UW 5 #18 Arizona 1

SEATTLE - Jorden Merry pitched four hit ball for seven and one thirds innings and the Huskies capitalized on shaky Arizona defense to beat the 18th ranked Wildcats 5-1 in the finale of a three game Pac-10 series at Husky Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

With the win the Huskies took the series two games to one and improved to 3-3 in the Pac-10 and 20-9 overall, while Arizona dropped to 3-6 and 15-11.

The Huskies got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the third. Michael Burgher walked, moved to second on a sacrifice by David Bentrott and scored on a double down the right field line by Bradley Boyer. They went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth.

Aaron Russell led off with a double into right center field. After Ty Rasmussen struck out looking, Kyle Conley got aboard on an infield single into the hole between second and third, with Russell moving to third. Arizona coach Andy Lopez then brought in left handed reliever Daniel Schlereth for Ryan Perry to pitch to left handed hitting Brian Pearl. It looked like the move would pay off when Pearl hit the first pitch right back at Schlereth and they had Russell caught between third and home, but Schlereth threw the ball past catcher Dwight Childs for the first of three Wildcat errors, allowing Russell to score, Conley to go from first to third, and Pearl to reach safely. The Huskies eventually loaded the bases but Arizona got out of the inning when Andy Lentz grounded into a double play.

The Wildcats got their only run in the top of the eighth to make it 2-1. With one out Bryce Ortega walked, stole second, and scored on a single into left center by pinch hitter Bobby Coyle. Robert Abel pinch ran for Coyle and stole second. Merry then walked Diall Fon, to put runners on at first and second and his day was done, as the Huskies brought in reliever Elliott Cribby. Cribby threw a first pitch strike to Colt Sedbrook and on the pitch, catcher Wilcox picked off pinch runner Hunter Pace, who inexplicably had wandered too far from first base and could not get back in time to avoid Russell's tag. On the next pitch Sedbrook grounded out to end the inning.

The Huskies scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth against Jason Stoffel, the fourth Arizona pitcher, to make it 5-1. Pinch hitter Troy Scott led off with a single to left. After Rasmussen struck out, Conley laid down a sacrifice, but CJ Ziegler let Stoffel's throw to first get away from him for an error, allowing Scott to take third and Conley second. Pearl battled Stoffel for nine pitches before lining a single into left to score Scott and Conley. Wilcox struck out looking for the second out, but then Andy Lentz drove a 3-1 pitch over the head of center fielder TJ Steele for a double, scoring Pearl.

On the mound, Merry improved to 4-0. He allowed the one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Cribby earned his second save of the season with one and two thirds scoreless innings. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out one. Arizona starter Eric Berger suffered the loss to drop to 2-2. He gave up one run on two hits and four walks in only two and a third innings. He did not strike out a batter.

In addition to going 1 for 3 with a run scored and two runs batted in Pearl also contributed a pair of fine defensive plays. In the sixth he barehanded what looked like a bunt base hit for Ortega and just did throw him out at first. Then in the eighth on a ground ball into the hole by Rafael Valenzuela Pearl fielded the ball, did a 360 and just did get the runner.

Following a day off the Huskies host Portland in a single game on Tuesday, April 8 at 5 p.m. They then welcome the BYU Cougars to Husky Ballpark for a three game non-conference series from Thursday, April 10 to Saturday, April 12.

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