Wildcats Win Wild One Over No. 2 Stanford, 19-18

May 17, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz. - After 43 combined hits, including 20 for extra bases, and 36 total runs the Arizona-Stanford baseball game Sunday night came down to a bases loaded walk to John Hardy in the bottom of the ninth as the Wildcats (26-21-1, 8-9 Pac-10) rallied over and over in the contest to even their Pac-10 series at one game apiece with a 19-18 win over the second-ranked Cardinal (39-9, 12-5 Pac-10).

Trailing 18-15 after eight and half innings, the Wildcats sent eight hitters to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and came away with four runs on four hits without making an out to pull off the improbable win.

Senior Moises Duran got things started off of Cardinal closer David O'Hagan in the ninth with his second double of the game down the right field line that just eluded the grasp of outfielder Jim Rapoport. O'Hagan plunked designated hitter Bill Rhinehart in the next at bat before giving up a single to Jason Donald to load the bases for Richard Mercado.

The junior catcher came up huge for the Wildcats, clearing the bases and tying the game two pitches later with a double to the wall in left field. The three-run double was the only hit in the game for the backstop who finished 1 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored.

After pinch runner Terrence Taylor replaced Mercado at second, O'Hagan intentionally walked Chris Frey and gave up a bunt single to Derek Decater to fill the bases for the second time in the inning. Leadoff hitter Hardy proceeded to battle O'Hagan to a full count before driving in Taylor with the game-winning run on a pitch that narrowly missed the strike zone for ball four.

A six-run ninth by the Cardinal paved the way for the dramatic comeback, as Arizona relievers Scott Burns and Derek Rodriguez were battered about by the potent Cardinal offense for four hits in the inning including two of Stanford's seven home runs in the game.

After Chris Carter hit a one-out homer off of Burns to cut the Arizona lead to 15-13, Jed Lowrie provided the big punch with his first career grand slam three hitters later off of Rodriguez to give the Cardinal a two-run advantage. A Donald throwing error two batters later plated John Mayberry, Jr., for what appeared to be an extra insurance run and the ill-fated 18-15 lead.

The roller coaster game saw the Wildcats fall behind 6-2 after two and half innings, rally to tie the game at 6-6 with four runs in the bottom of the third, fall behind again 10-8 after six, pull ahead 12-10 with another four runs in the seventh, drop into a tie after Stanford scored two in the eighth and retake the lead at 15-12 all before the drama of the ninth inning.

Rodriguez (1-2) went from losing his third decision of the season to the winning pitcher in the game despite giving up four runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. O'Hagan (5-1), who leads the Cardinal with six saves this year, was charged with his first loss after giving up four runs on four hits without recording an out.

Led by a 4 for 4, five run, two double and two triple night by sophomore Trevor Crowe, the Wildcats rapped out a season-high 23 hits in the game as all nine starters finished with at least one base knock in the contest.

In addition to driving in the game-winning run with the ninth-inning walk, Hardy finished 2 for 5 with his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot in the seventh, four RBI and two runs scored. Decater chipped in with a pair of doubles en route to a 4 for 5 game with four RBI and two runs scored.

Duran, Donald and Jeff Van Houten each went 3 for 6 in the game and combined to score six runs.

The loss erased an outstanding individual effort by Stanford's Jed Lowrie. The Cardinal second baseman went a perfect 6 for 6 at the plate with three doubles, three runs scored and the ninth-inning grand slam, his team-leading 16th home run of the season.

Carter added a pair of homers, his seventh and eighth of the year, as Stanford finished with a season-high 19 hits in the game. Sam Fuld (3), Mayberry, Jr. (13), Danny Putnam (14) and Donny Lucy (11) each hit a home run for Stanford in defeat.

The Wildcats and Cardinal will play the rubber game of the three-game set on Monday at 12:30 pm. UA's John Meloan is scheduled to start the game for the Wildcats. Stanford's starter is listed TBA.

Notes: Arizona set a season-high for hits (23) and total bases (37) in the game. The previous season-highs were 19 hits against UC Irvine on Feb. 22 and 31 total bases at Oregon State on April 3 ... Trevor Crowe's five runs scored were a career high for the sophomore and tied the school record for runs scored in a Pac-10 Conference game ... His two triples on Sunday were also a career high ... Moises Duran's two doubles were a career-high for the senior.

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