Wildcats Score Four In The Ninth, Down LBSU 6-5

June 11, 2004

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Sophomore Trevor Crowe drove home classmate Brad Boyer with the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning with a one-out triple to right-center as the Arizona baseball team rallied to win its opening game of a NCAA Super Regional 6-5 at Blair Field on Friday. Boyer tied the game one batter earlier with a two-run single up the middle as the Wildcats posted four runs in the inning on three hits.

The victory improved Arizona to 34-24-1 for the season, to 4-0 in the postseason and moved them just one win away from a 15th all-time trip to Omaha and the College World Series.

Trailing 5-2 after eight innings, the Wildcats started their come-from-behind rally with a leadoff single by Jason Donald. The freshman shortstop hit a ground ball off of reliever Brian Anderson to the right side of the infield and had it kick up over the shoulder of first baseman Mike Hofius and into right field for a base hit.

After Long Beach closer Neil Jamison had replaced Anderson on the mound, junior Richard Mercado drew a full-count walk and Nick Hundley was hit by a pitch to load the bases for junior Pat Reilly.

Reilly pulled the Wildcats to within two runs at 5-3 with a run-scoring ground out that plated Donald and advanced pinch runner Terrence Taylor and Nick Hundley into scoring position for at second and third for Boyer.

Boyer, who entered the game just 1 for his last 20 at the plate, drove Jamison's first pitch back up the middle in the next at bat for a two-run single to tie the game at 5-5. After Boyer had stolen second base, Crowe followed with his second hit in the game, a line-drive triple to the gap in right-center, to score Boyer and had the Wildcats their first and only lead.

LBSU got out of the inning without any further damage on a first to home double play on a grounder by Jordan Brown two batters later.

LBSU threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, getting pinch hitter Travis Udvarhelyi all the way to third with two outs, but freshman Mark Melancon struck out three-hole hitter John Bowker to end the game and preserve the victory.

Arizona's win snapped a nine-game losing streak to Long Beach State and was the 100th victory for head coach Andy Lopez at UA. It also denied All-American Jered Weaver of his 16th victory of the season.

Weaver, a strong candidate for the Golden Spikes Award as the top collegiate baseball player, left the game with after 137 pitches with a 5-2 lead and 12 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. He gave up just one earned, a solo home run to UA's Nick Hundley, on five hits in the no-decision effort.

Fifth-year senior Scott Burns (1-1) picked up his first career victory in a third of an inning of relief, while Melancon earned his second save of the season.

Long Beach State jumped out to its ill-fated lead on a RBI-single in the second and four runs on six hits in the fourth.

Arizona plated its first run in the top of the seventh on Hundley's fourth home run in Arizona's last six games and added another in the eighth on a fielding error by center fielder Josh Buhagiar on a line drive by Jeff Van Houten that allowed Crowe to score from second.

Arizona will attempt to make its first trip to Omaha since 1986 on Saturday at 4 pm. Kevin Guyette is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.

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