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Baseball team drops 3rd in a row


Sarah Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA baseball head coach Jerry Stitt looks on during Sunday's game against San Francisco at Sancet Field. The Wildcats were defeated yesterday by Brigham Young University, 8-1, dropping the team's record to 4-4 for the season.

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 2, 2000
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Although the baseball season is still in the early stages, it's safe to say that Arizona has officially entered its first slump.

The Wildcats lost their third straight game yesterday afternoon, as the Brigham Young University Cougars defeated UA, 8-1.

The loss comes on the heels of a 15-9 drubbing at the hands of BYU on Monday. In that game, five Wildcat pitchers allowed 14 earned runs on 21 hits.

The Cougars used timely pitching and clutch hitting yesterday afternoon to lift the team over the struggling Wildcats.

Senior right-handed pitcher Micah Magrum (1-1) pitched five innings for the Cougars, allowing one run on five hits. He was aided by double plays in the second and fourth innings, both ending potential Wildcat rallies.

UA head coach Jerry Stitt and pitching coach Bill Kinneberg sent five pitchers to the mound in the game, including sophomore right-hander Shelley Duncan, who hadn't pitched since the middle of last season.

The game started off well for Arizona, as starting pitcher sophomore Brian Pemble did not allow a hit in his two innings of work. Sophomore Robert Schulz, a hard-throwing righty, worked the next three innings and allowed only one run.

But the pitching fell apart after the fifth inning.

Senior Mike Meyer, a right-hander, took the mound in the sixth inning. After striking out the leadoff hitter, Meyer ran into trouble. After giving up back-to-back hits and striking out a man, Meyer faced Cougar third baseman freshman Kainoa Obrey with two outs.

After Meyer got ahead of him with two strikes, Obrey hit a three-run homer, his first of the season and his career, giving the Cougars a 5-1 lead.

The Cougars never looked back, winning the game, 8-1.

Stitt, though, was not totally displeased with the team's pitching.

"Everybody pitched well, with the possible exception of Mike (Meyer)," Stitt said. "BYU just fed on bad pitches."

Meyer, who fell to 0-2 on the season, faced seven batters in two-thirds of an inning. He allowed five runs on four hits.

Arizona scored its lone run in the second inning, when junior first baseman Ernie Durazo singled home designated hitter Rob Shabansky, who had earlier doubled with one out in the inning.

The Cougars tied the game at one in the third, and used the five-run sixth inning to put the game away. They added two insurance runs in the eighth.

Junior Ryan O'Donnell and sophomore Kenny Huff each went 2 for 4 for Arizona.

Stitt said he is trying to remain optimistic about the season despite his team's 4-4 start.

"I wish we could come back (Wednesday)," he said. "We've just got to keep putting guys (pitchers) out until they find their spots."

The Wildcats now have a much-needed day off.

Following yesterday's game, UA returns to play at Sancet Field tomorrow and Saturday afternoon versus New Mexico. The Lobos, members of the Mountain West Conference, have gotten off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1978. The last time a New Mexico baseball team went 4-0, it won 14 games in a row, a school record.

The Wildcats are 147-29 in the all-time series and have defeated the Lobos in eight straight games.

According to Stitt, the team's attitude has salvaged an otherwise stressful situation.

"The bench guys are fired up," he said. "Their attitude is really good. I'm not real pleased with some starters, but there's not going to be any changes. We've just got to keep playing hard."

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