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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baseball sweeps doubleheader

    The Arizona baseball team has been in search of offense. It found more than enough Saturday afternoon.

    The Wildcats (20-6) pounded out 12 runs on 17 hits and got a dazzling start from right-hander Preston Guilmet en route to cruising to a 12-0 win over Northern Colorado (7-12) in the first game of a doubleheader Arizona swept at Sancet Stadium.

    “”We’re still not there yet,”” UA head coach Andy Lopez said of his offense. “”I’m not going to sit here and tell you that was great. We’re getting better (and) definitely heading in the right direction.””

    Guilmet (5-0) went the whole way for his first complete game of the year, striking out 11 while surrendering only three hits. He walked one.

    “”His second pitch was on the money,”” Lopez said. “”His slider was just – I mean we probably could’ve called it at any time in any count and he would’ve thrown it with some effectiveness.””

    The sophomore has now thrown 21 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

    “”I was just throwing it hard,”” Guilmet said of his slider. “”It’s something that that’s what I want every game. It’s not like something changed. I strive for that pitch every game, and this afternoon it was there.””

    It was Arizona’s first complete-game shutout since David Coulon tossed one in a 6-0 win at USC during the final weekend of last season.

    “”Every time I go out, I’m looking to go nine,”” Guilmet said. “”It’s nice to finally get it.

    “”I made pitches (Saturday), got outs quick, kept a low pitch count, and I went out in the ninth and finished it out.””

    Northern Colorado starter Chris Reap (2-3) was charged with the loss.

    First baseman Bill Rhinehart drove in Arizona’s first four runs, including a home run to deep right in the third and an RBI single in the fifth that put the Wildcats up 4-0.

    “”He did a great job early when we needed it,”” Lopez said. “”He and (designated hitter) C.J. (Ziegler) are the guys right now that are carrying us a little bit offensively.

    Rhinehart finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs.

    Arizona broke things open in the seventh when it scored six runs on six hits to go up 10-0.

    With the bases loaded and no one out, Ziegler flied to deep left with the bases loaded to score shortstop Robert Abel from third.

    After Rhinehart walked to reload the bases a batter later, right fielder Jon Gaston’s chopper down the right field line turned into a double and scored left fielder Diallo Fon and second baseman Colt Sedbrook to put Arizona up 7-0.

    Then, with center fielder T.J. Steele up, Rhinehart scored on a wild pitch, and Steele lined a shot to center to score Gaston. The hit broke a 1-for-23 skid by Steele, who hadn’t had an RBI in seven games.

    “”It was good to see T.J. get into the mix a little bit offensively,”” Lopez said.

    Catcher Dwight Childs then doubled to center to score Steele for the 10-0 lead.

    The Wildcats added two more in the eighth, including another run-scoring single from Steele, to cap the scoring.

    Steele finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

    “”The guys swung it real well (Saturday),”” Guilmet said. “”It’s nice to see them turn it around, and I know they’ll keep it going for next week.””

    Fon continued to do the little things right. After his lead-off single, he was moved over to third by a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, then knocked home by Rhinehart for a 1-0 Arizona lead.

    It was the 11th-consecutive time that Fon had scored once he’d reached base. He would come around again in the seventh to make it 12 straight, but Sedbrook grounded into a fielder’s choice an inning later to end the streak.

    In the third, Rhinehart took an offering from the Bears’ Reap deep over the right-field wall onto Sixth Street. The two-run shot, his fifth of the year and first since Feb. 10 against New Mexico, put Arizona up 3-0.

    First baseman Brad Glenn was taken out to start the fifth inning after he ran into an infield wall trying to run down a ball in foul territory in the top of the fourth. Rhinehart moved from right to first, and Gaston took Glenn’s spot in the lineup, playing in right field.

    Lopez was afraid Glenn may have broken some ribs, but said afterward that he simply strained some ligaments in his chest. Glenn missed the second game.

    Guilmet worked his way out of a jam in the fifth. With runners on first and third and one out, he got shortstop Cory Morales to strike out swining, then induced left fielder Brad Beaman to fly out to right to end the inning and the threat.

    After sandwiching a strike out between a lead-off single and a walk an inning later, Guilmet fanned the next two batters to keep the Bears at bay.

    Mills’ 10 strikeouts lead to sweep

    Left-hander Brad Mills gave up five hits over seven innings, striking out 10 along the way, as the Wildcats completed the doubleheader sweep, 6-2.

    “”His curveball was good, don’t get me wrong, but he threw his changeup for strikes (Saturday), first pitch, for about four innings in a row,”” Lopez said.

    “”He just went first-pitch strike, first-pitch strike, first-pitch strike, and that always makes the curveball more effective.””

    Added Mills: “”It was the first game that I’ve had in a long time where I’ve had just both of them, kind of just pick one and throw it and I can throw them both for a strike.””

    The win was the 1,000th for the program at Sancet.

    Knotted at two in the bottom of the sixth, Fon singled up the middle to score Abel and pinch runner Hunter Pace to put Arizona up 4-2.

    The Wildcats added two more an inning later off two extra-base hits off the wall.

    “”Offensively, we put some hits on the board, but we’re still leaving some people out there early in the game,”” Lopez said. “”But other than that, it’s always good to win a doubleheader.””

    Mills (5-2) was replaced by righty Cory Burns in the eighth, and Burns responded by getting center fielder Zach Brockman to ground into a double play and then designated hitter Brad Beamon to ground out to first – all in four pitches.

    After a rocky second inning that saw him surrender two runs on two hits and an error, Mills settled down, retiring 15 of the next 17 batters he faced.

    “”I knew that the only chance we had was just to throw some zeroes, so I just tried to throw strikes – that’s why they hit me in the second inning, because I fell behind,”” Mills said.

    The Bears’ Tyler Pearson (0-4) gave up four runs on six hits in two innings, and took the loss.

    Fon was 3-for-5 in the game, upping his average to .400, with the two RBIs.

    “”Diallo is making a real solid reason to stay in the lineup every single day, and we need that right now, we need a little offensive punch,”” Lopez said.

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