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Lopez takes blame for ASU’s sweep

Citizen Staff Writer
The Bounce



TEMPE – Arizona baseball coach Andy Lopez walked off the field shaking his head and blaming himself for a three-game sweep to No. 4 Arizona State.

“It was a really bad job of coaching on my part. Horrible. All-time worst,” Lopez said. “I did a horrible job of preparing them. It was the worst job of coaching that I’ve done, maybe in my 32 years.”

UA lost 23-9 on Sunday to ASU after falling 4-1 on Friday and 7-3 on Saturday.

The losses dropped the Wildcats to 11-10 overall and 0-3 in the Pac-10.

“Players play, coaches coach. What happens on the field is our fault,” UA catcher Dwight Childs said. “Our pitching staff struggled a little bit this weekend, our defense struggled and our bats struggled.”

There is certainly a lot of blame to go around after UA allowed 16 hits and 11 walks, while hitting four batters Sunday.

A lot of credit has to go to the Sun Devils (17-3, 3-0). Arizona State took advantage of almost every hit and every error for the Pac-10 season-opening sweep.

Arizona’s hitters were to blame for the first two games with ASU starters Mike Leake and Josh Spence combining to strike out 25.

UA’s Dillon Baird went 4 for 5 with three doubles in the finale, but that was not nearly enough to offset ASU’s outburst against six Arizona pitchers.

UA starting pitcher Bruce Bandilla didn’t get an out before being replaced after four batters.

He was in long enough to allow three runs on one hit, while walking two and hitting one batter.

Even normally reliable closer Jason Stoffel was shelled, giving up six runs and six hits, and walking three in 1 1/2 innings.

“We won’t forget about games like this,” said UA third baseman Brad Glenn who went 1 for 4 with two errors. “They are a good team and they just kicked our butt. “We have to realize that we can’t let this happen again.”

In order to make sure teams don’t score in bunches like ASU did (putting up runs in six of the eight innings, including seven in the third, five in the fifth and six in the sixth), the Wildcat leaders are trying to step forward.

Players like Glenn, Childs and shortstop Bryce Ortega are not going to put up with excuses or hear about who is at fault when the Wildcats travel to UCLA this weekend.

“We have already discussed our leadership roles. We have to step up a little bit more, a lot more,” Childs said. “We have to take control what is happening on the field, in the dugout and at practice . . .

“This is a game of failure, and how you respond to failures is how you define yourself and how teams define themselves.”

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