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USC beats Cats; UA baseball now last in Pac-10

University of Arizona baseball coach Andy Lopez didn’t mince words when addressing his players about the need for wins – and a lot of them.

The Wildcats already know.

“If we want to make postseason we have to start winning right now,” said UA catcher Dwight Childs. “We have to start thinking that way.”

UA is in last place in the Pac-10 after losing two of three to USC at Sancet Stadium. The Wildcats fell 7-3 to the Trojans on Sunday.

It doesn’t get any easier. UA hosts Oregon State for a three-game series next, with the first game at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Beavers are in second place behind Arizona State.

“We have to start being consistent in every facet of the game,” said Dillon Baird, who leads the team with a .425 average. “If you are inconsistent, we are not going to win. We are better than what we are playing. We know we are.”

Arizona has been consistent on the mound – consistently bad. Wildcat starters have struggled all year, and did so again against USC.

Matt Veltmann didn’t get any of the nine Trojans out he faced in Saturday’s 15-14 loss. Donn Roach went 3 1/2 innings before giving up seven runs and 10 hits in the finale against USC.

“We have had enough offense to get some things done,” Lopez said. “We have not pitched well. A couple of guys are young. There is a bit of a curve, but the curve slowly has to move in the direction where you understand what you need to do to be successful.”

Arizona gave up 10 runs in the first inning Saturday, and another five in the fourth on Sunday to the Trojans.

The Wildcats need quality starts to turn the tide around. A .500 league record is the general rule needed for a playoff spot. That means Arizona might need to go at least 12-6 down the stretch.

Lopez spent almost 35 minutes after the latest loss to USC with just his pitching staff.

He hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

“We were talking about the stimulus package, global warming and Greenpeace, talking about life, who is going to be the (UA) basketball coach,” Lopez said when asked about what he told his pitchers.

He needed only two words.

“Pitch better,” Lopez said.


Pac-10 Baseball

School Conf. Overall

Arizona State 8-1 23-5

Oregon State 5-1 18-6

Washington State 4-2 12-13

Stanford 5-4 11-12

UCLA 5-4 11-17

Oregon 2-4 12-17

USC 4-5 13-14

California 3-6 15-14

Washington 1-5 10-18

Arizona 2-7 13-14

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