The series sweep was the fourth in six season-opening weekends under head coach Andy Lopez and extended UA’s carryover win streak from last season to eight straight games.
The Wildcats struck early to stake themselves to a 4-0 lead with a run in the first and three in the third, and added to the advantage with three more scores in the fifth and four in the sixth for a 11-0 edge before the Bulldogs plated their lone run in the top of the seventh.
Senior Bill Rhinehart, who went 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and three runs scored, hit his 19th career home run, a solo shot off the batter’s eye in straight away center, in the bottom of the seventh to cap the scoring for the Cats on the weekend. All nine UA starters in the batting order scored at least one run and eight of the nine finished with at least one hit on the day.
Individually, freshman Kevin Rodland highlighted the offensive outburst, finishing 2-for-3 with a game-high three RBI, a run scored and his first career triple. Sophomore’s Brad Glenn (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R) and T.J. Steele (2-for3, 2B, 2 RBI, R), and freshman Erik Castro (2-for-3, 2 RBI, R) all paired hits and RBI in the win for the Wildcats.
Mills (1-0) meanwhile kept the Gonzaga bats in check on the mound throughout the afternoon, limiting them to just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. The southpaw finished with five strikeouts against just one walk to pick up his first victory of the season. Redshirt freshman Brett Lorin and sophomore Cory Burns combined to work the final 2 1/3 innings to seal the victory for the Wildcats.
Gonzaga’s Clayton Mortensen (0-1) was charge with the loss after giving up 11 runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out six and walked two in the loss.
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Sophomore RHP Preston Guilmet
Sophomore Preston Guilmet flirted with the seventh no-hitter in
Junior DH C.J. Ziegler
Junior C.J. Ziegler made his presence felt in his first weekend in an
Gonzaga Series Notes
Arizona swept its opening weekend for the fourth time in six seasons under head coach Andy Lopez ... The Wildcats are now 16-2 all-time on opening weekend under Lopez ... Arizona won its opening weekend series for the 13th straight season dating back to 1994 ... The sweep improved UA’s record on opening weekend to 33-7 during that span ... The 14-0 opening day win improved UA’s record to 13-1 in the first game of the year since 1994 ...The Cats improved to 7-0 all-time vs. Gonzaga with the sweep
Arizona batted .402 (45-for-112) in the three-game series against Gonzaga and finished with 36 runs scored, 13 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 34 RBI ... 21 of UA’s 36 runs scored in the series came with two outs in an inning ... The Cats averaged 12 runs, 15 hits, 4.3 doubles and 11.3 RBI per game ... Arizona went 6-for-7 in stolen base tries ... UA posted a team .643 slugging percentage and a .469 on-base percentage in the series ... 11 of the 12 players with at least one plate appearance in the series finished with at least one hit and a run scored ... In the season-opener on Friday Arizona broke the school record for extra base hits in a single game, finishing with 12 in the contest (8 2B, 3 3B, HR)... The Wildcats saw seven different players (Jr. C.J. Ziegler, RS Fr. Diallo Fon and Daniel Butler, and true frosh Dwight Childs, Kevin Rodland, Robert Abel and Erik Castro) start their first career game over the weekend ... The seven newcomers to the program went a combined 28-for-66 (.424) with nine doubles, one triple, 19 RBI and 23 runs scored in the series ...Sophomore T.J. Steele hit his first collegiate home run on Friday and extended his carryover hit streak from last season to 11 straight games ... Bill Rhinehart hit his 19th career homer in the series finale on Sunday.
The Arizona pitching staff went 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings in the series against Gonzaga ... The Wildcats struck out 19 GU hitters and walked eight ... The UA arms limited the Bulldogs to a .179 batting average (17-for-95) and just four runs in the series ... As noted above, Preston Guilmet went eight no-hit innings in the season-opener before allowing a leadoff single in the ninth. The sophomore right-hander picked up the win and finished with four Ks ... Sophomore Mike Colla won his first career game with 4 2/3 innings of work out of the bullpen on Saturday. The right-hander tied his career high for IP and finished with three Ks ... Senior Brad Mills picked up a win with 6 2/3 innings of work in the series finale. He allowed one run on four hits and finished with six Ks ... Cory Burns made two appearances out of the bullpen and finished with two Ks in 1 2/3 innings ... RS frosh Brett Lorin and true freshman Jason Stoffel both made their collegiate debuts for the Cats.
Arizona committed just one error in 116 total chances over the weekend ... UA fielded at a .991 clip and turned three double plays on defense.
Arizona will host Utah Valley State for a pair of midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday (both at 4 p.m.) before taking on New Mexico for three games at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium next Friday-Sunday.