Cats fall in the 10th

The California baseball team weathered a late Arizona comeback to win, 12-7, in 10 innings at Frank Sancet Field on Sunday. The loss cost No. 20 Arizona a chance at its first Pac-10 series sweep of the season and dropped the Wildcats to 33-17 overall and 11-7 in the Pac-10. The Golden Bears improved to 26-24 overall and 10-11 in conference play with the win.

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After rallying to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona's defense fell apart in the top of the 10th to hand the Bears the win. Brian Horwitz's one-out pop fly to shallow center field fell in between infielders John Hardy and Moises Duran for an error to allow Nick Medrano to score the go-ahead run from third.

Another Arizona error and four hits later, Cal had a decisive six-run lead and the win in hand. Berkeley's Conor Jackson, Chris Grossman, Brad Smith, Justin Nelson and Jeff Dragicevich each tallied a RBI apiece in the decisive 10th.

The Wildcats, who trailed 6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, rallied to tie to game on Brian Anderson's three-run home run in the eighth and Hardy's two-out triple in the ninth. However, the defensive miscues in extra inning cost the Wildcats a chance at their first Pac-10 series sweep since beating Washington three straight to the end the 2001 season.

Cal's Travis Talbot (3-1) picked up his third win of the season with 1 1/3 innings of relief. The left-hander gave up one run on two hits after spelling starter Matt Brown in the eighth inning.

Brown, who did not factor in the decision, pitched well before surrendering Anderson's homer. The right-hander gave up five runs on just six hits over 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

Arizona's Meloan (4-1) was the hard-luck loser, surrendering six unearned runs on five hits in the 10th inning. Offensively, Cal's Dragicevich and David Nicholson led all players with a pair of 4 for 6 afternoons at the plate. Dragicevich finished with two RBIs and two runs scored in the contest, while Nicholson chipped in with a pair of runs and a triple, as Cal finished with 20 hits in the game.

Arizona's Anderson, Hardy and Nick Hundley each finished with a pair of hits in the loss. Anderson's three-run homer in the eighth was his team-leading 14th of the season.

With final exams on the horizon, Arizona will take a break from competition next weekend before returning to action May 17-19 against Oregon State at Sancet Field. The Bears will play Fresno State in a non-conference game on Tuesday, before wrapping up their Pac-10 schedule against Bay Area rival Stanford at Evans Diamond next weekend.

Game two:
Backed by right-hander Sean Rierson's third complete game of the season, the Arizona baseball team defeated Cal, 10-4, in Pac-10 Conference action at Frank Sancet Field on Saturday. The victory assured Arizona of its fifth conference series win in six tries this season.

The win also allowed the Wildcats (33-16, 11-6 Pac-10) to remain a half-game behind Pac-10 leader Stanford (29-14, 11-5 Pac-10) in the conference standings.

Rierson (8-1), who tied Richie Gardner for the team lead with his eighth win of the season, surrendered just three earned runs on six hits in the fifth complete game of his career. The right-hander struck out six and walked just two in his fifth straight start with seven or more innings pitched.

Offensively, Arizona responded to Cal's one-run first with three in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Brad Boyer led off the home half of the first with his Arizona freshman record-tying 15th double of the season. The first-year starter advanced to second on a balk by Cal starter Mike Padgett and scored his team-leading 66th run of the year on Derek Decater's fielder's choice ground ball to tie the game at 1-1.

Junior Brian Anderson followed with a one-out ground ball that Golden Bears' third baseman Matt Einspahr allowed to slide to through his legs for a two-base error, placing Decater on third and Anderson on second.

Sophomore Jeff Van Houten came up with a two-run single in the next at-bat to score Decater and Anderson to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.

Richard Mercado's two-run homer in the third, his fourth home run of the season, gave the Wildcats a 5-1 advantage and Rierson all the runs he needed on the night.

Arizona tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and added three more insurance runs in the sixth in response to Cal's two-run fifth and one-run sixth that had cut the Arizona lead to 7-4.

Cal's Padgett (5-3) was charged with his third loss of the season after giving up 10 runs, eight earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.

Arizona's Boyer, who finished the game 3 for 5, tied and passed Keoni DeRenne and Damon Mashore's Arizona freshman record with a pair of doubles in the game, his 15th and 16th of the season. He also tied Mashore's freshman record with his 22nd stolen base of the year in the second inning.

Game one:
Arizona starter Richie Gardner held the Cal baseball team hitless over the first six innings, as the No. 20-ranked Wildcats defeated the Golden Bears, 9-5, at Frank Sancet Field on Friday.

The win moved the Wildcats (32-16, 10-6 Pac-10) a half-game behind rained-out Stanford (28-14, 10-5 Pac-10) and idle Arizona State (43-9, 10-5 Pac-10) for first place in the conference standings. Cal fell to 25-22 overall and 9-10 in the Pac-10 with loss.

Gardner (8-1) baffled the Cal lineup over the first six innings. The junior right-hander struck out eight and walked just two in the first six frames, before Conor Jackson broke up the potential no-hitter with a solo home run to lead off the top of the seventh. Gardner finished the game with nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. He gave up three runs on just three hits en route to his team-high eighth win of the season.P> Offensively, freshman Trevor Crowe put the Wildcats on the board in the bottom of the third with a two-out, two-run triple to left center that scored Jeff Van Houten and Brian Anderson.

The triple, Crowe's first of the season, handed Arizona the out-right Pac-10 single season record of 44, breaking its tie with the 1986 Arizona team. Nick Hundley's single up the middle rewarded Crowe with a trip home and gave Arizoan a 3-0 advantage.

The Wildcats added five more runs in the fourth on Moises Duran's RBI-double, Anderson's two-run ground ball, that Cal's David Nicholson misplayed for an error, Van Houten's run-scoring double, that chased Cal starter Jesse Ingram from the game, and a RBI single by Crowe.

Arizona, led by Crowe's 2 for 4, 3-RBI night at the plate, finished with eight hits in the contest. Van Houten was the only other Arizona player to pair hits, finishing 2 for 5 with two runs scored.

The Wildcats stole four bases in the game to improve their season total to 126. Freshman Brad Boyer stole his team-high 21st base of the season, one away from tying Damon Mashore for the Arizona freshman record.

Ingram (2-2), who gave up eight runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings, was charged with his second loss of the year.

Arizona and Cal will meet up again on Saturday for the second game of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard live on KNST (790-AM).

Note: First pitch for the series finale on Sunday has been changed from 1 p.m. to noon.


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