Cats Drop Pac-10 Opener, 4-1
March 20, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona baseball team dropped a hotly contested pitchers duel, 4-1, to No. 4 Arizona State on Friday evening before a sellout crowd of 4,371 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium.
The host Sun Devils received an outstanding performance from starter Mike Leake, who pitched all nine innings in his first complete game. The right hander struck out 15 Wildcats on the evening, while allowing only a single run in the top of the eighth.
Arizona starter Preston Guilmet was nearly as sharp, matching his counterpart with zeroes on the scoreboard over the first four innings.
But host Arizona State was able to scratch a run on the board with two outs in the fifth. With Jared McDonald on second base, Riccio Torrez singled up the middle to drive home the first run of the ball game and stake the homestanding Sun Devils to a 1-0 lead.
Arizona State (15-3, 1-0) added a second run in the sixth and chased Guilmet from the ballgame after 5 2/3 innings. The UA senior finished with eight strikeouts in the game and allowed only five hits and two runs, but suffered his second loss of the season.
The Wildcats tried to sneak back in the game late on a Bobby Coyle solo home run to center field in the top of the eighth. But Leake struck out Brad Glenn to end the inning and get ASU back in the dugout with a 2-1 lead.
Arizona State added a pair of insurance runs in the home half of the eighth to set the score at its final, 4-1.
The two teams will return to action on Saturday evening for the second game of the three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and can be heard live in Tucson on KCUB 1290 A.M.
* Due to the Arizona men’s basketball team’s 84-71 victory in the NCAA tournament and its pending game against Cleveland State on Sunday, the Arizona baseball game will not be broadcast on Sunday.