TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Freshman Preston Guilmet went seven strong innings in his first career start and Jason Donald and Brad Boyer etched their names into the Arizona record book, as the Wildcat baseball team (7-4) defeated La Salle (0-2) 15-1 at Kindall Field on Saturday.
Guilmet (1-0) dominated the Explorers’ lineup on the mound, giving up just one run on six hits while matching the longest outing by an Arizona starter this season. He did not allow a runner past second base through the first six innings and retired the side in order three times on the night. The right-hander finished with eight strikeouts and no walks for his first career victory.
“Preston pitched well tonight,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “He had command of his pitches and was aggressive with the hitters. He didn’t make too many mistakes out there, and when he did, he did a nice job of adjusting.”
Left-hander Daniel Schlereth recorded the final six outs of the game on strikeouts over the final two innings to help the Wildcats tie their season-high with 14 Ks and put a cap on the outstanding effort on the mound.
Offensively, Donald, who went 2 for 2 with two RBI and three runs scored, became the most-targeted Wildcat hitter in school history when he was plunked in his first two at-bats. The beanings were the 32nd and 33rd of his career, moving the junior shortstop past former record-holder Kenny Corley on the all-time list at Arizona.
Meanwhile Boyer, who finished Saturday 2 for 3 with a game-high four runs scored and a RBI, added his name to the record book with four stolen bases on the night. The senior infielder tied nine Wildcat players for the most steals in a single game in school history. Former teammate Trevor Crowe, who swiped four bases against Arizona State in 2004, was the last UA player to do so.
As a team, the Wildcats finished the night with 13 hits, including four doubles and two triples, eight walks and four HBP.
Arizona opened the game with two runs on one hit in the first and plated four more on three hits in the second for a 6-0 lead. A scoreless third inning ended a streak of 13 straight frames with a run scored for the Wildcats, but a run in the fourth and three in the sixth handed the Wildcats a nine-run lead in the contest.
Leading 10-1 after seven, the Wildcats set 10 hitters to the plate and scored five more runs in the eighth to put the game away.
Other individual standouts included senior Derek Decater, who went 2 for 4 with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, and sophomore catcher Matt Denker, who delivered a bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning after entering the game in place of starter Konrad Schmidt.
La Salle’s Dennis Burge (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering six runs on four hits in two innings of work. He struck out one, walked two and hit three batters in his first start of the year.
Arizona will try for its first three-game series sweep of the season when the two schools meet for a final time on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon with left-hander Brad Mills the scheduled starter for the Wildcats. The game can be heard live on the radio on 1290 AM The Source.