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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball drops game 2 to Georgia

    After Friday night’s 11-5 loss to No. 12 Georgia (7-0) in which the Arizona pitching staff allowed seven earned runs on 13 hits while allowing eight walks, the Wildcats needed a strong effort Saturday night.

    Unfortunately for Arizona (4-3), the team did not quite get what it needed from starter Matt Veltmann (0-2) or the rest of its staff.

    On the night, the Wildcats’ pitchers gave up a total 12 earned runs on 21 hits in addition to allowing four free passes in a 12-5 loss to the Bulldogs. The 21 hits marked the most allowed by Arizona pitchers since ASSU recorded 21 in a 13-6 win over the Wildcats last season on May 22.

    “”I’d really like to see us pitching better for the most part,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”Georgia is a good club and I like playing good people early. But you’ve got to be at your best when your best is called upon and we simply haven’t been these last couple nights.””

    Veltmann appeared venerable for the second straight start as the sophomore gave up four runs on six hits through the first two innings. Veltmann, who has been pitching with a bulging disk in his back since December, managed to prevent any further damage in his final full inning of work but hit a wall in the fourth inning – exiting after allowing a walk, two hits and two runs.

    Through only three innings of work, the transfer from San Diego Community College hit a pitch count of 62. The meager performance came a week after Veltmann’s first start – a loss against Sacramento State in which he lasted only 2 innings after allowing 6 hits, a walk and eight runs.

    “”I can’t say (my back) wasn’t a factor but really it comes to me not throwing enough strikes and getting the ball up (in the zone),”” Veltmann said. “”I didn’t hit some spots that I wanted to and a few balls got crushed. I know I just can’t do that and think I’ll be successful.””

    While Arizona pitchers failed to stifle the tough Georgia hitters, the Wildcats’ own offense seem fooled by nearly everything starter Alex McRee (2-0) threw at them. Through the lefty’s five innings of work only three Arizona hitters recorded hits while a total of just six saw the base paths.

    The Wildcats struggled throughout the night at the plate, unable to push a run across until the eighth inning when first baseman Dillon Baird prevented Arizona first shutout loss since April 29, 2005, with a single to right field driving in left fielder Bobby Coyle. Arizona hitters managed to show some life by adding four more runs before succumbing to defeat but could not overcome the slow start.

    Despite the rough night at the plate, however, Lopez said the Wildcats’ biggest concern still lies on the mound.

    “”I would have loved to get 13 runs tonight but the key (to wining) is getting good starting pitching,”” Lopez said. “”Offense comes and goes but you have to pitch well to be a really good club day in and day out and the last two nights we haven’t had that from our starters.””

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