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Rejuvenated Wildcats head to Corvails seeking sweep


Amy Winkler
Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA sophomore outfielder Kenny Huff takes a swing at a pitch in a game earlier this season. The Wildcats travel to Oregon to face Oregon State in a three-game series starting today.

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 14, 2000
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Wins against OSU would put UA back in Pac-10 race

After nearly half a season of worry and injuries, things finally seem to be coming together for the UA baseball team.

Last weekend, the Wildcats (20-21 overall, 5-7 Pacific 10 Conference) took two of three games from the Unviersity of Washington in Seattle. It was Arizona's first Pac-10 series win of the season.

According to UA head coach Jerry Stitt, the Wildcats are relieved to have the wins under their belts.

"It was good for the guys to come back (last) Saturday and Sunday and play well," he said. "I never thought we had a 'monkey on our back', though. Our guys are always capable (of winning)."

The key for UA's success this weekend will be pitching. Currently, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in hits (486), triples (23) and total bases (787).

Working against Arizona, though, are injuries, as the team will have to do without left-handed reliever Brian Pemble, who has been sidelined with tendinitis in his left elbow.

"He needs some rest," Stitt said.

Sophomore ace Ben Diggins will hope to derail a one-game losing streak today. Diggins, who had won his previous eight starts, was touched up for six earned runs on eight hits in seven innings against the Huskies last Friday.

"He pitched well," UA pitching coach Bill Kinneberg said of Diggins' performance last Friday, "It wasn't the best he'd pitched all year, but he did well."

Senior Tony Milo, who has worked his way out of the bullpen and into the No. 2 starter's role, will pitch for UA on Saturday.

"Tony's pitched on and off all season," Stitt said. "For the most part, he's been on more than he's been off."

UA relief pitcher/right fielder Shelley Duncan will also miss the OSU series due to an elbow injury that may require surgery.

He will attempt to pick up a bat in two weeks before he decides whether he needs surgery.

"Shelley can't do much right now," Stitt said. "We'll see what happens next week."

As if injuries to two of the team's pitchers wasn't painful enough, Arizona may have to deal with another factor - weather.

The weather in Corvalis, Ore. seems to worry the Wildcats almost as much as the Beavers (18-17, 1-5), who were swept by UA last season.

"They've got good pitching and a middle lineup that's pretty explosive," Stitt said. "We're more worried about getting the games in."

The rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest has Stitt worried about a rainout and, possibly, an extended stay in Oregon.

"We don't want to alter our schedule too much," he said. "It (costs) a lot of money if we stay an extra day to play (a rescheduled game). Changing flights and giving out meal money is tough on everybody."

Sitt hopes that the Wildcats also get a little luck on their side.

"Sometimes, you'll play bad and win," he said. "But sometimes, you'll play great and lose. Recently, we've been playing great but not winning. It's part of baseball."

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