No. 24 Baseball Hangs On To Beat Washington State, 11-9

April 17, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash.- The No. 24-ranked Arizona baseball team battled a rain delay and a recent trend of losing late leads to rally for a 11-9 ninth inning win over Washington State in Pullman, Wash., on Thursday.

The Wildcats broke a 9-9 tie in the ninth with a pair of runs to down the Cougars in the three-game series opener. The win improved the Wildcats' record to 27-13 overall and 6-4 in the Pac-10. The loss dropped the Cougars to 11-25 and 3-7 in conference play.

Junior Brian Anderson drove in freshman Brad Boyer from second for the game winning run with two outs in the ninth. Boyer, who walked with one out in the inning, scored his second run of the game after stealing second. The stolen base was the fourth of the game for Arizona and Boyer's team-leading 17th of the season.

A fielding error by WSU's Jeff LaRue allowed Derek Decater to score from third to give Arizona and reliever Wes Zlotoff a two-run cushion at 11-9.

The senior right-hander came on to retire the side in order to close out the win for his first save of the season. Freshman John Meloan (4-0) picked up his fourth win of the year with 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Richie Gardner. Washington State's Nick Kenyon (1-3) was charged with his third loss of the season.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 9-3 lead on the Cougars with three runs in the third, two in the fourth and four in the sixth. Moises Duran and Jeff Van Houten each hit home runs off of WSU's Tony Banaszak to help the Wildcats come back from an early 3-0 deficit.

Washington State rallied to pull within one run at 9-8 in the sixth with five runs on six hits off of Gardner and tied the score on Grant Richardson's solo home run after a 32-minute rain delay in the bottom of the seventh.

The Wildcats, who have lost five games this season in the ninth inning, avoided another late-inning meltdown on Anderson's two-out single and Zlotoff's solid ninth inning on the mound.

Offensively, Arizona rapped out 11 hits in the game and left a season-low four runners on base. Duran's three-run shot that tied the game in the third was his career-high-tying ninth of the season, while Van Houten tied Anderson for the team-lead with his solo blast in the sixth. Van Houten finished the game 2 for 4 with a RBI and two runs scored.

The Wildcats and Cougars will meet up for the second game of the three-game set on Friday at 3 p.m. The game can be heard live on KNST (790-AM).

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