Baseball Drops Second Straight To Washington, 7-6

April 24, 2004

SEATTLE, Wash.- Aaron Hathaway drove in the game winning run from third on fielder's choice ground ball with one out in the bottom of the ninth as Washington (23-13-1, 7-4 Pac-10) rallied to defeat Arizona 7-6 at Husky Ballpark on Saturday. The Wildcats' second-straight loss to the Huskies dropped them to 21-17-1 overall and to 5-6 in the Pac-10.

With the game tied the at 6-6 and runners on the corners with one out, reliever Derek Rodriguez got Hathaway to ground a ball to Moises Duran at third. The senior infielder fed junior John Hardy the ball for the force out at second, but Hardy's throw to teammate Jordan Brown on the turn arrived just late as Hathaway was called safe at first.

The failed double play allowed pinch runner Taylor Johnson to advance home from third and score the game-winning run.

First baseman Kyle Larson started the UW rally in the ninth with a lead off double down the left field line before giving way to Johnson as the pinch runner. A wild pitch by UA freshman Mark Melancon on the third pitch of an intentional walk to Nick Batkowski allowed Johnson to move to third. Melancon completed the free pass to Batkowski on the next pitch to set the stage for Hathaway's game-ending ground out.

Trailing 6-5 entering the ninth, the Wildcats had rallied to tie the score on wild pitch from UW closer Will Fenton. Hardy led off the top of the ninth with a double down the right field line off of reliever Trent Baysinger to put a runner in scoring position with nobody out.

Duran advanced Hardy to third on fly out to left field to bring junior Jeff Van Houten to the plate to face Fenton. The Husky right-hander, who had battled Van Houten to a 3-2 count, saw his payoff pitch bounce in the dirt and away from catcher Ben Johnson. The wild pitch skirted all the way to the backstop for a wild pitch that scored Hardy from third.

The tying run was all Arizona could muster however, as Jordan Brown's one-out fly ball to center field turned into an easy double play when Van Houten took off for second on contact and UW threw behind him for the force out at first.

The day started out well for Arizona as the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the first inning off of four walks by UW starter Kyle Larson, a run-scoring passed ball by catcher Ben Johnson and a RBI-single from Nick Hundley.

UW's Brent Lillibridge immediately cut into the 3-0 UA advantage with his sixth lead-off home run of the season in the bottom of the first. A walk, a stolen base and an errant throw by Arizona starter Kevin Guyette on a fielder's choice followed and allowed Greg Isaacson to score from second and shave the Wildcats lead to 3-2 after one.

Freshman Bill Rhinehart led off the top of the third with his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot off the batter's eye in centerfield, and Nick Hundley scored on a RBI-ground out by Richard Mercado two batters later to push the Arizona lead back to three runs at 5-2.

UW pulled within one at 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by Hathaway after Brown dropped what would have been an inning-ending foul out and Lillibridge's second solo homer of the game in the fourth.

Washington took its first lead with a pair of runs in the fifth on sacrifice fly by Greg Otness and a Ben Johnson RBI-single.

In addition to providing the game-winning ground out, Hathaway finished the day 4 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored. Lillibridge finished 2 for 4 with his seventh and eight homers of the year.

Arizona's Nick Hundley was the lone Wildcat to finish with multiple hits, going 3 for 4 with a RBI and run scored.

UW's Fenton picked up the win despite blowing the save opportunity in the ninth. The right-hander improved to 4-3 on the year. Melancon (4-4), who gave up one run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings, was charged with the loss.

Arizona and Washington will close out the three-game series on Sunday at 1 pm. The game can be heard live on KNST 790 AM.

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