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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Poor pitching, eight errors dooms baseball”

    The second episode of the 2009 season did not follow the script that head coach Andy Lopez wrote before the game.

    The Sacramento State Hornets (1-1) scored seven runs in the first two innings and didn’t stop there as they walloped Arizona 10-7 at Frank Sancet Stadium.

    An error on the first play was perhaps a sign of things to come as the Wildcats committed an astounding eight errors in the game.

    “”(The first error) was a snowball that turned into an avalanche,”” Lopez said after the game. “”We may have played worse than any team I’ve had in a long time.””

    A lackluster debut for newcomer Ryan Veltmann on the mound coupled with all eight of those backbreaking errors was enough to give the Wildcats (1-1) their first loss of the season in embarrassing fashion.

    Veltmann, a junior college transfer who was so impressive to UA coaches during the fall that he was locked in as the Saturday starter before the season began, handed the Hornets a healthy dose of straight fastballs and mediocre curveballs.

    Despite getting his four-seamer into the 88-91 mph range, Sacramento State hitters worked the count in each at-bat, frustrating Veltmann enough to briefly lose composure and serve a pitch right over the middle.

    The Hornets took advantage, smacking two homeruns and seven hits off of the starter.

    “”He was not very good,”” Lopez said. “”He threw some balls up in the zone, it was a really average performance.””

    To Veltmann’s credit, the men behind him did not supply much support. Committing eight errors in a single game is rare, and as each ball skipped past third baseman Brad Glenn’s glove or slid under first baseman Dillon Baird’s glove, Arizona’s chances of winning became more and more obsolete.

    “”You’re not going to win a game when you commit eight errors,”” Lopez said. “”We put ourselves in a horrible, horrible hole.””

    Baird hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to bring the game to 10-7, but it was too little too late. Eight innings of lifeless bats not only contributed to the loss, but makes Sunday’s rubber match a “”must win.””

    “”We need to play smarter,”” a downtrodden Baird said after the game. “”We have to just throw the ball, catch the ball, and put it in play more often.

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