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Arizona baseball hopes to shake off blowout loss in home opener

Milwaukee is at McKale for 4 games

arizona-wildcats-baseball-college-milwaukee-panthers-grand-canyon-preview-chip-hale-2022 Arizona Athletics

No one goes undefeated in baseball, no matter the level. Losses are almost built into the budget, so to speak, especially when it comes to midweek games against nonconference opponents.

Still, losing 19-3 to Grand Canyon on Tuesday night, in its first game at Hi Corbett Field and right after playing so well on the first weekend, had to have been humbling for Arizona. It was the team’s first loss in a home opener since 2003 and the most runs allowed at home since March 15, 2019.

But the good thing about this sport is, there’s not much time to dwell on such results, even ones that bad. After one day off, the Wildcats are back at it Thursday night when they begin a 4-game series with Milwaukee at Hi Corbett.

“Baseball players are used to playing every day, so we’ll be fine,” coach Chip Hale. “Anthony Susac will start for us, and we’ll see where we go from there.

Susac, a freshman right-hander, pitched in relief in Arizona’s season-opening 8-6 win over Kansas State last Friday. He allowed four runs in 2.1 innings, striking out five but also allowing six hits with a walk and a hit batter.

The cousin of UA catcher Daniel Susac, he is getting the nod in the opener likely to keep sophomore righty TJ Nichols on a regular schedule to throw each Friday. As such, senior lefty Garrett Irvin is scheduled to start Saturday and sophomore righty Dawson Netz, the reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the week, is in line to start Sunday’s finale.

Milwaukee (3-0) opened its season with a road sweep of Alabama A&M, outscoring the Bulldogs 36-18. Arizona took two of three from the Panthers when they came to Tucson in 2019.

Thursday and Friday’s games are at 6 p.m. MT, with Saturday set for a 2 p.m. MT first pitch and Sunday’s finale on tap to start at 10 a.m. MT. The Wildcats will then host Dixie State on Tuesday before Texas State comes to Hi Corbett March 4-6.