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Guilmet, Stoffel pitch UA to win

Citizen Staff Writer



University of Arizona closer Jason Stoffel struck out the last batter of the game to become the school’s all-time saves leader.

But it was Preston Guilmet, the pitcher who started the season opener, who set the tone for the Wildcats in a 5-3 victory over Sacramento State on Friday night in front of 1,996 fans at Sancet Stadium.

Guilmet looked more like the Pac-10 pitcher of the year he was in 2007 than the one who struggled down the stretch last year.

Guilmet was taken out in the fifth after reaching his pitch limit of 62, but he got his work done.

He struck out six, walked two and allowed one run.

“I was amazingly shocked. He did a great job,” Arizona catcher Dwight Childs said. “I think he has his heart back. He wanted to keep going. If you get fresh Preston, you get nine innings out of him.”

Guilmet, who was 12-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 2007, admits he could have gone longer, but the Wildcats are trying to ease him into the season and let UA’s young bullpen see action.

“I’m going to try to keep (Guilmet) fresh so at the end of the year, if there is something really important, we can let him go nine,” UA coach Andy Lopez said.

Freshman Kyle Simon gave up one run in 2 1/2 innings to earn the victory.

Cory Burns struck out the side in the eighth.

It was Stoffel time after that. The junior set the career saves record with 19, breaking a tie with Mark Melancon despite giving up a run in the ninth and allowing three hits.

“I was aware of the record, but it is just my name on a piece of paper,” Stoffel said.

Sacramento State had the potential go-ahead runner up before Stoffel struck out Justin Lamb.

“You know the game is over but you know he is going to toy with you a little bit too,” Childs said about Stoffel’s flair for the dramatic. “He is lights out still.”

The Wildcats got all of their runs in the third.

After Bryce Ortega scored on a fielding error, the Wildcats got an RBI triple by Bobby Coyle and a run-producing single by Steve Selsky.

Dillon Baird hit Sacramento starting pitcher Jose Ramirez in the back with a batted ball, and then Matt Presley nailed reliever Brandon Sandoval on another line drive that led to the final two runs.


• Saturday: Sacramento St. at UA, 6 p.m.

• Sunday: Sacramento St. at UA, noon

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