Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short, Baseball Falls 7-5 To UCLA

March 29, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The No. 17-ranked Arizona baseball team rallied for four runs in the ninth inning, but came up on the short end of a 7-5 decision to UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday. The loss, Arizona's second in as many days to the Bruins, dropped the Wildcats' record to 21-10 for the season and 2-3 in conference play.

UCLA staked itself to a 7-1 lead on 10 hits off of Arizona starter Richie Gardner (6-1). Wes Whisler and Billy Susdorf hit back-to-back home runs in a three-run fifth for the Bruins off of Gardner, who picked up his first loss of the season after lasting just 4 1/3 innings.

The Wildcats, who managed just two hits through the first eight innings, closed to within two runs in the ninth before UCLA reliever Kevin Jerkins ended the game away on Jordan Brown's fly ball to center. Run-scoring singles by Brad Boyer and Brian Anderson cut the UCLA lead to 7-3 and Richard Mercado hit a two-run homer to close the gap to at 7-5 before Jenkins was finally able to put the game away.

Whisler, who finished the game 2 for 4 at plate, also picked up the win for the Bruins on the mound. The sophomore southpaw (3-4) gave up just two hits in seven innings, while striking out three and walking one.

Arizona will close out the three-game series with the Bruins on Sunday. Freshman Kevin Guyette will take the mound for the Wildcats in the 2 p.m. MST game. KNST (790-AM) will broadcast the game live on the radio.

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