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Baseball heads to Tempe for rivalry game

WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Shortstop Jason Donald throws to first base after catching a line drive during Saturday's 6-5 loss to UC Irvine.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
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The Arizona baseball team is still more than a month away from conference play, but the Wildcats will get an early crack at in-state and Pacific 10 Conference rival Arizona State tonight.

The Wildcats travel to Tempe to face the Sun Devils at 7 p.m. in the first nonconference tilt between the schools since 2000.

Arizona and ASU are trying to start a home-and-home series each season, with only one set of games counting as part of the teams' conference records.

The teams intend to use the nonconference games to improve attendance and strengthen the rivalry between the two schools.

This year, the Wildcats will travel to Tempe twice to play nonconference games against ASU. Their next trip comes April 12.

Today's game will also be the first midweek game of the year for the Wildcats.

"(The midweek game) makes it a little different because you will probably go with the staff rather than staying with a starter for a while," said head coach Andy Lopez.

The Wildcats will start sophomore Kevin Guyette but will most likely use a number of pitchers in the contest to keep fresh arms in the game. Guyette started Saturday's game against UC Irvine and earned the loss.

UA vs. Arizona State

Today 7 p.m.

Radio: KNST 790 AM

Packard Stadium Tempe

He lasted 2 1/3 innings and threw just 58 pitches.

The Wildcats are on a four-game winless streak and are coming off a weekend in which they dropped two of three games to Irvine and tied in the series finale when the Anteaters were forced to leave early to catch a plane.

Freshman shortstop Jason Donald said there has not been a lot of talk about the rivalry, but it is an unspoken rule that the team needs to be successful against ASU.

"You hear stories about past games and past series, but you just know when ASU and UA get together, it's going to be big," Donald said.

Donald was one of a few bright spots for Arizona last weekend.

He had a school record-tying six-hit game Sunday.

The Sun Devils hold a three-game win streak over the Wildcats.

ASU swept Arizona in last year's final series.

The Wildcats have not won a series from ASU since late in the 1999 season, and are 4-14 against the Sun Devils after their last 18 meetings.

"(The games are) all big because they're in-state, but I don't really look at the rivalry," Lopez said.

"I look at it as if we're going to play well. Rivalry results usually work themselves out when you play well."

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