Late Arizona Rally Comes Up Short As Cal Downs No. 20 Baseball, 12-7, In 10 Innings
May 4, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- The California baseball team weathered a late Arizona comeback to win, 12-7, in 10 innings at Frank Sancet Field on Sunday. The loss cost No. 20 Arizona a chance at its first Pac-10 series sweep of the season and dropped the Wildcats to 33-17 overall and 11-7 in the Pac-10. The Golden Bears improved to 26-24 overall and 10-11 in conference play with the win.
After rallying to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona's defense fell apart in the top of the 10th to hand the Bears the win. Brian Horwitz's one-out pop fly to shallow center field fell in between infielders John Hardy and Moises Duran for an error to allow Nick Medrano to score the go-ahead run from third.
Another Arizona error and four hits later, Cal had a decisive six-run lead and the win in hand. Berkeley's Conor Jackson, Chris Grossman, Brad Smith, Justin Nelson and Jeff Dragicevich each tallied a RBI apiece in the decisive 10th.
The Wildcats, who trailed 6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, rallied to tie to game on Brian Anderson's three-run home run in the eighth and Hardy's two-out triple in the ninth. However, the defensive miscues in extra inning cost the Wildcats a chance at their first Pac-10 series sweep since beating Washington three straight to the end the 2001 season.
Cal's Travis Talbot (3-1) picked up his third win of the season with 1 1/3 innings of relief. The left-hander gave up one run on two hits after spelling starter Matt Brown in the eighth inning.
Brown, who did not factor in the decision, pitched well before surrendering Anderson's homer. The right-hander gave up five runs on just six hits over 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Arizona's Meloan (4-1) was the hard-luck loser, surrendering six unearned runs on five hits in the 10th inning.
Offensively, Cal's Dragicevich and David Nicholson led all players with a pair of 4 for 6 afternoons at the plate. Dragicevich finished with two RBIs and two runs scored in the contest, while Nicholson chipped in with a pair of runs and a triple, as Cal finished with 20 hits in the game.
Arizona's Anderson, Hardy and Nick Hundley each finished with a pair of hits in the loss. Anderson's three-run homer in the eighth was his team-leading 14th of the season.
With final exams on the horizon, Arizona will take a break from competition next weekend before returning to action May 17-19 against Oregon State at Sancet Field. The Bears will play Fresno State in a non-conference game on Tuesday, before wrapping up their Pac-10 schedule against Bay Area rival Stanford at Evans Diamond next weekend.