Wildcats Drop 9-4 Decision To Long Beach, Will Play For Trip To Omaha on Sunday
June 12, 2004
LONG BEACH, Calif.- Long Beach State took advantage of three Arizona errors while rapping out 13 hits as it remained alive for a trip to Omaha, Neb., and the College World Series with a 9-4 win over Arizona at the Super Regional at Blair Field on Saturday.
The loss to the 49ers was the first of the postseason for Arizona and snapped a season-high-tying five game winning streak for the Wildcats (34-25-1). The victory improved LBSU to 40-20 for the year and forced a third and decisive game three after the Wildcats had rallied to win the opening game of the Super Regional 6-5 with four runs in the ninth on Friday. Sunday's final game will be played at 3 pm at Blair Field.
Leading 3-2 after five innings, a pair of back-to-back errors by Trevor Crowe and Brad Boyer to open the top of the sixth led to three 49er runs and helped erase the Wildcat advantage. Troubled with the setting sun, Crowe misplayed Jason Vargas' leadoff fly ball to left for a two base error to start off the inning.
After a wild pitch from Arizona starter Kevin Guyette advanced Vargas to third, catcher Brad Davis followed with a grounder hit right to Boyer at third. The sophomore infielder, subbing for the injured John Hardy, threw wildly over the head of catcher Richard Mercado in attempt to cut down Vargas at home. The misguided throw sailed to the backstop for the second error in the inning, allowing Vargas to tie the game and advancing Davis to second with no outs.
The 49ers took the lead for good on a run-scoring single by Josh Buhagiar two batters later and tacked on another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Sean Boatright.
After Arizona had pulled back to within one with a run in the bottom of the sixth, Long Beach put the game away in the home half of the frame with four runs on five hits, including a two-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki, for the five-run, 9-4 lead.
Arizona, which had rallied to take a one-run lead after trailing 2-0 early in the game, had numerous opportunities in the game to score, but ended up stranding 11 runners on base.
LBSU's Chuck Sindlinger added to the Wildcat frustrations when he made a fully extended diving catch on a bases-loaded Nick Hundley pop up down the right field line in the seventh. The impressive play helped keep Arizona from scoring in the inning.
LBSU's Cesar Ramos (12-4) picked up the win on the mound with 6 1/3 solid innings. The southpaw struck out just three hitters in the game, but limited the Wildcats to just four runs on eight hits. Brian Anderson worked the final 2 2/3 innings to close out the win.
UA's Guyette (6-7) was charge with the loss after giving up seven runs, only four of which were earned, on nine hits in six innings.
Offensively, Tulowitzki led the way with a 3 for 5- day at the plate. He finished with two runs scored and two RBI. His seventh inning two-run homer was his seventh of year.
Arizona and Long Beach State will vie for one of eight spots in Omaha on Sunday at 3 pm. The Wildcats and 49ers last played for a trip to the College World Series in 1989 with LBSU taking the regional championship over the Wildcats 10-3 en route to its first national championship.
Arizona's John Meloan (9-0) will attempt to remain undefeated on the season on the mound against LBSU's Vargas.