Kolberg, Crowe Lead Baseball To 7-6 Win Over USC
May 28, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Junior Koley Kolberg tossed his fourth complete game of the season and sophomore Trevor Crowe missed hitting for the cycle by just a single as Arizona defeated USC 7-6 at Dedeaux Field on Friday.
The win improved Arizona to 29-23-1 for the year and to an even 11-11 in Pac-10 play. USC, which lost for the third time in four games, dropped to 23-31 overall and 9-13 in conference action.
Tied 4-4 after seven innings, the Wildcats scored three runs in the top of the eighth to take a 7-4 advantage and withstood a two-run USC rally in the home half of the inning to pull off their ninth one-run win of the season.
Crowe, who put Arizona on the scoreboard in the third with a two-run homer to right and doubled and scored in the sixth, led off the top of the eighth with his team-leading seventh triple of the season and broke the 4-4 tie on a wild pitch by USC's Michael Friedman one batter later.
Clayton Wentworth replaced Friedman on the mound and got Moises Duran to ground out to second for the first out in the inning. After Wentworth intentionally walked Jason Donald to load the bases, junior Richard Mercado plated Van Houten from third for a 6-4 lead and advanced Brown to third with a sacrifice fly to right.
With runners on the corners and two outs, the Trojans committed their second error in the inning on a steal attempt allowing Arizona to score what proved to be the game-winning run. With Nick Hundley at the plate, Donald broke for second and pulled up short as Clement threw to teammate Blake Sharpe ahead of the Wildcat shortstop.
As a rundown of Donald ensued, Brown crept away from third and drew a wild throw from first baseman Joey Metropoulos that eluded the grasp of third baseman Billy Hart and scooted to the fence down the left field line. Brown scored easily on the play to hand the Wildcats what seemed to be a comfortable three-run cushion.
USC made things interesting with a leadoff homer by Jon Brewster and run-scoring ground out by Hart in the home half of the inning to cut the lead to 7-6. However, Kolberg, who had lost his three previous complete game efforts this season, settled down to strand the potential tying run on third before retiring the side in order in the ninth for the win
The Wildcat right-hander improved to 8-6 for the year and snapped a personal three-game losing streak after giving up six runs on 12 hits. He struck out just batter in the game, but got USC to hit into 20 ground ball outs.
Friedman (2-2) was charged with the loss after giving up all three runs in the eighth without retiring a batter.
Crowe had a chance to hit for Arizona's first cycle since Shelley Duncan in 2001 in the ninth, but went down on strikes for the final out in the frame. Still, the sophomore outfielder finished the game 3 for 5 with his fifth home run of the year, two RBI and three runs scored. Donald added two hits and two RBI for Arizona in the win.
The Wildcats, who moved a game behind both UCLA and Arizona State for third in the conference standings, will attempt to solidify a postseason berth in game two the three-game set with USC on Saturday at 2 pm.