshirt sophomore right-hander by erasing a 1-0 deficit with a seven-run third inning, which promptly put an end to the day for New Mexico starter Willy Kesler.

    After starting the inning with a strikeout by catcher Daniel Butler, the next six Wildcats reached base and scored. The rally was highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of designated hitter Shaun Cooper ð- his second of the series and third of his career.

    “”That (inning) was a big momentum-getter,”” Cooper said. “”I wish we could have done that throughout the entire game, but sometimes that’s all you get, so you just have to go out and protect it, which we did a good job of today.””

    In the following inning, Lopez opted to play small ball against the New Mexico pitching staff – giving bunt signs to the first three batters at the top of the order. All three reached base on hits, including three-hole power hitter Brad Glenn.

    All three eventually scored before the second-straight big offensive inning for Arizona came to a close with a six-spot on the scoreboard.

    “”We were trying to catch (New Mexico) off guard,”” UA shortstop Bryce Ortega said of the bunt strategy. “”We have me and (Hunter) Pace at the top of the lineup who are more of bunting guys. But seeing Brad (Glenn) do that totally confuses their defense and that’s what we want. We like to do a lot of those little things.””

    The Wildcats’ 12-run cushion gave Lopez a chance to test a multitude of arms as four pitchers – three with recorded starts on the year – came out of the bullpen. Former Saturday starter Matt Veltmann (2-4) looked impressive in his first relief effort of the year, pitching two shutout innings while allowing no hits with a pair of strikeouts.

    However after the sophomore exited in the seventh, Lopez struggled to find a reliable arm as the next two pitchers failed to throw more than an inning while the Lobos’ final four runs came off freshman hurlers Cody Lewis (0-0) and Bryce Bandilla (2-1).

    “”It’s always good when you have momentum to let guys go out and pitch without all the pressure,”” Lopez said. “”Some of them did well (Wednesday) and some didn’t do as well. Obviously Cody Lewis wasn’t very sharp but I thought Veltmann pitched well, I thought (Donn) Roach pitched well and even Bandilla was pretty sharp.””

    “”So it was good to get those guys some work in preparation for the rest of the Pac-10 season.””

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