Merry Pitches UW To 5-1 Win Over Wildcats

April 6, 2008

SEATTLE - Starting pitcher Jorden Merry allowed just one run over seven and one-third innings to lead the Washington baseball team to a 5-1 win over No. 18 Arizona Sunday at Husky Ballpark as the Huskies prevailed in a tightly-contested three-game series, two wins to one.

Washington (20-9 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-10) won the series opener Friday, 1-0, on a two-hit shutout from Nick Haughian. Saturday, Arizona's David Coulon threw a seven-hit shutout in a 5-0 Wildcats win. Arizona fell to 15-11 overall and 3-6 in the conference with Sunday's loss.

Merry, a junior from Pasco, improved to 4-0 on the season, holding the Wildcats to just one run on four hits over his seven and one-third innings. He walked two and struck out six. Senior Elliott Cribby worked the final one and two-thirds innings for the save.

Arizona starter Eric Berger (2-2) suffered the loss despite allowing just one run on two hits over two and one-third innings.

The Huskies' leadoff batter walked in each of the first three innings, but it took until the third for them to capitalize. In the third, after Michael Burgher drew a free pass and moved to second on a bunt, second baseman Bradley Boyer doubled into the right-field corner, scoring Burgher to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

In the meantime, Merry cruised. After giving up a one-out single in the first inning, he retired 16 in a row before Diallo Fon singled with two outs in the sixth, one batter after both UW catcher Joey Dunn and head coach Ken Knutson were ejected by home plate umpire Tony Norris for arguing balls and strikes.

Washington finally added a second run in the bottom of the sixth. After a double from Aaron Russell and a one-out, infield single from Kyle Conley, Arizona closer Daniel Schlereth came on to face Brian Pearl, who laid down a suicide squeeze bunt. His bunt was too sharp and right back to the mound, but Schlereth's throw to the plate flew past the catcher, allowing Russell to score to give the UW a 2-0 lead.

Arizona finally broke through in the eighth. With one out, Merry issued his first walk of the game to Bryce Ortega. After Ortega stole second, pinch hitter Bobby Coyle drove a single to left, giving the Wildcats their first run. After a second walk, Arizona had runners at first and second with one out when senior Elliott Cribby came on to replace Merry. But, the inning ended with the 2-1 UW lead in tact as pinch runner Hunter Pace was picked off first base by UW backup catcher Brett Wilcox and Colt Sedbrook grounded out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Huskies took advantage of two more errors to score three runs. With a runner at first and one out, Conley bunted back to the mound. Reliever Jason Stoffel threw to first but first baseman C.J. Ziegler was unable to handle it, putting runners at second and third. Pearl then laced a single to drive in both runners. After a second out, Andy Lentz lined a double to center, bring in Pearl to give the Huskies a 5-1 lead.

The Huskies take a break from Pac-10 play for their next four games, playing host to Portland on Tuesday and Brigham Young Thursday through Saturday. That series is followed by a two-game trip to Gonzaga before the UW returns to Pac-10 play April 18-20 at California.

Tuesday's game vs. Portland will air live on KIXI AM-880 radio.

LINESCOREPac-10 Conference GameWashington 5, #18 Arizona 1Arizona       000 000 010 -- 1 5 3Washington    001 001 02x -- 5 7 0Eric Berger, Ryan Perry (3), Daniel Schlereth (6), Jason Stoffel (8)and Dwight Childs, Daniel Butler (8). Jorden Merry, Elliott Cribby(8) and Joey Dunn, Brett Wilcox (6). W - Merry (4-0). L - Berger (2-2). Sv - Cribby (2). 2B - UA, T.J. Steele; UW, Bradley Boyer,Aaron Russell, Andy Lentz. T - 2:50. A - 514. Records: UA 15-11, 3-6;UW 20-9, 3-3.
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