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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Beavers thump baseball, take 2 of 3 in series”

    The Arizona baseball team was at its Sunday best once again.

    The Wildcats (14-16, 2-4 Pacific 10 Conference) salvaged a win, 8-1, to avoid getting swept by No. 11 Oregon State (21-9, 3-3) yesterday in Corvallis, Ore. The Beavers came out on top in the first two games, winning 10-2 Saturday and 10-5 Friday.

    “”It may have possibly been the biggest win of the season,”” said Arizona head coach Andy Lopez. “”Hopefully, we’ll look back on (yesterday’s) win and say that was the thing that kind of jump-started us. It was a huge win.””

    After winning both yesterday and last Sunday in a nonconference game against No. 13 ASU, Arizona is now 6-4 on Sundays.

    For the second straight week, Arizona has lost two out of three games to a Pac-10 opponent, as the Wildcats repeated the feat first pulled off last weekend at California.

    Sophomore left-hander David Coulon (1-2) picked up his first win of the season yesterday, throwing a career-high seven innings and giving up one run. He was able to stay out of trouble despite giving up five walks, five hits and recording only two strikeouts.

    “”I was very pleased with my performance,”” Coulon said. “”I went out there, I threw a lot of strikes. I had trouble in the middle innings, but after that I found my strike zone again.””

    He threw 130 pitches of which 68 were strikes.

    Coulon’s seven innings of work was Arizona’s longest outing of the series, as junior southpaw Brad Mills lasted 4 1/3 innings to take the loss on Saturday and freshman right-hander Preston Guilmet pitched 4 2/3 innings Friday.

    “”(Coulon’s) pitched well over the last two or three weeks,”” Lopez said. “”We can’t move him out of the rotation (when sophomore lefty pitcher Eric Berger returns from injury), not the way he’s pitching.””

    Junior right fielder Bill Rhinehart had a pinch-hit, two-run double in the fifth inning to put the Wildcats up 5-1.

    Freshman outfielder Jon Gaston hit his fourth home run of the season – a team high – in the fourth inning. He finished the day with two RBIs, two hits and three runs scored.

    “”Our coach gave us a little talk and said that we’re not playing with any swagger,”” Gaston said. “”So I took it upon myself to play with some swagger and aggression. You got to go up there with confidence. You get beat if you don’t have confidence.””

    Freshman left fielder David Plante and fellow freshman first baseman Brad Glenn both contributed solo home runs in Arizona’s loss on Saturday, but those would be about the only highlight of the game.

    The Wildcats committed five errors and left seven runners in scoring position. Mills (3-2) suffered the loss, giving up six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work while walking four Beavers.

    “”Saturday’s game might have been the worst game we’ve played in the last six or seven weeks,”” Lopez said. “”It was brutal. It was absolutely horrible on our part – poor defense, our pitching wasn’t sharp, intensity was missing, energy level was low. It led to me having an hour-and-15-minute chat with the guys after the game.””

    Things were looking up to start the series Friday as the Wildcats had a 5-1 lead on Oregon State junior ace Dallas Buck, who is undefeated this season and lost only once last year. However, closer Mark Melancon (2-2) got roughed up as the junior gave up a career-high seven runs on six hits over two innings and suffered the loss.

    He came into the game with a two-run lead in relief of Guilmet.

    “”It was his worst outing that I’ve seen him have,”” Lopez said. “”It just proves he’s human. I think Mark is the best closer in the nation, but he just didn’t give the performance we needed on Friday night.””

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