Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Hangs on to Beat Utah Valley State, 4-2
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 07, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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                TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Arizona starter David Coulon struck out a career-high 11 batters and held Utah Valley State hitless for six innings and it almost wasn’t enough, as the Wildcats (4-0) held on to defeat the Wolverines (0-1), 4-2, at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium on Tuesday.


                Coulon was in control from the start as the left-hander retired 12 of the first 13 UVS hitters in the game, including eight on strikes, and he went a full six innings without surrendering a hit. However, with UA leading 3-0 in the top of the seventh, back-to-back base knocks ended his night and turned the game over the UA bullpen.


                Reliever Jason Stoffel, who came on with no outs and Coulon’s runners on first and second, struggled early to find the strike zone, tossing a wild pitch on his first offering and giving up a two-run double to Dan Bulow that cut the score to 3-2.


                However, after another wild pitch sent Bulow to third as the potential tying run, the freshman right-hander settled in and stuck out Austin Heaps and Dick Bargewell looking and ended the threat with a fly ball off the bat of Derrick Thomas for the final out in the frame.


                Stoffel retired the side in order in the eighth and gave way to left-hander Daniel Schlereth in the ninth after giving up a single by Adam Openshaw to leadoff the inning.


Schlereth, UA’s save leader from last season, induced UVS’ Jace Brinkerhoff into liner at second that caught Openshaw too far away from first for a double play. A two-out single by Bulow in the next at-bat extended the inning a batter further, but Schlereth struck out Scott Croshaw to end the game and pick up the save.


Offensively, Arizona jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Senior Bill Rhinehart, who went 3-for-3 on the night, drove home Jon Gaston with the first run of the game and junior C.J. Ziegler tacked on another with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.


The Wildcats added a run in the sixth on a RBI-double by Gaston, and T.J. Steele helped with a little breathing room in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring double that extended his hitting streak to 12-straight games.


Coulon (1-0) picked up the win, surrendering just the two runs on two hits over the six-plus innings. As noted above he struck out a career-high 11 batters and walked two. UVS’ Bryan Smith (0-1) was charged with the loss despite giving up just two runs on five hits over four innings. He struck out five and walked four on the evening.


Arizona and Utah Valley State will conclude the two-game series on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Freshman left-hander Paul Bargas is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.


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