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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball grinds out win

    Wildcat second baseman Colt Sedbrook flips the ball toward first base to record the first out of the ninth inning in Arizonas 3-2 win last night over San Diego State at Sancet Stadium. Arizona co-closer Jason Stoffel then struck out the remaining two Aztec batters to preserve the Wildcat win.
    Wildcat second baseman Colt Sedbrook flips the ball toward first base to record the first out of the ninth inning in Arizona’s 3-2 win last night over San Diego State at Sancet Stadium. Arizona co-closer Jason Stoffel then struck out the remaining two Aztec batters to preserve the Wildcat win.

    The chimes of AC/DC’s “”Hells Bells”” welcomed UA closer Jason Stoffel as he jogged to the mound in the ninth inning with the determination to preserve a one-run lead.

    Fresh off back-to-back one-run losses, the Arizona baseball team (29-13) stood out this time for a 3-2 win over San Diego State (25-20) last night at Sancet Stadium.

    Stoffel and co-closer Daniel Schlereth combined for three final spotless innings, with five strikeouts and no walks.

    Familiar with late-inning pressure, the Arizona bullpen excels on such opportunities.

    “”There’s definitely more adrenaline (in close games) than a 10-run game,”” Stoffel said. “”I love adrenaline.””

    Added Schlereth: “”I feel better if it’s a pressure situation. For me anyway, when there’s pressure, I think I thrive on that.””

    After losing its last two games 3-2 and 4-3 in Corvallis, Ore., over the weekend, Arizona’s bullpen carried the night in a game of sparse offensive production.

    Starter Mike Colla picked up the no decision after pitching 4 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits. At a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning, winning pitcher Cory Burns (3-0) took over for one inning of relief, followed by left-handed pitcher Matt Chaffee, who came in with two outs in the sixth inning for a successful lefty-on-lefty matchup.

    “”(Close games are) a lot of fun,”” Stoffel said. “”It’s what I’m there to do.””

    Schlereth found success and a sense of accomplishment when striking out SDSU’s Nick Romero – the infielder that hit a grand slam off Schlereth on April 8 in San Diego.

    “”I’m just trying to hang zeroes, that’s it,”” Schlereth said.

    Offensive frustration reached both teams as San Diego State stranded seven runners on base while Arizona left eight. UA head coach Andy Lopez held a batters-only meeting for over an hour after the game.

    “”They’re going to turn around,”” Stoffel said of UA’s hitters. “”Nobody on our staff doubts that at all.””

    Shortstop Bryce Ortega went 1-for-4 and struck out on a 3-2 count with two outs in the seventh, stranding runners on second and third base.

    Back in the fourth inning, Ortega also hesitated to throw home, allowing SDSU’s Brandon Glover to score from first base on an RBI double that put the Aztecs up 2-1.

    Each team scored its runs early, but scattered a combined 16 hits throughout the game.

    Losing pitcher Nate Solow (3-6) lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits. After SDSU head coach and MLB Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn went to the bullpen, right fielder Jon Gaston stole second base and reached third on the throwing error, but Ortega struck out looking to end the inning.

    The eventual game-winning RBI came off first baseman C.J. Ziegler’s one-out rip to left-center field, scoring center fielder T.J. Steele, who doubled to left field, giving the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.

    Steele highlighted Arizona’s offensive production, going 3-for-4 with two runs – extending his batting average to .336.

    Arizona tied the game in the fourth when catcher Daniel Butler drove an RBI double to left field, due to Brandon Decker’s misjudgment while backpedaling for the ball.

    “”We’re a team, we’re going to stick together,”” Schlereth said. “”But we need to manufacture more runs, better at-bats.””

    Extra bases

    Arizona returns once again to unranked territory after going 3-2 last week. …

    UA ace Preston Guilmet won the Pacific 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week Award after a lights-out performance Friday at Oregon State. Guilmet tossed a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and only one walk in a complete game shutout.

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