Baseball Hangs On To Best Cal, 5-3
April 30, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - A three-run fourth inning and seven-strikeout day by junior Koley Kolberg helped the Arizona baseball team to a 5-3 victory over Cal in the opener of a three-game Pac-10 series at Evans Diamond on Friday.
The win snapped a season-high three game losing streak and improved the Wildcats to 22-18-1 overall and to 6-7 in the Pac-10. Cal dropped to 23-26 overall and to 7-12 in conference play with the loss.
With the game tied 1-1 after three, junior Richard Mercado got things started for the Wildcats in the fourth with a one-out double to left. Sophomore Derek Decater followed with a ground ball to second that Cal's Matt Einspahr misplayed for an error to place runners on the corners for junior John Hardy.
Hardy singled through the left side of the infield to advance Decater to second and plate Mercado for a one-run lead
Senior Moises Duran, who entered the day with a career .185 average against Cal, scored Decater in the next at bat with a single to center before Jordan Brown capped off the frame with a double down the right field line to score Hardy and hand Arizona a 4-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Kolberg, who was charged with his third complete game loss of the season last Friday at Washington, took charge on the mound. The junior right-hander won his team-leading seventh game of the season in 6 1/3 innings of work. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits with the seven strikeouts and just one walk.
Senior reliever Scott Burns struck out two without giving up a hit over the final 2 2/3 innings to close the door for his first career save.
The Wildcats got started early when Jordan Brown's RBI single up the middle opened a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Moises Duran, who scored from third on Brown's team-leading 32nd RBI of the year, led off the game with a double to gap in left center.
The Bears evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning on a RBI-groundout by David Wiener after David Nicholson had doubled down the right field line and advanced to third on a fielding error by outfielder Jeff Van Houten on the play.
Cal closed the gap to 5-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth before UA's Burns came on shut the Golden Bear offense down.
Hardy, who is batting .451 over his last 15 games, hit his fourth home run of the season in the sixth to finish the day 2 for 5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Duran and Mercado each chipped in with three hits and a run scored apiece in the victory.
Arizona and Call will meet up for the second game of the series on Saturday at 1 pm. The game can be heard live on the radio on KNST 790 AM.