Cal Baseball Loses to Arizona, 5-3
April 30, 2004
BERKELEY, CA - Despite being out-hit 16-6, the California baseball team made some strong defensive plays and ended up losing a close 5-3 ballgame to Arizona Friday at Evans Diamond. The Bears fall to 23-26 overall and 7-12 in the Pac-10, while the Wildcats improved to 22-18-1 and 6-7 in conference play.
Both teams scored runs in the first inning, with Jordan Brown knocking in a RBI single for Arizona and senior center fielder David Weiner scoring junior third baseman David Nicholson with a RBI ground out. The Wildcats took advantage of Cal error by junior second baseman Matt Einspahr in the fourth inning and scored three runs on a RBI single by John Hardy, a RBI single by Moises Duran and a RBI double by Brown. Fortunately for the Bears, senior right-fielder Brian Horwitz made an outstanding throw on Brown's double, hitting first baseman James Holder with the relay. Holder then threw a strike to freshman catcher Garrett Bussiere, who tagged out Duran.
Horwitz had another impressive defensive play in the fifth inning, throwing Jason Donald out at the plate on a sharply hit single by Richard Mercado.
Arizona added another run in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Hardy off of Cal starter Adam Gold (6-6). The Bears came back to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, two-run single up the middle by senior shortstop Jeff Dragicevich off of Wildcat starter Koley Kolberg. Dragicevich's single scored Einspahr, who had led off the inning with a single, and Weiner, getting Cal within 5-3.
However, Kolberg (7-3, 6.3 innings, six hits, two earned runs, one walk, seven strikeouts) and reliever Scott Burns (2.7 innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, two strikeouts) were able to stop the Bears for the last three innings for the win. It was Burns first save of the season. Gold was the losing pitcher for Cal, throwing 5.3 innings with 13 hits, three earned runs, no walks and seven strikeouts. Six other Bear pitchers - Matt Swanson, Brent Hale, Travis Talbott, Brandon Morrow, Cameron Johnson and Jesse Ingram - were able to hold Arizona scoreless in the last 3.7 innings. The Wildcats left 13 runners on base.
Nicholson led Cal at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double. The Bears were playing without senior catcher Chris Grossman, who had injured his left shoulder in practice after going 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and a grand slam Tuesday at Sacramento State. Hardy was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI, and Duran (3-for-4, RBI) and Mercado (3-for-5, double) had three hits apiece for the Wildcats.
The Bears next host Arizona in the second game of the three-game Pac-10 series, Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.
Arizona: Hardy, solo home run in the sixth.